January 9th. A blank page. A half hour until posting time. All in my head will take a few pages and more than a half hour to move from swirling stories and pictures to black letters formatted into words, sentences, paragraphs... a story. So, I start with swirling snow: The Blizzard of December 2012.
The Malcolms landed in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on December 19th around 4:30 and the blizzard hit at 4:32 as we deplaned and rented a car. It wasn’t a few snowflakes and then wind. It was a wall of blizzard: blowing and snowing. It shut parts of major interstates for nearly 24 hours and some gravel roads even longer. This one was nearly a 48-hour weather event.
In the middle of the big blow, my wisp Will wanted to go out with his big cousin to a friend’s and build a snow fort. They needed to walk a few blocks to a dead-end street where the plows pushed the snow into high mounds, after all that was the best fort building site.
It sounds silly, but I felt a tug that Obama referenced in Newtown: Our children are our hearts we send out into the world. We were in a blizzard in Iowa. Was I crazy? Crazy for keeping him in? Crazy for sending him out? Out won… What an opportunity for a 9-year-old! Bill and I gave the OK for Will to build forts in the middle of the blizzard under the wing of his cousin. While my heart was frozen with the 40-mile-an-hour gusts of flying snow, Will’s heart was merrily pumping as he built with the big boys in the Blizzard of December 2012. In the following days, the boys sledded, hiked drifts, built more forts, ate pounds of snow, and threw snowballs. I think, like so many Iowans, we will remember the name of that blizzard. And that bit of independence that came with it.
(Then there were the Blizzards of 2015! Here is 50 Inches of Snow in Pictures.)