We’ve been reading The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder this month and being really grateful that this winter, so far, has been unseasonably warm and dry. But we also felt a bit like we were missing out on the opportunity to empathize with the Ingalls family, who endured blizzard after blizzard after blizzard as both their food and fuel supplies dwindled.
So when a blizzard popped up in the forecast, we were a little bit excited to imagine what Laura and her family went through in their little house in their little town. Elsa’s gymnastics class was the same day as the blizzard, and when it was not cancelled (and we clearly couldn’t deprive the girl of her first class—especially with that excited smile on her face you see below), we joked that maybe we should send Micah with a clothes line so that if the snow and wind got bad enough, he would be able to find his way home with Elsa. (In the book, Pa rigs up a clothes line to hold onto when he goes from the back door of the house to the stable a few yards away because without it, he could get lost in the wind and snow.)
It was a joke, but it turns out that Micah did have to walk through the blizzard with Elsa to get home. While the trains and buses were still running when he took her to gymnastics, an hour later, there was nothing. No public transportation, no cars on the roads, no chance of calling anyone to come get him. So he walked the 2 1/2 miles home (mostly uphill) through the blizzard, with Elsa on his back.
It wasn’t as bad as the blizzards of The Long Winter, but it was closer than we actually thought we would get. He and Elsa were pretty cold and wet when they got home. We were glad she had insisted on wearing the only pair of snow pants we own, even though they are 2 sizes too big. And, of course, we were glad to have plenty of hot chocolate and marshmallows and popcorn to help warm them up before we curled up on the couch and watched “Big Hero 6” while the storm blew outside.
We stayed inside for the rest of the storm, but we all went out today to play in the snow. We threw plenty of snowballs, made a little snowman, and played “capture the sled” for a bit before heading back inside for more hot chocolate, marshmallows, and popcorn. (Church was cancelled). It was a lot of fun. And totally nothing like Laura’s family had to endure.
(These photos were taken early in the day . . . the storm didn’t end for about 12 more hours. So yeah. Lots more snow fell.)