Why I Love a Good Snowstorm

They called for three inches, but as I write this we’re easily up to five inches and it’s still snowing. Our driveway isn’t plowed, but that’s OK because we are in for the night, and I am so thankful for the grace of a good snowstorm.

In case you were wondering, I’ve been working really hard lately. Maybe too hard. I come home and keep working. I wake up and work before I go to work. I do it because people are counting on me and waiting for me to get things to them. I love what I do, but I have to admit, there was a time this past week—well, a few times—when I was worried that there wouldn’t be a Christmas in my house this year.

But today (Saturday) I realized there will be a Christmas after all. First, we all packed into the pickup truck and went food shopping at the local health food store. The checkout lady, as she was ringing up our two carts of food—granted, they were very small carts—said to us, “You know, it’s only supposed to snow three inches.” Then we went to get our Christmas tree. I had worked all morning, so it felt OK to take a break. And as we were picking out our tree, it started to snow.

We drove home and up our little mountain. All the trees were covered with white and it truly felt like a winter wonderland. We ate a late lunch. The kids built a snowman and then we all took naps—long winter’s naps. When we woke up it was still snowing.

And that’s when it started to feel really good.

When we are forced to stay put and stay home, a peace settles in. We lit some candles. Put on the Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer DVD for Lucia. I made some appetizers with dates and goat cheese, walnuts, and olive oil, and suddenly it felt like a Christmas party. (I love a party when you can clean out your pantry and refrigerator—and make soup from the old stuff—while the party is going on!)

I still haven’t begun to shop for presents. The tree is lying outside on the porch. I have no idea what I’m going to make for dinner, but there are plenty of choices. I’m going to have to get some work done tomorrow, too. If I can get out I will visit my mother. If I can’t, I’m going to make scented pinecones! I’ve got pinecones outside, and a “recipe” from the Internet, and a brown bag filled with all-natural essential oils to make them smell like cinnamon, cloves, and oranges (in other words, like Christmas).

And if the snow is still here when I wake up tomorrow (I know it will be), I’ll put on my cross-country skis and go out for a ski in the woods. Because it doesn’t snow very often in Pennsylvania, so you have to grab the chance while you can. Work can wait for a little while. And getting ready for Christmas can wait, too.

Besides, “There’s always tomorrow, For dreams to come true, Tomorrow is not far away.” (As sung by Clarice in Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer.)

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21 Responses to Why I Love a Good Snowstorm

  1. Donna in Delaware December 7, 2009 at 9:38 am #

    Gee Maria, It’s eerie how we think and feel alike a lot of the time. When I saw the first snowflakes mixed with rain on Saturday, I was so pleased. Secretly hoping that the rain would stop and the snow would continue(which it did) I was estatic because like Pa, Delaware doesn’t get much snow either, actually, little to non, and if so, usually in February. It just doesn’t feel Christmasy without snow.

    Floods of childhood memories came flooding back(all good) and smells of food(even better) from grandma’s kitchen. Now as I look out of the window of my husband’s 2nd fl office and see the deer grazing in neighbor’s backyards and watching the squirrels chase each other on my snowy slope, it really does seem like Christmas. The snow (we got more than the predicted dusting) makes the world look so clean and pristine and sets my heart aglow. Somehow all seems right when dthte ground, homes and trees are white.

    I picked up gifts here and there all season long, so I’m ready to distribute them. As for my tree, well, let’s say that it is in my heart since I won’t be around on Christmas to enjoy it, I’ll enjoy my bother’s instead. A girl can’t complain too much about that!

  2. Donna in Delaware December 7, 2009 at 9:41 am #

    Forgive my typo’s please. Typing in a rush.

  3. Amanda December 7, 2009 at 11:06 am #

    Oooo…homemade scented pinecones? Recipe please!

  4. Dana B. December 7, 2009 at 11:09 am #

    The first snow of the season is always the best. I’m glad you had time to relax with your family and enjoy it!

  5. Tony December 7, 2009 at 11:29 am #

    Damn, we should totally have come down for a ski!

  6. Sarah Glen December 7, 2009 at 11:31 am #

    Pa and Delaware don’t get much snow? I didn’t know this. Coming to RI from SC, I feel we get a lot of snow and wonder what you mean by you don’t get much snow and what you are comparing it to.

