Sunday, February 27, 2011

Our Favorite Snowstorm

Writing about last week's snow storm reminded me of our favorite snow storm. It was when I was working at our church. Everyone else on staff had gone home for the day. The snow was coming down heavy. Really heavy. I'd always known that, should there be a bad storm, I could just sleep over at the church. The youth pastor had a couch in his office and I always carried a blanket in my truck. The kitchen had snacks, and even a small arsenal of frozen dinners I'd brought as lunches for the week. The church library was full of books and videos I could use to pass the evening until time to go to sleep. As I looked outside at the heavy snow coming down, I thought this just might be the night I'd actually need to engage this back-up plan.

Inexperienced with snow-driving (and hating it) the prospect of a 20-some mile drive home in a blizzard was just too daunting. I called my husband and told him I was too uncomfortable to drive home, that I thought I should stay in town. There were folks I could have stayed with in town, but frankly, I didn't want to be on the roads at all, not just the highway home. He said he would come get me and take me back into town the next morning for work if I wanted him to. I didn't know what to do. I was worried about him driving in it, too. But, his experience with driving in snow was much broader than mine and he wasn't as scared of it. He said it was up to me.

I hemmed and hawed, not knowing what to do. I had pre-thought this scenario for so long, I thought I was fine with it. But the more I pictured myself alone in the church all night, I got a little nervous. With enough assurance from him that he would be fine on the road and that we'd be fine going home, I took him up on his chivalrous offer.

I anxiously waited for him to drive to me. He got there much sooner than I expected but by the time he arrived, the storm had settled heavily in upon the town. I was anxious about the drive home, wanting to get right on the road as soon as possible. The sooner we got going the sooner we'd be safely back at the cozy home we'd built with our own hands. The home that was toasty warm from the day's fires, waiting to envelop me in security against all the dangers of the storm.

But The Fisherman had another idea. "Hey, let's go to dinner!"

"What? Are you crazy? We need to get home!"

"Ahh, we'll be fine."

I decided to trust his greater experience with snowstorms rather than the fears of my inexperience, the fears that were always ready to over-react to things anyway. Actually, it was quite amazing that I did this, choosing to not trust my fears which always seem so convincing. I decided to trust his evaluation of the storm.

We went to our favorite Chinese restaurant another 6 miles down the road...deeper into the storm. We shared the road with only a handful of other cars. Who else would be so foolish to be out in such a storm? We got to the restaurant and asked for seats by the window. I think there was only one other table occupied with diners in the whole restaurant, and they were nearly ready to leave.

Though I was still a little nervous, I'd let go of the bulk of my fear and had chosen to trust my husband, his judgment and his driving skill.

 To this day, it's our favorite memory of dining at our favorite restaurant. We go to this restaurant on our anniversary, on our birthdays, with friends, with family. But this was our favorite visit. We both love the memory of having nearly the whole place to ourselves and looking out the window at a gentle but heavy snow coming down on the nearly abandoned road.

There's something about's just so quiet. Snow that's not accompanied by wind, that is. It's peaceful, even though it can create threatening conditions. There's nothing like looking out a window at those big, fat, white flakes coming down through the otherwise still air. The cloud cover seems to create a ceiling and all of the outdoors seems as if it's a big room. We love it when we're snug in our own cabin in the woods during one of these quiet snows. But there was just something so special about being in that restaurant for this particular storm. Something about being "caught" in town in the storm. Something about watching the snow fall while eating our favorite food, cozy and safe inside the restaurant. Something about the fact that nearly everyone else in town was already hunkered down at home, leaving the whole town to us. Something about having the whole restaurant to ourselves, the quiet inside matching the quiet outside.

We made it home safe and sound. Walking into our cabin from the cold and the snow is also one of my favorite experiences. Cozy. Warm. Strong and sturdy. Built with our own hands. Our shelter.

And if I don't have to drive in it, I do love the snow.

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