Hey Mom, It’s snowing!

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Snow – Everything about it reminds me of my youth.   It reminds me of my parents.  And, It reminds me of growing up in South Bend, Indiana.  The snow always seemed to be piled high from November through March.  Every year.  Not just on years that were considered  “the year of the polar vortex,” but always.  You could count on a beautiful white blanket of snow throughout winter just as sure as you could count on presents under your tree on Christmas morning.  The two-way neighborhood roads would turn into single lane paths that you’d wield your car down.  Snow piled high on both shoulders along your way.

Maybe this is why I still love the snow so much.  It’s beauty takes me back to my childhood.  And, to a time when I was living under the same roof with my 4 siblings and my parents.  Every year you knew that as the temperatures plummeted, the snow would come.  Still, there was always something so pure and magical about looking out at the first snowflakes falling.

Our hearts seem to forever stay childlike in that we will never get over the thrill of going to bed at night when the earth outside our windows is a field of frozen, dormant grass and waking up the next morning to the loveliness of a thick mantle of white snow and frozen tree branches swagged heavily with silvery icicles hanging off each tip.  The sun shining a bit brighter because of its reflection off of the bright ground.

South Bend is famously synonymous with two things – Snow & Notre Dame.  My parents worked at Notre Dame pretty much all their married lives. Our home was fairly close to the campus.  As a teen, my friends and I would ride our bikes across town and spend time tooling around the different quads that made up the campus.  This was mainly in the summer when the students were on break.  The campus felt quiet then.  And Empty.  And it felt like ours.  It was beautiful, lush with flora and serene.  And for the most part, we had it to ourselves from June through August.

On many of those long summer days, we’d pop into my Mom’s office to say hi.  We’d visit for a while and talk to her co-workers sitting at their desks, piled high with paperwork, framed pictures of family members, typewriters and coffee cups.  On our way back out again, we’d pass up the bank of payphones and we’d stop by the vending machine in the lobby to buy a soda for .50 cents.  Then we’d get back on our Schwinn bikes and ride across campus to my Dad’s office and do the same.  “Hi Dad!  How’s it going?!  Do you have a few dollars I could “borrow?”

Summers felt long back then.  The days went on forever and the time went by at a snail’s pace.  But eventually, the warm days of summer would slowly turn to fall;  a favorite season for so many because of the relief that came from cooler temperatures and the beauty of the changing colors all around you.  ND Students would return for classes.  My siblings and friends and I would go back to school.  Before you knew it, the first snow would be at your doorstep, peaceful and white.  Filling you with an unexplained inner excitement and youthful joy.

The changing seasons always remind me of my parents.  Because of where I grew up, winter and snow remind me of them most.  This week here in Chicago, it snowed a little.  Just flurries.  But, in South Bend?  They got loads of it.  It made me think of my Mom and Dad.  It brought back such sweet memories of youth.  It also made me miss my parents – especially my mom, who we lost in February of this year.  I miss her so much.

As I watched the weather reports on TV with news of the heavy snow coming down in South Bend, I smiled.  Whenever the first snow would come, I’d always call my Mom, “Hey Mom!, it’s snowing!” And then she’d say,  “Oh Honey, we are getting so much snow!  You should see it!”  She knew how much I loved winter.  She thought I was nuts.  She did not love it as I always have.  She saw it as work, like most adults do.  She’d call me often about the piles of snow and would tell me how she felt trapped inside.  I would just laugh and tell her not to worry – “I’ll come visit you, mom!  You don’t have to drive in it!”  And, I did.

I’ll always love snow and the sense of renewal and peace that comes along with it.    It will always bring back sweet memories of my beloved parents who are now gone.  I’ll welcome it every year and be sorry when the last of it melts away.  Snow.  Such a wonderful part of the winter season!  “Hey Mom!… South Bend got a ton of snow this week……”

 

“Everything was frozen, and yet it all appeared so beautiful. … Yes, like little children, in spite of the cold, we went from one extremity to the other, perfectly enchanted with the marvelous beauties of our new abode”

– Fr. Edward Sorin

 

 

 

 

 


 

56 thoughts on “Hey Mom, It’s snowing!