    I love snow and this is why I don’t want to move back home.

  7. Mary Ann December 7, 2009 at 12:08 pm #

    Sorry, Maria, but I disagree on the “we don’t get much snow” comment. I’m just a few miles north of you near Scranton and we get plenty of snow!

  8. Mariska December 7, 2009 at 3:51 pm #

    Ah, but here in the Valley, we’re often just shy of the fronts that bury you guys “up north.” I certainly agree with you, Maria — we don’t get ENOUGH snow. Fingers crossed that this weekend was the first in a extra snowy season!

  9. maria (farm country kitchen) December 7, 2009 at 10:56 pm #

    OK it was a wonderful fantastic snow but terrible for skiing!!!! It stuck to the bottom of the skis (they are no wax) and it was like I was walking on platform shoes! Even the sleds wouldn’t go. Totally weird. But still wonderful!

  10. Marsha December 8, 2009 at 2:10 am #

    I would love to have your recipe for the scented pinecones. I hope you have a wonderful, blessed Christmas and remember the “Reason for the Season.”


  11. Tina December 8, 2009 at 8:49 am #


    You need to specify “South East Pa.” Pennsylvannia is a big state, and those of us from Western PA get snow pretty often! Check out Erie, PA. 3-5″ of snow? That’s a light dusting, not a snow storm! If people there “just stayed put” for 3″ nothing would get done from November til April! Even in the hills of SW PA (Pittsburgh area) 3-5″ is a fairly common winter occurence.

    Yep, the term “snow storm” is a very subjective label!

  12. Melissa Camus December 8, 2009 at 2:34 pm #

    We got 14″ on Sunday, and are now up to 17″ of snow. In 4 days! Wow. We live in a town of 13000 people, and thankfully about a block away from WalMart. When I was too freaked out to take the car out in the crazy snow, but needed milk and bread, we packed into snow gear and walked over. I know, WalMart can be the devil, but ours has a great organic section. We got what we needed, and some organic hot chocolate, trekked home through the bush, and got home, tired, a bit sore, but with what we needed, and some hot chocolate. I LOVE the first month or so of snow… but we have it 6 months a year, which is a bit much for me, LOL. (Northern Ontario, Canada). The other day at a thrift shop, I bought my kids teeny snowshoes (ages 7 and 2, my kiddos). Now I need some, and we’re all set. We can snowshoe around! And leave the darn car in the garage! Yay! It’s too scary for me to drive anyways…
    I have been baking like a fiend, cooking and freezing… watching the snow out my kitchen window. I do wish we lived out in the country, the snow here is already dirty beside the roads and shops from emmissions… maybe someday we will be able to be rural homesteaders, instead of urban ones! Happy winter, everyone!

  13. Tina December 8, 2009 at 3:47 pm #

    One more thing, not all snow is good for sledding and skiing, as you found out. What you got was “wet snow.” You need the dryer, more powdery king (“packed powder” in the ski industry lingo) for a good slide. See, now if you lived somewhere that truly got a real snow storm, you would recognze the difference immediately! 🙂

  14. Carrie in Michigan December 8, 2009 at 5:27 pm #

    I’m waiting for the storm to start here. I’m near Lake Michigan and hoping that the cold weather will bring lots of lake effect snow and we get buried in it. 🙂 My fiance and I just love snow storms and have been waiting for a really good snowfall to put us in the mood to start decorating and we are hoping this is it.

  15. june December 8, 2009 at 7:38 pm #

    We were supposed to get only a couple snow showers but ended up with nearly 2 inches. It mostly stuck to the trees, plants and ground, but not pavement. It looked especially pretty, even today, 2 days later since the weather hadn’t warmed up enough to melt the tree snow.
    We love it when it’s falling and still pretty, but not what is expected tonight (Tuesday).We are supposed to get ice and snow by am. And it’s NOT a weekend where we can stay in and not need to get out for work. Oh well.

