Okay, I was warned it would be cold when I came to the Netherlands, but I had no idea it would snow. As an Australian in the Netherlands my previous experiences of snow have been on top of a mountain with a couple of planks strapped to my feet. Snow to me has been something that is accessed only after a five hour drive finishing with an impossibly steep and windy mountain road, and a good dose of car sickness. I don't think of walking out the back door of my house onto snow. That has happened maybe once in my life, and in retrospect maybe it was drawing a very long bow to say it was snow, it was more like ice passed off as snow. As a five year old, and with no other perspective I was happy to believe it was snow.
In a former life, I dreamt of living in the snow. My wild imagination had me living in Canada or Austria, swishing my way down never ending ski slopes, covered with fresh powder and lined with trees on each side. I fantasised about Apres Skiing, of cute boys, of dancing all night and skiing all day. I was committed to do a season, to give it a go, to improve my skiing ability and to see the world. So that life didn't go further than my imagination, but I was very surprised when three weeks ago or so, I ended up living in the snow.
The first night I scoffed at the predictions, yeah right, sure it will snow. But at 4am in the morning when the magical flakes were coming down, I woke my partner to share my delight. He was enthusiastic, and even managed to get out of bed and have a look, but it wasn't long before he was sucking back some Z's, while I was jumping out of my skin, unable to wait till the morning to check it out. I even dreamed the snow had all melted by the time I awoke, but in reality it hadn't, I arose to a winter wonderland.
It wasn't just one day of snow, as those living here in the Netherlands know. After our first really big dump of snow (about 15cm) my partner and I put the sleeping lamb in the cot, rugged up the little lion, and went out to play in the snow. We ended up with two kids on the lounge room floor watching baby TV, while we, the parents, played in the snow and upgraded frosty the snowman from a metre high version, to a double balled two metre high snowman who sat in the back yard proud as punch with his new girlfriend. For a week, neighbours would look into my house and smile, and I would think, what they find my messy, toy covered floor sweet? And then I would remember frosty and the missus peeking through the windows like a pair of old perves.
2009 the year of the lamb's first Christmas, was the lion, the lamb and my first white Christmas too. What a delight! At new year the snow came again, and we got to see in 2010 among fireworks and snow.
The other day, I sat mesmirised while in the space of an hour our place went from covered in crusty ice, to wonderful white. I shook my head as I navigated the red kinderwagon through the snow to pick up the lion from school as I just couldn't believe that I was walking through the snow as part of my daily life, I imagined telling the lion in years to come, when we lived in Holland when you were a girl, I walked through the snow to collect you (insert halo here).
So while I'm still very smitten with the snow, it isn't all schnapps and yagerbombs. Doing a week's shop, is not so possible in the snow. I've grown muscles on my muscles lugging two kids to the doctor's through fresh snow. Our trip to Berlin was postponed due to snow. The snow melts and becomes ice, and like every other person I slip and slide as I get around in the snow. Today we even had a rollover with the red kinderwagon, and to this mother's terror, my precious lion and lamb also hit the ground, luckily we came off OK. The snow has been the cause for much of my recent pleasure and today has been the catalyst for a meltdown about how hard it can be to live in the snow.
The snow is always whiter :-).