*This was written last night. Too much sledding to post until now*
It’s Christmas day.
We’re at my in-law’s for the holidays. I’m writing this from the quiet darkness of our bedroom in their cozy house, nestled in the lapland that is the Ottawa Valley in December; Little Bee is snuggled up against my husband in our bed, engulfed in a cocoon of fleece, down and wool (but really using each other to keep warm). The white noise machine is shushing away; the snow is falling softly behind the frosted windows… I’m teetering on the edge of sleep, it’s so beautifully peaceful.
But before I close my eyes, I wanted to reflect on the last few (crazy) days for, you know, posterity.
A huge ice storm hit Toronto last weekend. Hundreds of thousands of people lost their power… my parents being two of them. There was no definitive answer as to when everyone would be “back on the grid”, so everyone was told to expect to be powerless for at least a few days. Christmas included.
As their house got colder and colder, the dining room table already made for a festive dinner it would never see (*sniff*), my folks made the call to jump ship and, since we weren’t going to be there anyway, wait it out at our place.
We held a makeshift Beth’s Family Pre-Christmas Christmas the night before we left, my brother, sister-in-law and baby niece came along for the event. My mother, being kind of amazing, threw a full turkey dinner together out of nothing without batting an eyelash. We opened gifts, ate, drank wine and were merry; Li’l Niece bounced in the Jolly Jumper while Bee read her her new Elmo books. It was lovely – the only thing that would have made it more perfect were if my sister and brother-in-law could have been with us instead of in London (U.K.). But, since London is awesome and my very favourite place on earth, I shall forgive this one time.
Mom made camp in our basement (my dad had to stay at my brother’s since our pull-out isn’t big enough for two), and after the whirlwind day we all slept soundly. The next morning, hubs, Bee and I packed up and left my parents alone at our little home like a couple of teenagers whose parents were going away on vacation without them, and headed North.
One meltdown (Bee, not me) and 6 hours later, we arrived. Everything was a crisp white, about 3 feet of snow covered everything in sight. And boy, it was C-O-L-D. If it didn’t feel like winter before getting there, it sure did as soon as we stepped out of the car.
Being out here, where it seems like it was meant to be winter, always, I appreciate the cold and the snow so much more than in the city. City Winters are gloomy, garish and grey. Slush doesn’t count as snow, thankyouverymuch. And the wind tunnels that sneak up on you around every corner have a way of bringing out the unpleasant in everyone. Up here, though… it’s calm. And serene. And no matter how cold it gets, I can’t get enough of being outdoors.
Even though I miss my parents and siblings when I’m not with them at Christmas (who wouldn’t), I’m so happy we’re here. To experience this “real” winter with Bee, to show her that it’s possible to enjoy winter and not see it as a huge 6-month inconvenience, means a lot to my husband and his folks. And to me.
We’ve already put our snowshoes to good use and had Bee sliding down a hill made by hubs. Tomorrow, we’ll take her out on the new sled Santa brought for her.
But for now, sleep.
Merry Christmas, friends.