what is this wondrous thing falling from the sky

I’d been working on something else, but it seems today is the day for my annual snow post. (That is, it has sometimes been a snow post, and sometimes a non-snow post.) You can’t argue with nature. Flakes started falling outside the church windows as our pastor began preaching this morning and by the benediction there were four inches of soft white crystals frosting the world. You are meant to draw no conclusions about the length of his very good sermon but instead about the rapidity in which our town was transformed. When we exited the building I was in a hurry to run home for a broom and get busy clearing cars in the parking lot, for all who haven’t the delight of residing on the church grounds as I have. I grabbed Norah’s hand and took off–and she began laughing the most musical chuckles of joy, like something was suddenly tickling her in the ribs. She rejoiced in the crisp beauty of the snowfall, dancing her way home exclaiming about snowmen and snowballs and snow angels and her new snowpants. Delaware, apparently, doesn’t generally get snow like this. While I was sweeping off cars a native informed me that they haven’t seen a snow like this in about four years. Perhaps God sent it just for Norah–to make up for the . . . memorable first snowfall last year.

IMG_1481This is the view of the Farmhouse today, can you see the Christmas tree? I still can’t believe we live here. IMG_1473This is the view from the front porch.


Here’s the troops. My children prize the snow like the hungry Israelites did manna. They each ate at least an omer of it, and were constantly thinking of what could be made from it.  I’m surprised Harriet left any on the ground. In fact, after she stomped in for hot chocolate she was still eating bits off of the floor and the bottoms of her boots.

IMG_1496The thing is, it’s so fresh to them. We have had so little snow in the last few years. The English, never prone to exaggeration, keep their winters as reasonably in their place as they do everything else. Or perhaps snow is always miraculous to children, who look at the world with eyes unused to its amazing extremes of color and temperature.

IMG_1498We did sustain one small tragedy, as seen below. (And yes, she cried when her mitten fell off, and yes, I did take a picture of her doing so before coming to the rescue.) Harriet’s mittens have no thumbs, which seriously impairs any mischief she has in mind. The only problem with this is that she won’t want to wear them in the summer also.


(Mischief? This little angel?)


This post is lovingly dedicated to Cara, Ginger, and Sonja–three wall-jumpers who won’t see snowy scenes this Christmas, who are serving daily in hot and difficult places. So grateful for you, may our God who sees you bless you richly. 

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6 Responses to what is this wondrous thing falling from the sky

  1. ethicks says:

    I love everything about this post: your beautiful home, your description of the snow and the girls’ delight, and the dedication to those precious wall jumpers.

    ** I’m a terrible, sporadic commenter, so it should be noted that I really and truly love every single post of yours.

  2. Cara says:

    Those pictures are lovely. And your house is DREAMY! It looks like a Christmas movie. So happy that you guys got so much snow. How fun for the kids. I just had a conversation with Ruby, in which she wanted to know all about what snow is like: “Is it ice cubes?” “Does it hurt if it falls on you?” “Does it make you wet?” “Can you put it in your water for cold water?” “Where does it go later?” Who can describe the pleasure of the first snow fall?

    You are so sweet to remember us here in Snowless Senegal. It does help my heart, when I feel home sick, and snow sick, and American-holiday-cheer sick, to remember that this climate and landscape is probably just what it was like during the first Christmas. And, I am great with child, even. And, Senegal just did a census LAST WEEK! Oh my goodness, maybe I should get a donkey and ride to the next town. Call me Mary and start the singing (not to mention my husband is named Joseph). Weird!

    • betsy says:

      I remember having conversations like that with Norah while she was awaiting snow in England and couldn’t remember it from the year before. I hope Ruby soon gets to experience snow and ice!
      So glad you saw this, and so glad you commented! We are thinking of you often. I also spotted the curious parallels you mentioned, Mary, I mean, Cara . . . 🙂
      Love you.

  3. Ginger says:

    Sweet Betsy, I found myself smiling as I read your post and saw the girls in the snow and imagined your delight in sharing it with them. I also found myself dreaming of living in New England again and enjoying the beauty of the winter snow. And feeling a bit sad as well. So when I got to the end of your post, it brought great joy to my heart to feel remembered, particularly in this season. Thank you for thinking of me and encouraging me. ENJOY every minute of the beauty God has given you right now. I think it is so kind of Him to give you such a cozy, beautiful home and yard to enjoy in this season of life. I’m grateful for that for you. So wish we could do life together. Much love to you, dear friend.

    • betsy says:

      Oh Ging, I’m so glad you saw this. And I know what you mean, but we ARE living life together–I’m following you as you follow Jesus. Merry Christmas, dear girl.

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