January 14, 2014

A Canuck in Kantuck: Building snow memories

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — In the nearly nine years I’ve been writing this column, I’ve tried to vary my topics to keep things fresh. But when we get a good, healthy snow day like this one, I feel helpless to write about anything else. Because snow days are my very favorite thing about living in Kentucky.

Right now, it’s 10:23 and I’m waiting for the teenager to wake up so we can head outside. Last night, when the snow hit and that distinctive blizzard-white was swirling around the windows, I ran upstairs to Gabrielle’s room and suggested we run around the house in flip flops. While my husband William slumbered peacefully, we squealed around the house, the fierce, wet snow getting our nightgowns all wet. I foresee a whole lot of tobogganing in our future today, followed by homemade hot chocolate with bittersweet chips just how she likes it.

I’m also going to recommend a crisp walk around the neighborhood so we can witness in full how beautiful everything has become — this may be a slightly harder sell with the teenager.

When I was a kid, we had exactly two snow days I can remember and these were only the result of monster blizzards. But while we almost never got released from school because of snow, we had plenty of fun outside in it.

At our house, a hill led down to our walkout basement and if the wind and snow were just right, one corner of that hill, the one catty corner to a deck, would be covered in an extreme drift. So fantastic was this drift — it rivaled the ones in the National Geographic pictures of the Sahara — that we could play inside it all day.

Actually, I say play, but I mean build as the base of the drift would become the door of the snow fort and we would spend the rest of the afternoon tunneling and clearing. Sometimes, the drift would be so big we could make an opening in the roof without disturbing the rest of the structure. After hours of digging, we’d pop our heads out like seals, feeling like we had just emerged from a different world.

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Now that school is out, what are your family’s summer vacation plans?

A. No major plans. We will probably hang out around Laurel County.
B. Going to the beach!
C. Kentucky has a lot of wonderful state parks, and we plan to visit a few and enjoy quality family time.
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