20 December 2010

We're in Michigan visiting Ryan's parents for the next few days and man, have I forgotten what a real winter is like! In Tennessee, the snow is exciting and fleeting! You're lucky if you're awake to catch a glimpse of the rarity and it's usually gone by noon. The general sentiment is, "Don't go, snow! Quick honey, get the camera!"

Snow in Michigan is a whole different can of worms. We'd been there for only a few hours on Saturday but already the snow was taunting me. I would glance out the window at it excitedly and it unflinchingly returned my gaze. And then I remembered. I was on the losing end of a staring contest with a substance that had the stamina to not even blink until March or April.

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This white stuff isn't going anywhere. It's cold here. Not windy and horrible like our Chicago days, but just a sort of quiet cold.

Ryan found himself running out to the van in the middle of a family Christmas party last night to fetch a pack-n-play and couldn't help but notice the stillness. Without a coat on in the 25-degree night he closed his eyes and remembered the Michigan winters that we grew up knowing. Quiet and still with no wind. Bright even at night because of all of the snow. The cold doesn't sting, it just is.

And so we have hunkered in to the warmth of Ryan's childhood home. There's home movies and bowls of cashews and shrimp and meatballs and an endless supply of homemade Chex Mix. Granddad and Groovy are at the ready to color with Oliver and scoop Hazel out of her bed as soon as she makes the slightest indication that she might be done napping. There is love and a lot of it.

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There's nothing like coming home and bringing your kids to see their Grandparents. Apart from the comfort and familiarity of being with people who know and love you, and the great luxury of having your meals prepared for you, there's the sweet relaxation of kicking back and reading a book and knowing that if Oliver need a glass of water, Granddad will hop right up to help him.

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Oh, these trips to Michigan - however long and laborious the trek can feel - are some of the best kinds of vacations.

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Merry Christmas, Granddad and Groovy! Thank you for a warm, safe happy home to visit. Thank you for loving each other and being a godly example to our children. We love these quiet winter days in the comfort of your home. The stillness of the winter outside - cold and persistent though it may be - is a sweet picture of the still, calm comforts of home inside. No wind, just a quiet calmness as we enjoy each other's presence and look to celebrating the birth of our Savior.

Merry Christmas!

6 comments:

Krista said...

Beautiful! Some of my favorite childhood memories are of driving to my grandma's house and spending Christmas there. (Although it was only a two-hour trek, and we all lived in Southern California so there was a noticeable lack of snow... but still -- so many happy, peaceful hours!)

Merry Christmas!

Anonymous said...

Lovely. Feeling a little homesick.
Mom

Maddie said...

Whereabouts in Michigan? I'm from there originally, but now live in South Carolina.. so I understand what you mean about the snow! I'm super jealous!

Anonymous said...

Aww I love this post....mittens in the mitten! Now I'm raising my hand showing you where I live in the mitten :) Born and raised in Michigan and still here and loving it. It is where my home is, my family is, my loves are. You described it so perfect and so beautiful. Merry Christmas to you and your beautiful family.

Karin

Christine said...

THIS. Is why we're pretty bummed we can't be in Michigan, too, this week, letting our parents cater to our kids' every whim and occasionally escaping to, like, have time alone. As adults. But I guess not much will change in a week or two.

Also: I read that as "a bowl of cashews and shrimp" and my gag reflex kicked in. Thanks, Rae.

pectoma! pectoma? pectoma!

Granddad said...

Thanks for such a nice post, Rae...it was wonderful havng the family all together for Christmas. All the kids had a blast and so did we. Now it is a bit weird to have the house so suddenly quiet for the first time in 4 days! :-)

Love you guys.........