The guys mark one off their bucket lists
Boots yearned with all the passion a 5-year-old can muster to again experience the heavenly bliss of snow angels.
Except they were getting picky. Merely driving somewhere to play in the snow no longer was enough. This time, they wanted it delivered to their very own yard.
"I don't care if we have to move to Alaska," Big Guy would say. "We'll do that, won't we?"
For once the brothers were in agreement. "Yes!" Boot would agree, a dopey dreamy look in his eyes. "We'll live somewhere were it snows."
They knew about Fort Wainwright in Alaska because soldiers from there had been at Irwin back in the fall. Ever since, the guys have been convinced that it should be Dad's next duty station.
"I can't wait!" Big Guy would dream. "It's gonna be AWEsome to live where it snows!"
Looks like they won't have to move just yet. A mere three days into the New Year, and the guys already have crossed one off their bucket lists. They got to live somewhere where it snows, if only for a while.
It started last night, with a few spitting sprinkles. It was nothing much by my "raised in West Virginia standards," but the guys gazed happily toward the street lights for confirmation that it wasn't just their imaginations. "Look, Momma! It's snow! It's really snow! At our house!" Big Guy said.
These events don't happen often in the Mojave. The last significant snow was the winter before we'd moved to Fort Irwin. There was a close call last winter, and school was canceled in advance based on a forecast. When we got up the next morning, though, the yard was the same sandy brown it'd been the night before.
That wasn't the case this time. I woke at 3 and peered hopefully out the window. I didn't want it for me - I've been so over snow for years. But I desperately wanted it for the guys. YES! The ground was white. I shushed the dog before her barking rousted the guys and went back to sleep. I awoke again at 6 and gently shook Big Guy's shoulder.
"Hey, babes. Look out the window."
He staggered sleepily over and lifted the blinds. Then his eyes got big. "It snowed! It really, really snowed! Hey, wake up!" he said, nudging Boots. "It's snowed! It snowed!"
They ran down the steps, Rita staggering behind. Was it really the two boys who required a dynamite blast to get out of bed most mornings? Was it really the same people who poke and procrastinate every day before getting dressed a half hour later?
Yes, it was. They were fully clothed, including hats and gloves, and ready to bust down the door. Big Guy even put on pants without complaint. Why waste time arguing when there are things to do?
Catch snow flakes on your tongue. Make snow angels. All the things I'd done as a kid and had long ago gotten over. Except when it's not just the first snow of the season but the first snow of their lives for your kids, you forget that you hate cold and the wet and you go for it.
The guys had a snowball battle with the girls next door for about a half hour - perhaps the biggest miracle of the day was that Big Guy and Boots wanted to be on the same team - and then we headed to an open field a few blocks from our house where we take the dog for her daily romp.
Usually we call it "the green field," except today it was hundreds of yards of unblemished white.
"Look!" Big Guy cried as he jetted across. "We're the first people to walk here ever!"
They tried to play tag with Rita, except they couldn't catch her. They made more snow angels. Big Guy threw himself to the ground repeatedly, yelling "cowabunga!" with each dive. Rita dove on top of him, which made Big Guy laugh even harder. They made snowballs that turned into snow boulders as they rolled them across the hundreds of yards of white in an attempt to take them home to serve as the bases for snow people. Big Guy and Big Sister almost made it, but they finally gave up, exhausted and laughing.
It was like a cross between "Frosty the Snowman" and "Cinderella" as they frantically worked against the clock and the rising temperature, trying to cram in as much fun as they could before fun melted away.
By the time we got home from the green field a little before 9, the end was near. A half hour later, the back yard was brown again - just another muddy winter day at Fort Irwin. By 10, slight dustings on drippy roof tops and a small pile of white on the patio furniture were all that remained.
Ah, but they have their memories.
"This is the happiest day of my life!" Big Guy grinned widely.
Good. Maybe they'll quit lobbying to go to Fort Wainwright.
Copyright 2010 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.