It snowed today. And snowed, and snowed, and snowed. The only person in all of Beijing who owns a snow shovel is me, so the streets did not get plowed and the sidewalks were not shovelled, but the kids were able to make a snow fort in the front yard with our fabulous shovel.
We bought the shovel when we lived in Virginia. Before that, we lived in Almaty, Kazakhstan, where it regularly snowed at least a foot a week all winter long. At the time, we bought a locally-made snow shovel, which consisted of a thick piece of wood nailed to a wooden handle, with a small sheet of metal nailed to the end of the shovel side to help it scrape better. This 10 pound shovel was our only defense against the snow, and we had a narrow, curvy, downhill driveway that absolutely had to be shoveled if you wanted to get in or out. So I often used that wooden monstrosity to scoop up great piles of snow and hurl them 8-10 feet in the air, trying to get the snow off the driveway and onto the front lawn above.
I had amazing biceps.
Here, we have a nearly-level driveway and it seldom snows. But no way was I leaving my lightweight aluminum shovel in storage. Besides, I've made friends because of that shovel. When it does snow, I always get visits from ayis and guards hoping to borrow it. It disappears with them for awhile, then reappears at our doorstep for the next needy soul.
So, we have a shovel. What we lack are snow boots. That didn't stop the kids, though. They spent hours out there digging and scooping and throwing. Every, oh, ten minutes or so, they'd dash in, rip off wet clothes, socks, gloves and hats, dump them in a pile, change into dry clothes, and dash back out. Wet laundry piled up everywhere, driving my Type A husband nearly out of his mind.
I didn't leave the house once - I'm not a fan of cold weather, and I believe snow is best admired from the other side of the window, preferably while seated next to a roaring fire. Lucky for me, my husband braved the elements to go out in search of some coffee for me - did I marry well or what? I stayed inside and made whole wheat pita bread for lunch, green monster pasta for dinner (you might know it by its proper name, pesto), and chocolate cookies for dessert. In between times, I mixed up hot cocoa by the gallon.
That's the best kind of snow day, in my opinion: husband takes kids outside while I stay inside and carb-load.
I also spent loads o time on the internet, looking at houses for sale in case we get posted back in the U.S. Pretty depressing. I think I found my dream house, for the low, low price of $849,000. Time to monetize the blog; maybe I can pick up a half a million between now and June?
Sigh. Oh, well. No dream house in this lifetime. But I still have some warm cookies on the kitchen counter. So that's something.
Enjoy the pictures, and stay warm whereever you are.
(No, I didn't take these pictures myself. That would've involved going outside, and if you'd been paying close attention to this story, well, you wouldn't even have to ask that question...)