Thursday, December 4, 2008

Winter Wonderlands in Deustchland and North Dakota

My in-laws in Westen, Germany, sent this wonderful photo of the snow outside their windows. It doesn't happen very often, but they got the full impact winter wonderland snowfall!

Growing up in Minnesota, I experienced a few magical snow days as a child, including one that prompted my father to build a snow fort, complete with tunnels, in our front yard.

Once, as my family traveled back from North Dakota after visiting my mother's parents for Christmas, we spent a night at the North LaMoure "store", the childhood home of my mother's college friend Jonnie. I recall so many details of that occasion: looking at old Life magazines in the storefront (soda fountain and wooden store shelves intact), the long preparation of a wonderful meal, candles on the table, Jonnie's typed list of memorable and amusing phrases (a wordsmith, she has been one of my inspirations), a fragrant balsam in the corner of a cozy living room where my sister and I consulted the Ouiji board with Jonnie's nephew Tom, tall and handsome, vibrant and engaging. We slept upstairs in warm quilt-covered beds, in rooms that were icy cold by morning. The next day, the trees in the grove next to the store were covered with lacey hoarfrost, like those in the back garden in the photograph here.

Jonnie and Tom visited my parents last October and my mother sent along this image. Tom arrived from work in his chef's jacket; he is now a master chef and lefse-maker extraordinaire. My mother says the conversation that night moved from food and family to North LaMoure, technology, music, and finally "branched off into eternity and infinity...!"

Today, I wish we could recall the conversation we all had around the dinner table and Oiuji board on that snowy night so long ago. Perhaps it is archived in infinity somewhere?

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