  1. Loved this! We are often transported back in time to the childhood excitement of the first snow. It was beautiful and offered lots of fun to us as children and not the realities of being an adult having to deal with it on that level. I find myself halfway in between. I no longer romp and play in it like a child, but I see its beauty and try not to think of shoveling/snow-blowing, which gets tougher on my body the older I get. I try to focus on the beauty, overriding all the rest.

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  2. Yeah. I miss my mom and dad too. they were THE best parents. We should be so good. My mom worked too and would always make us welcome when we would “drop in” at her work. She always took the time to fuss and then drag us around so her co-workers could marvel at how much we had grown since the last visit.
    We grew up in the snow belt in the lee of Lake Erie. IT SNOWED! Ours was from October through May. Yes May! But as kids it was an adventure. We didn’t have to dig out the car and drive in it. We built snow forts and flew off “the jump” on our saucers. Few Christmas’ passed without snow.
    Now cold hurts. I’m counting the days until we load up and head south. But I’ll be up to watch the morning weather and will be sure to call my kids and tell them, “Hey, it’s snowing up there!”

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      1. I just moved from Michigan to Oklahoma. From the land of snow to the land of tornadoes and ice storms. The snow and this time of year does bring back memories or childhood and a time when life was a bit slower. All I thought about when it snowed was who wanted to have a snowball fight and build a fort and snowman with me. Great story! Thanks for sharing.

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  3. I, too, love the snow! Good thing since I live in Northern Minnesota where we have snow from Oct-late May. I am blessed to live in the country surrounded by acres of pine trees. There is nothing like a heavy snowfall to make my heart sing. I light scented candles, put on music and turn on low lighting and I am in my “happy” place.

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    1. I absolutely LOVE Minnesota. My sister and her family lived there for a short time. I found it amazing. Loved the wooded areas and all the lakes. They eventually moved to Houston because she could not take the cold. Wimps. : )

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    1. Thank you. I think it must be a Midwest thing. People here love the snow for entirely different reasons than people out west, like in Colorado. We dont have skiing here. We just love it for the fact of loving it.

      I’ve never been to Utah and would love to visit one day. I hear it’s gorgeous there.

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  4. Annette Rochelle Aben

    Splendid! Had childhood friends who moved from Detroit to South Bend back in 1970 and we went for a weekend visit as a family. Got to tour the Notre Dame campus and hang out with our friends for the last time (thus far). This brings back those happy memories as well as give me a glimpse into what they experienced while continuing to grow up so far away from us… Thank you

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  5. Aaah. Beautiful memories. Growing up outside Chicago, I loved that first snow each year. It was so quiet and peaceful. Unfortunately, we don’t get that very often in Albuquerque. I miss it.

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  6. Kathy K.

    I love your reflections on the beauty of snow. The words of Father Sorin and the ND video bring me back to the snowy winters of the late 70s when I was a student there. Thank you for bringing me back to that time and to what is precious.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank You, Kathy! Father Sorin’s poem is so beautiful. I’ve watched that video more than a few times already. I knew that you’d be able to relate to so much of this post because of your time spent at ND. 🙂

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  7. I can still hear the swish, swish, swish of our snow pants and the crunching snow beneath our boots as we trudged up Crestview Drive on our way to school or to the sledding hill at Swanson. I remember making a point of walking on top of the snow piled along the roadway instead of the flat, packed snow on the street. Good times with good friends. Thanks for bringing that lovely memory back with your post, Peggy.

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  8. It’s funny how it has the same effect on me. Every time it snows all I think about was growing up in my neighborhood and that excited feeling of all the things you waited for in the summer. I think it’s because it’s just so pure. Everything is just whited out in one massive ice cold blanket and its always the most awesome thing ever.

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  9. This is a beautiful post. Honestly perfectly beautiful. I wish I could say the same thing about getting lots of snow, but even though I live in Canada, it doesn’t snow much…maybe three times a year, and the rest is rain. But loving the snow? Definitely.
    When I’m actually old enough to think back on my childhood, I’ll remember things like the rare snow day and loving parents and having laugh attacks with my cousins.
    Thanks for making my day a little bit brighter with this post. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re welcome. I just feel that maybe not just snow, but all the changing seasons effect us like that. It’s a change that we welcome. And, look forward to. And, marvel in as we watch it happen. thanks for visiting!

