Sunday morning as I got ready to leave for work, I amazed my family with a prophecy that would come to pass on that very day. “There won’t be very many at church today” I proclaimed. Cliff was intrigued. “Why not?” he asked. “Because of the storm” I said with confidence. “But it’s not supposed to come in until tonight” he reminded me. I chuckled at his naivety, “This is the first snow storm of the year. Everyone is in a panic about when, how much, will school be cancelled Monday and whatever else they can think of. Although there is nary a flake in the air, everyone wants to hunker in, including me” and out the door I went.
And it was so. Church attendance was very low. God still showed up as He is a regular attender and pretty faithful about coming, no matter what is going on. A lot of conversation snippets were laced with a giddiness of what was coming. Stories of the Blizzard of ’71 were taken down from the memory shelf and dusted off. Amazing tales were shared of resourcefulness and pioneer-spirit as we persevered in the face of critical trials. I shared some of my own from an 8-year-old’s memories as even a 2nd grader had unbelievable experiences during it. I refrained from busting out the tune “Ain’t Snow Mountain High Enough” much to everyone’s relief. Electricity definitely was in the air even if the flakes weren’t.
Once I got home, the Weather Channel was our constant friend during tv time-outs of the various ball games. “Has it started yet?” and “Do we have enough pop and chips?” were the main concerns. Cole dragged in a 1/2 of a tree to stick in the fireplace that Cliff dubbed “The All-Nighter”. At no other time did chili and homemade cinnamon rolls sound so divine. Yes, we were set!
After a zillion trips to peek through the blinds or look out the front door, we missed its arrival! It snuck up on us while our beloved Jayhawks were in a barn burner with Michigan. After the final buzzer, what a sight we discovered! The street was a pristine path that no car had defiled. The grass was covered enough it looked like an iridescent blanket. The trees had been mounded with fragile white frosting. This was a scene Norman Rockwell would have loved to been around to capture. As the snow sparkled in its descent through the street light’s illumination, tranquility descended with me. Tomorrow footprints would mar the purity of this Bedford Falls scene straight from “It’s a Wonderful Life”. The approval rating of the Superintendent would hail him as a hero or an idiot by the unknown snow day call he would be forced to make in the wee hours. Sightings of walker-toting elderly folks who hadn’t been out in months would cause our hearts to race as they skated across frozen parking lots ‘to just pick up a few things.”. Windshields would need to be scraped as we froze our tails off and tracked mud in on just mopped floors. The joys of winter!
As I returned to the scene laid out before me the wonder of the calmness that only a fresh fallen snow can bring overwhelmed me. All the hoopla to get to this moment had melted away for tomorrow was still to be written. Tonight was to be cherished gift as the world stood still and we would sleep in heavenly peace.