Monday, 3 January 2011

     White Christmas?  Yes we did.  White New we didn't.  On 17th December Berkshire finally got a taste of what the rest of the Scotland, Northern England and Northern Ireland was experiencing...snow.  Between the 17th and 18th of December, Slough received eight inches of the powdery white stuff--the largest amount of snow on record for this area in memorable history.          
     Whilst this crystal powder managed to hamstring traffic, interfered with the running of the buses, prevented shopping in the High Street on the last weekend before Christmas, the snow actually served John and me well.
     Grandsons M & K  rode the train up from Wareham, England, accompanied by their Mum, T-Girl and little sister, Shi.  It was about a two hour journey, as the trains were also challenged by the snow.  None of them had ever seen so much snow at one time.  Midnight Man had walked the two miles into town, to do grocery shopping and meet the T-Girl and company.  T-Girl and Shi got back onto the train to return home; Midnight Man and The Boys marched off to Tesco to collect the shopping.  Since the buses were keeping a very limited service, a wait was required for a very necessary ride; carrying home 10 bags of shopping in the snow, at night was just not on. 
     The December sunset was at 15:51 hours on that Saturday afternoon.  I kept looking out the lounge window to see any signs of three bag-laden males slogging through the white stuff.  Knowing they'd be cold, hungry and tired when they got home, I'd prepared a pot of chili soup for dinner.  Finally about 19:00 hours I spied the first of the trudging trio.  Looking further across the park, I managed to see the other two plodding along the snow-covered walking path.  I hustled down the stairs to the front door of our block of flats to open the door for them and help get the bags upstairs.
     As we ate dinner, I asked M & K what they wanted to do in the coming week.  Before they could answer, Granddad piped up:  "Play in the snow!"  The boys quickly agreed!  I think had they been allowed, they would have gone back out that evening.
   On Sunday all four of us bundled up and tramped to church.  Since M & K are apprentice bell-ringers, Midnight Man took them to the church early for practice while I cleared up after breakfast.  
     My walk was solitary.  I drank in the silence caused by the white, muffling snow that hung on tree limbs, stood on brick walls and covered roofs and lawns alike.  The bells rang from St. Mary's Church of England as I approached and I couldn't help but smile at a robin flittering from tree to tree in the cemetery.  Pleasure rose from deep within as I enjoyed this taste of "real" winter.  I even stood still for a few minutes to savour the crisp cleanness of the air, the pristine atmosphere.  And, this chilled landscape gave hope of a white Christmas.
     Walking home in the afternoon, M & K reveled in experimenting on the icy public path--charging away, sliding on a slick smooth spots.  WhilstMidnight Man and I ambled along behind we had to chuckle at them making snow balls and flinging them at each other.
     Boys are by nature rambunctious and seem to have a difficult time concentrating on cerebral projects until some of that build-up energy is released.  Daily, it seemed that by late morning during their week-long visit, I'd have to give the instructions:  "Okay, get your out-side clothes on and go out to burn off some energy!"
Looking out my studio window.
     Grandson K soon found out that fingerless gloves might be cool to look at, they were pointless toGrandson M found out that putting plastic shopping bags over athletic shoes only works if the bags are large enough and don't split!  They also learned that building a snowman takes longer than anticipated--and if the objective is a life-sized adult snow-person--well a ladder is needed. The great thing about playing in snow is that a person gets wet--but not necessarily dirty.  If the snow is deep enough, and the ground frozen--mud is avoided.  
    So, the snow served Midnight Man and me well by providing new experiences for our two oldest grandsons.  I'm sure they hope it will snow a lot next winter.  
    Ironically, whilst I was enjoying being in England for a cold, snowy-white Christmas, reveling in "actual" winter weather, John was dreaming of a sandy-white beach in Florida for Christmas.  Oh well, I guess we all have our winter dreams!

Serving Jesus, Author of our Faith 

No comments:

Post a Comment