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    1. Nope. Im just like you. I grew up in South Bend but now live in Chicago. I know exactly what you mean. We seem to miss all the good stuff each year, except for last year when the Polar vortex invaded us. I absolutely LOVED it and am keeping my fingers crossed that we get a replay of last winter.

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  10. I’ll admit that, like your mother, I’m guilty of looking at snow as more of a chore than a winter wonderland. Thanks for helping me look at it with a touch of nostalgia. It’s all about perspective!

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  11. I remember those days of childhood when snow was a wonderful thing and not just a chore. I grew up in the small town of Watervliet Michigan, not too far from South Bend and we enjoyed great snowfalls often. Thanks for the trip back into time with this post as well as some of the others that I have read. I look forward to reading more of what yu have written.

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  12. I just moved from Orlando, Fla. to St. Paul, Minn. and I’ve got to say that I absolutely LOVE the snow. Though my nose may be frozen, it’s just amazing to me. There’s something kind of rustic about it; you wouldn’t see Floridian working their butts off, shoveling snow from their yards even if they encountered it! Anyway. Cute blog!

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      1. No, I actually grew up in Eastern Europe, so I still remember what it was like to have snow in the winter 🙂 For the longest time, a Christmas just wasn’t Christmas to me if it was green….but now I’ve gotten used to it.

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  13. Karen Darr

    Peggy, I also have wonderful memories of our childhood in South Bend. Remember how we used to ice skate on Genny’s garden that was frozen over to make an ice rink! Or sledding down the hill at the entrance to our neighborhood. Thank you for writing about the snow! I have always loved snow and now that we live in Texas, I really appreciate it!! I get just as excited as my boys when we see a few snowflakes fall! And I loooooved the ND video~~absolutely beautiful!

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  14. I love this post, it felt more like you were writing somewhat to your mother. I adore my mother very much and found this beautiful and moving. Looking back over years past is always emotional. You crafted your story so well I wanted more! Your title is fantastic, thanks for sharing this 😀

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  15. Some lovely thoughts in there. It’s so very nice to “travel back in time,” when we get the chance. Snow here at the moment, not a lot–around 10 cm or so–but it will likely go later this week as temps are due to rise again. Maybe it’ll be back for Christmas…who knows!

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  16. Pingback: Very Inspiring Blogger Award #3 | Live Laugh Love

  17. Reblogged this on Being Margaret and commented:

    Two years ago this weekend in the United States, we were marveling at an unseasonably early snowstorm.

    It was beautiful. It packed a lot of snow. We went to bed, the world a frozen tundra under our feet, and woke up to a pure white carpet of snow. It hung heavy from the tree branches. It covered the ground, untouched yet by footsteps. It brought back happy memories of days gone by. Days when, as children, we’d hope and dream and keep our fingers crossed for the snow to come. And, when that first snowfall did finally arrive, the reaction was always the same. You’d wake up and peek out your window in amazement and a feeling of pure joy.

    The first snowfall of the year is always magical. There’s something so special about seeing the ground covered in a carpet of white. And, through the frosty window pane, even before you’ve had a chance to walk out into the elements, you can just tell that the air is frigid.

    There’s something so pure about the first snow. It’s peaceful. It feels like a little piece of heaven on earth.

    This week, the world unitedly came to a halt and watched in horror as Paris was attacked and so many innocent people lost their lives prematurely. It was a cold reminder that this world often is an ugly, cruel, unfair place to live in. And, terror seems to be a common thread that binds us all together.

    In a world that can at times be a very harsh place to live in, let’s remember that it’s also a world filled with blessings and goodness. At times like these, when evil rears it’s ugly head, it’s important that we come together as a humanity that is there for each other. Life is hard but nobody needs to face it alone.

    Like a first snowfall that is pure and peaceful, let hope and faith and love wash over you during these difficult weeks ahead. After a weekend of sadness, fear and devastation, we can all use a little happy in our lives.
    My contribution to that “happy” is to reblog a post from two years ago this weekend when rather than terror, the peaceful, pure snow was on our minds.

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