I just had a great evening with Jim. We played cards, drank hot tea and listened to the classic rock channel. It’s funny what constitutes “classic” rock. Boy, do I feel old.
This past week, we received over 13 inches of snow and had drifts that were 3 feet tall in some places. We’d still be stuck in the house if it weren’t for some great neighbors. Well, and the fact that Jim gets stir crazy after about 12 hours…lol.
Tonight, as we sat and watched even more snow fall Jim smiled and said, “Do you remember the last time we were snowed in?”
I did. It was December, 2004, and it snowed 22 inches in Evansville, Indiana, where we lived at the time. Our sons, Derek and Craig, were both still at home and it was just a couple of days before Christmas.
That time, like this, we made the most of it by playing games and enjoying homemade hot cocoa or hot tea. I remember playing Phase 10, Monopoly, Yatzee. But the game that broke the proverbial “camel’s back” was UNO.
If you aren’t familiar the card game UNO, let me clue you in. You have a special deck of cards, 1-10 and they come in 4 different colors. When you play your second to your last card, you have to say “UNO” or, if another player catches you with only one card, you have to draw additional cards. Along with the cards are special cards, like cards that have you skip a turn, change colors or reverse the direction the players are going. But the really fun ones are the “Pick 2” or “Pick 4” cards. This can really load you up with cards and if you are unfortunate enough to have several people play them on top of one another, you can draw 8 or even 12 cards at one time.
Well, the day we played with the boys, every time someone had only one card left, they would get hit with several “draw 4” cards. This went on for what seemed like hours, (in fact, we did play one game for almost an hour) until Jim announced that the fun was over and it was time for everyone to go to their own rooms for some quiet time. (To be truthful, we were all relieved when he ended it! LOL)
When the boys were young, we spend a lot of time playing card games and board games with them. I remember the matching game as the first one they were able to play, but soon we were playing Candy Land, Chutes and Ladders, Rummy, Yatzee, and on up to more grownup games, like Scrabble, Monopoly, Hearts, Chess, etc.
Craig even taught Jim to play Pokemon and he bought Jim his own deck of Pokemon cards. Jim was a good sport to learn that game…it seemed Greek to me. But since Craig loved it, Jim was willing to learn.
The other thing I remember about that year was going out on Christmas Eve to see Polar Express. The Christmas Eve service at church was cancelled due to the weather, but we braved the elements, along with 2 other families that were at the theater and saw Polar Express in 3D. Now, if you have never seen this movie, it’s a great one to see, no matter if you have kids at home or not. But in the theater and 3D…it was amazing!!
I remember when the movie began and the snow began to fall on the screen, because of the 3D effect, it looked like it was snowing in the theater. I even stuck my tongue out to try and catch a flake of it. Then I looked around to see if anyone saw me do it and there were the boys doing the same thing.
That was a great Christmas. We spend so much time together, because no one could get to our house and other than the theater, we couldn’t go anywhere else. When people did start getting out, our basement filled up with the boys’ friends. We made snow ice cream and homemade hot cocoa…both of which amazed the boys’ friends!
I miss those days. I miss Derek’s laugh and Craig’s smile. I miss piling quilts on the floor and all four of us watching a movie together. I miss decorating cookies and watching them open their presents. I miss listening to them laugh with their friends or whisper a secret in my ear. There are so many things I miss about my boys.
But I’m so proud of who they have become and what they are doing with their lives. I wouldn’t wish them back to the little boys they once were. No, the men they have become bring me new joys in my life every day. Derek is married and he and Brittany are expecting their first child in July. What could be more exciting…I’m going to be a grandma! And this spring, Craig and his fiance’, Karrie Anne, will graduate college and in 2014 will be married. We are so blessed to have both our sons find such wonderful women to share their lives with!
Yes, as Eddie Money says, “the future’s looking brighter every morning when I get up” and Jim and I look forward to so many things that God is doing in our lives. But it’s fun every now and then to remember when…