  16. Donna in Delaware December 9, 2009 at 10:50 am #

    Don’t get on Maria’s back too much about the snow issue. My husband and I lived in southern Ontario Canada, just outside of Toronto in a little horsey town called Stouffville (pronounced ‘sto vill’) for 4 years. We use to get snow from early to mid October up until early May of the following year sometimes. It could be blizzard-like conditions when we woke in the morning(a beautiful sight because we lived at the edge of a forest) and we could get in our car, drive down the road to go into Stouffville proper, and there will be ABSOLUTELY NO SNOW! NOT even a speck. Turns out, we lived in a snow band that always went directly across our house and ended at a street down the road from where our road connected to it. It was the strangest thing that I had ever seen.

    Every so often when it snowed, the winds would blow snow into the town of Stouffville (proper) and they too would get snow. So yes, it could be a fact that Maria’s area don’t get a lot of snow. Since I live 30 to 40 minutes driving time from Philadelphia, we in northwest Delaware tend to get the same weather that Philly gets sometimes and we do not get much snow. As I said at the beginning of this post, we usually get dustings to nothing until February, then we may get 5 inches if that, if we are lucky. Pitiful, after coming from Canada and enjoying all the snowy days, albeit they were long winter days, my dog and I enjoyed them immensely.

  17. Donna in Delaware December 9, 2009 at 11:02 am #

    I should have said that I can’t speak for Pa. as far as snow, but I was eluding to what Maria said about her area, just so we understand each other. I happen to know that certain parts of Pa. gets innundated with snow sometimes. It depends on weather patterns and maybe climate change over the last few years. I remember growing up in Richmond, Va.,and as a child, we would get plenty of snow in winter. The snow started disappearing when I got into my late teens and early 20’s, and the snow fall has diminished drastically over the years. I am in my 50’s now and I still have relatives there that I communicate with who are always, every year, wishing that it would snow and remain on the ground for some time. But if that happens, one would have to call out the National Guard to help people get to the grocery store. It’s sad.

  18. Donna in Delaware December 9, 2009 at 4:23 pm #

    Another case in point, my husband and I went driving Monday going from where we live outside of the city, into the city, and something struck me as weird while I drove. There was NO SNOW! We had left snow in our neighborhood and surrounding area and drove for about 10-20 minutes, and there was NO SNOW, not a trace. It’s not like we live in some huge metro area in a large state. This is tiny Delaware for pete’s sake!!

    I do know that the middle and southern parts of Delaware are hard pressed to even know what snow looks like. So there you are! It’s weird.

  19. Michele P December 13, 2009 at 7:49 pm #

    I love the idea of scented pinecones! I have some in the backyard of my beach house–I am so doing this. I also read that you can add one of the pinecones to the fire to scent the house, which sounds like a cool idea. Too bad I don’t have a fireplace…

  20. Della December 16, 2009 at 1:22 pm #

    Living in CO for some years now, our family really looks forward to the first snow. For 24 years we lived in the mountains and the snow makes it the most glorious and beautiful sight you can even imagine. It generally comes softly and gives you a good feeling of warmth, coziness, and, no matter what happens, a cleansing of the earth and your spirit. It helps you put your life in perspective. Sometimes we get trees all covered where the mist has frozen to them, and the first falling of snow have covered the trees lightly. Now that I’m not living in the mountains I truly miss it. When it snows I think of all the days when we had snow and how beautiful it was. It’s fun when your kids get up in the morning and want to know right off “Is there any school today?” One Thanksgiving we were snowed in for five days. It turned out to be one of our favorite memories! We started digging a path uphill to the next house and then looked and saw that neighbor digging towards our house. We ended up having a wonderful time, putting our food together and having marvelous meals and playing Scrabble an awful lot. Of course, there were days of digging out, too. I sure miss those days and would like to move to the mountains again!

  21. Bob January 16, 2014 at 11:10 am #

    I love snow too. And like you, I live in SW PA and agree that we don’t get much/enough snow. Of course, that’s the perception of someone who loves to XC ski, sled with the kids, hike in a winter wonderland, and just enjoy the views. For those poor souls who only see snow as an encumbrance, something they have to shovel and drive slowly in, well, they may think our couple small snowfalls are “too much snow.” I pity them for now seeing in snow the opportunity to slow down and look at the world in a new way.

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