The world looked like this when I left my house this morning. (*all photos credit Mama Holstrom*)
It reminded me of the most memorable winter wonderland I ever awoke to nearly 15 years ago. We were living at our last house, and since school was obviously cancelled, I called up my bestie neighbor Chloe and we agreed to meet in the cul-de-sac in 45 minutes.
I layered up purple-metallic-puffy-coat-and-double-mitten style, wrapped up Samantha – my American Girl Doll, duh – in her warmest blanket, readied the wagon, and met Chloe in the street, as planned. She tucked Molly – her American Girl Doll, duh – into the back of the wagon next to Samantha and the bag of sandwiches my mom had packed for us (oh, yeah, my little brother was somewhere in there, too). We balanced two tiny umbrellas on top of the wagon effectively obscuring my 5-year-old brother from sight, protecting our dolls from falling ice and residual snow, and began the trek to the pond.
At the end of the cul-de-sac stretched a grass path that ran the length of Chloe’s front yard and up a hill to a large pond. I have mostly vague but fond memories of walks and ice skating and adventures at that pond. On this particular day we set out to explore what we refused to call anything but the winter wonderland. We stopped to study every ice-encased branch and leaf, and to this day there are few things as satisfying as the memory of crunching my way through the icicle grass. I fear what 7-year-old me would have done with access to a camera phone that day.
Once we reached the top of the hill, taking turns dragging my brother and the dolls behind us, we curved around the edge of the pond until we found a good place to set up camp. Sandwiches disappeared at lightning speed, and then Chloe pulled a small bottle of syrup from her coat pocket. Fishing out styrofoam bowls from within the wagon, we proceeded to pile bright white snow into the bowl and cover it with maple syrup; I’m sure it didn’t occur to any of us to use spoons, but then again, why would it? We gnawed at our homemade snow cones, threw rocks onto the frozen pond, made snow angels, remembered to feed my brother, and packed up and headed home after more 7-year-old adventures that have since been sworn to secrecy and may not be disclosed at the present time.
So, allowing this day to pay tribute to the memory of a past one…
Ps. I feel compelled (and quite proud) to add that I did not have to look up the names of either American Girl Doll nor was there any hesitation in the recall.