It’s such a pleasant surprise to wake up in the morning not expecting the world to be white, and to have your breath taken away upon glancing out the window. So it was this morning, when I awoke in the still quietness of the pre-dawn hours to a fresh blanket of snow. Even before the sun rises, there’s a certain glow of light that is unmistakable and unique only to a fresh coating of snow. When in the darkness, sleepy-eyed Ira came to join me by the morning’s fire, I didn’t say anything about the conditions outside. I wanted to see how long it would take him to notice. About two seconds later he was bee-lining towards the deck and spluttering “what?… did it?… mama?… it snowed!!! oh, man, it’s sooo beautiful!!!” We’ve got to take full advantage of the snow when it falls here, rare and beautiful treat that it has become over the past several years. So little man Ira didn’t waste any time in making a snowman and pummeling Opal with snowballs. By midday, the snow only remained in the shadows and on north-facing slopes. The snowman was not so jolly anymore.Mostly, we’ve had rain lately. Lots and lots of rain. This past week we’ve watched the water in little stream that flows past our cabin rise several times. Up and down, up and down. The big creek, muddy raging torrent that it was, nearly spilled it’s banks. More than once. If all of that rain fell instead as snow, I might not have been able to open the front door! Alas, this is a normal southern Kentucky winter. Rain. Mud. Grey. But I’m not complaining. Oh, no. No complaints here.Because even when it’s raining outside, there is still much to do, both in the outdoor and indoor worlds that we occupy. Ira had a day of racing boats in the first rains and rising waters of the “branches”. He was wearing boots for a while, I promise. But when they were squelching more than he could handle, off they went for his much preferred bare feet. Brrrrr! But, hey, his feet got a good cleaning! Opal does pretty good at keeping up with her big brother in the outdoor world. But then her artistic creative soul starts feeling hungry, and she finds her way back to the warmth and dryness of the house for her favored “soul-food”: making things. Opal can make anything beautiful. A wild tangle of yarn that had been floating around the house for months and that was driving me crazy, but I couldn’t bear to just throw away, found new life as woven belts. Or headbands. Or whatever part of your body you feel inclined to adorn. She even created her own make-shift loom out of a wooden box. (If you happen to receive one of these creations as a present from her in the coming weeks, shhhhh… don’t tell her that I told what she was making! I might get in big trouble!) And in the throes of some pretty wild and creative indoor play-time with Ira and Opal, easy-going Olivia allowed herself (while still smiling, of course) to be attacked by the droves of “hungry birds” (aka clothespins) that were flying and screeching through the house. Oh, my. Yes, she is a rare bird herself. Rain or snow. Mud or ice. Wind or cold. Gloomy or grey. Bring it on. Smiles can brighten the darkest gloom and laughter can warm the deepest chills. We’ll take whatever winter weather comes our way, and we’ll do our best to enjoy it! Why not?