View from the Mountains: Enjoying winter from safety of a rocking chair

It feels like the world has stopped today. I just heard on TV it will be -15 degrees tonight. It is -3 degrees at the moment and lots of snow and solid ice on the roads.

Certainly, I would not drive out there or even go out there but let me tell you what I did after lunch.

There is an hour after lunch before we have exercise class. Usually I nap or just rest during that time, but today I sat down in my antique rocking chair and turned it around to get the best view from my back window of the cascade of beautiful white snow covering every thing in sight.

It was magical and it took my memory by the heart and painted a day from years ago. It was another cold, snowy day in Missouri.

The whole family (my four kids and the dog) piled into the station wagon and off we went to our Uncle Tom’s farm, about a 45-minute drive for us. We all took our ice skates and the family sled and just could not wait to get there.

There were so many hills, all snow covered, for sledding and then a walk to the frozen pond near the stone house. There we put on our ice skates and I watched with amazement as all four kids — ages 6, 8, 10 and 12 — skated like pros. Of course, they grew up in the outdoors.

Then Clarke, aged 12, said, “Come on, Mom. It’s fun. Get out here.” I was scared spitless of falling on that ice and embarrassed since even my 6-year-old was gliding without fear.

Since we always did everything together, they never dreamed I was scared. I made up excuses but they did not buy them. I had no choice but to try to glide over the ice like they were doing. Gingerly, I stepped on the ice and bragged to myself, “Heck, nothing to it!”

We went round and round and it felt so free and fun. But pretty soon, the kids decided to join hands and Clarke grabbed mine. I realized we were heading away from shore at a pretty fast clip.

Being a mama, I quickly turned my head to check on my 6-year-old. She was having no trouble at all but, for me, not so much. When I turned, I lost my own balance and — yep — I went down like a rock.

The younger three thought Mommy was being funny but Clarke came to my rescue. I cannot imagine how I got to my feet on skates, even with his help, but I did. I slithered to the edge of the pond and, holding my rear end, I announced we should all go into the stone house and make some hot chocolate. They protested but obeyed and never guessed I had hurt my back pretty badly.

Oddly enough, though, I do not recall the pain or the doctor visits. I recall the lovely day with my kids, the beauty of the snow, the joy of watching my precious kids skating on an icy pond together holding hands. I remember how happy we were.

So today, looking at the ice and snow everywhere as I mull in my rocking chair, it makes me feel centered, quiet and proud of all my children. I just thank God for this beautiful memory.

The view from the mountains is wondrous.