While we had a drifting of snow in Seattle a few weeks ago, nothin compares to a good ol' Northeastern storm. We took the redeye from Seattle on Thursday night into Vermont. Remind us not to do that again. The girls actually did great considering they only had about four hours of sleep that night. Lian was so excited to see snow from the plane window that she shouted to everyone, "We're in Vermont!" And she hasn't stopped talking about snow since we arrived.
My parents home is also a bed and breakfast. You couldn't ask for a more idealized version of a New England Christmas. For pictures you can check out www.villagevictorian.com. Tonight, as we walked the two blocks home on snow-packed streets from the one-person operation movie theatre in their little town of Morrisville, Dano said, "You really forget that places like this exist anymore." It's true and I wish everyone could have the chance to grow up in a town where everyone really does know your name, where historic homes remind you to be humble because so many people have gone before you, where the stillness and coldness of the air beckons you to sit in front of a warm fire and be still. It is truly a rest when we return home.
Living in the city, Lian wasn't quite sure what to do when I told her that she could actually play outside without me watching her. It is like Winter Wonderland here. Anna wasn't quite sure what to do with the snow. She tried to eat it. She sat in it. She slid in it. It wasn't until she accidentally got a snowball in her face that she realized snow was really cold and she wasn't sure if it was her thing. Lian braved the snow with gusto. She climbed the 6 foot mountain in my parent's driveway, sledded down its peak, and even braved jumping off of the top of the swingset (wish we had a picture) into a huge pile of snow. She especially liked burying mommy in the snow.
Both girls were also able to pay a special visit to their great-grandmother, Nanny. Nanny is my dad's mom and she is 92 and still as beautiful and elegant as ever. She was so thrilled to see the girls and to especially meet Anna for the first time.
It is hard to see my grandmother in a nursing home and requiring care. She is the matriarch of the family and she carries herself with such strength and grace. Every holiday was spent at her home. There were always at least 25-30 people gathered round the table for dinner. Nanny would give out orders in the kitchen and we would catch up with siblings, aunts and uncles, and cousins as we chopped and diced to her specific instructions. I guess it was chaotic, but I find that I miss those gatherings at this time of the year. I guess that is what holidays do though - they remind us of many memories while allowing us to create new ones for the future.