Friday, December 26, 2008

Snow, snow and more snow

It's snowing again, and we're a mixed bag of reactions around here.  J and SK are completely dismayed about it.  Last year, at college east of the mountains, SK lived in a snow-covered world for 4 months straight.  She missed the rain as only someone born and raised in it can.  So she looked forward to coming home this break to typical Bellingham weather.  Unfortunately, it hasn't stopped snowing since she drove across the state, and another day full of the white stuff coming down makes her crazy.  J, who has to drive to work everyday, and sometimes spends that work time pushing carts across a parking lot, is not only disappointed but downright angry at the inconvenience. E finds it inconvenient as well, especially because her light-weight Honda hybrid, which she loves most of the time, has trouble negotiating, particularly the very steep hill up to our house. But Beve and I, Palouse-ers down to our very souls, love the white stuff.  We can't get enough of it.  Plus, the Beve becomes something like--very like!--a 16-year-old boy when he's driving in it.  He just can't help speeding up just enough to make the car swerve but never quite lose total control.  There are only upsides to driving in the snow: the sheer joy of it, the greater degree of difficulty... and, of course, the semi-fear he produces in me (I just have to react, don't I?  I mean, isn't that half the fun?)! And the dogs love the snow as well.  Jackson, who has to be practically shoved through the dog-door when it rains, and then tiptoes through the soggy grass to take care of business in a rush and race back in, absolutely adores snow.  He could be out in it for hours, romping with his head down to collect it in his mouth.  Jamaica tries to keep up with him, bouncing through the drifts, pouncing on balls (which she loses with great regularity), and letting it completely cover the black of her fur.

However, despite my great delight in it, the trip I'd planned across the mountains to see my mom and sisters, has been canceled.  There's no way I want to replicate the excruciating trip of less than two weeks ago.  Both girls, who were going with me, were decidedly relieved as well.  And, ultimately, Mom won't know the difference. When my youngest sister, RE, who she always remembers, reminded her that three others of her children had spent a week with her, she crossed her arms, and said in a huff, "I don't know those people--I don't need to see them again."  I feel badly about this, not for myself, but for my sister who has the lion's share with Mom anyway, and is really the only person Mom wants.  What a great weight for RE, whom Mom loves but is always disappointed in because she (RE) doesn't sit by her bed every second of every day (oddly, my sister thinks she has her own life!). 

Anyway, I'll be curled up here watching the snow across the city (we are lucky enough to have a wonderful view of both town and the bay), stay inside and drink Chai (which Beve kindly brought me a few minutes ago).  I might learn to quilt on the new sewing machine Beve gave me yesterday, watch some DVDs on the flatscreen the kids and I shocked (!) Beve by giving him.  Yep, I think we're going to be okay here.

And I'll pray for my sister.  As always.  I'll be praying that the weight she bears is lightened a little by the presence of our middle sister, the Dump, and her sons.  I'll pray that there be moments of hilarity between them, even in that cold, impersonal nursing home room, the same nursing home I used to volunteer in when I was in middle school, with exactly the same linoleum on the floors,the same putrid smell, and the same people in the wide hallway (ok, maybe not, but one day when I walked in, there was this old lady with snow white hair trying to navigate her wheelchair and I could have sworn she'd been there the last time I was.  When my eyes focused a little better, I was surprised to see my very own mother was that ancient woman!).

And I'll be praying that this season ends soon.  This winter of my mother's life, I mean, not the snow out my window.  Perhaps it strikes some of you as terrible that I might pray such a thing, but I'm not ashamed of it.  There's too little of her left now, and the existence she has doesn't really seem like living.  Now I know that God, whose sovereignty I am usually reassured by, might have a purpose in her empty life that I cannot understand, but my prayer stands.  Come quickly, Lord. Take her home.

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