If you are one of the millions of people not lucky enough to live in our beautiful Idaho valley, you are missing out on a winter wonderland.
A winter wonderland that has overstayed her welcome, in my humble opinion.
A measurable snow storm is rare enough in our area that we still rejoice at the first flakes, and delight in the snowman-making and frolicking that takes place if the fluffy whiteness actually accumulates on the ground.
Occasionally a winter inversion will even make for some pretty sunrise photos.
We got snow here in the valley between Christmas and New Year’s Day, and it was really fun. We played and played in the snow, built snowmen and had snowball fights. Then that snow kind of melted, until last week, when we got a major storm.
The snow was still fun then.
Batman, being the master of comic relief in our family, loves to run and “trip” in the snow, falling face-first in the powder with a squeal, then rolling around and around screaming “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!”
Winston is always happy to add to the show, bounding around and around and up and down, jumping over Batman when he falls down and generally being a big goofball.
Of course, he can also be the sweetest boy sometimes. Notice how he is trying to twist his mouth around to pull off Annabelle’s glove.
We played in the snow every day for the first few days, and the kids even got to enjoy a “snow day” last week when Annabelle’s school shut down due to the big storm.
All that was still pretty fun.
Batman got to spend lots of time doing one of his favorite activities: helping.
After I shoveled the driveway and sidewalks after each snowfall, he would take the shovel and move impressive amounts of snow around on the long gravel drive in front of our house.
He shoveled several large areas in the front of the driveway until they were completely clear. While those areas were not necessarily expanses that needed to be snow-free, his effort was remarkable nonetheless.
At first, when the cold snap hit, Annabelle and I continued our normal routines. We rode in the indoor arena where Freckles lives even when the temperature hovered in the single digits.
This is when something happened that I never thought I’d witness.
Annabelle asked if we could please quit riding.
She was so cold that day she didn’t even help me get the horses unsaddled, and sat shivering in a chair covered up with someone else’s horse blanket until we were ready to leave.
That was almost two weeks ago, and it was the last day we rode. Since then, even taking care of the horses has been a challenge.
Grumpy is breaking in his new pink blanket from Santa Claus (on top of the two he was already wearing) because he was shivering in his hairless splendor.
Spice has icicles on her whiskers.
Reno’s mane and forelock are tipped in fine white frost in the mornings.
Our dining room sports a four-wheeled hose reel that contains the equipment we use to fill our horses’ water tanks, since the heater in the tack room cannot keep up with the sub-zero night-time temperatures.
Even Toby-The-Old-Man-Dog has deigned to join us in the house a few times to warm his frozen bones, a move that is pretty much unprecedented in his thirteen years with our family.
Of course, who wouldn’t want to warm up on a Dora comforter?
The snow still looks pretty from some angles.
But the many consecutive days of below-freezing temperatures have left the roads in our small town still ice-covered and treacherous for driving.
To add insult to injury, the pipes in poor Desperate Hubby’s office have frozen solid. Because the owner of our office complex is an absentee landlord residing in sunny Mexico, we have been unable to come to an agreement regarding the $500 or so it will cost to thaw-out said pipes. In the meantime, our office resembles a sauna, with two space heaters keeping the mercury at around 90 degrees as DH tries to initiate the thaw on his own. Sheesh.
Admittedly, the unseasonably cold weather is not without its merits. I have finished all my accounting updates for the company and already submitted our books to the CPA to get our 2012 taxes prepared. My home office is looking lovely (if I do say so myself) due to the amount of effort I have devoted to the makeover and subsequent revamping of my filing system and supply storage. The company’s national and state licensing was renewed well before the due date, and I have responded to the half-dozen or so inevitable requests for additional information in a very timely manner. I’ve even cleaned out and re-organized our pantry.
So the time spent waiting out the weather has not been wasted.
But still, I am ready to be done with this ultra-cold weather. I want to ride my horse and run outside and do all the stuff that we generally take for granted year-round here in our lovely state.
So snow and sub-zero temperatures go away. Come back again……next year.