Sharing Stories: Your Stories

Snowy Mother Daughter Day

Who would have thought that a blizzard would bring yin and yang together? It all started the day after Christmas. The weather men all predicted snow, not just little flurries here and there, but an actual blizzard. My mom then decided to go outside in the blizzard to stock up on food. I said, “What a great idea,” with a great deal of sarcasm. I then decided to tag along with her because I felt bad having to see her carry all those heavy bags back home.

As soon as we stepped outside, a gush of wind smacked a handful of snow right in my face. From there on, I knew I would not have a fun time. But the immediate change in weather disagreed with me. While walking back from the supermarket, my mom threw a snowball at me and started laughing. The snow had calmed down, but it was still windy. I do not know why, but I started laughing as well. Before I knew it, we were talking about baking cakes and giving each other pedicures. I even chased her all the way home while dodging snowballs. It turned out that maybe a blizzard isn’t a bad reason to hang out with your mom.

This holiday season means so much to me; including the fact that the weather brings me so much closer to my family, including my mom. The environment plays a significant role due to its harsh, yet playful, weather. Although it may be dreadful outside, once you are out there and you have someone alongside you, you can both tackle the weather together, and maybe add some adventure as well. That memorable outdoor experience made me realize something: the holiday season is a great time for patching up broken hearts, while making new memories. Due to the snow, I was able to form a special bond with my mother; a bond that I never even knew existed. I now love and appreciate the environment.

Shared by: Kayla Montaque

The "Rutschteller"

I'm living here in Innsbruck, Tyrol in Austria surrounded by the Alps. Recently snow has laid down almost on every point of the ground. The temperatures have lowered to under the zero point, although the sun is shining brightly. Last week on Monday a good friend from school and I went to a small ski area close to the city Wattens, the "Vögelsberg". We decided on a very funny tool that would bring us down the slope safely - the "Rutschteller".

It was many, many years ago since I last used one of these...I tell everybody to try it at least once! Anyway, we walked up quite far while we were sharing stories about our past and present. She is a very good friend who even gave me a visit last year in America when I was staying in San Francisco for research studies. She has a beautiful heart which makes every minute with her extremely valuable. Anything that was surrounding me got even more beautiful, like nature, people passing by, the trip itself!

Winters here are always white, sometimes more, sometimes less. We get many tourists from all over the world that are deeply moved by just taking a look at our mountains. Nature itself provided an area rich of everything. There is a huge variety of flora and fauna. I thank Mother Earth for all she gave to make me live in such a great place! The trip with my good friend reminded me of the beauty of nature and its important role for our survival. It needs to be protected by all means! The more often we go out, share travels with our friends and family and discover Earth the more we are obliged to care about us and our environment. At the end of our walk we both took our "Rutschteller" and slid down the hill. We were both covered in snow and our bottoms hurt from the harsh conditions but we were just laughing about it! We were relieved by the enjoyment that was brought by our spontaneous idea to make past become present.

Shared by: Stefan Farnik, Innsbruck, Austria


Snow Tunnels

After a snow blizzard in Manitowoc, Wisconsin (along Lake Michigan, halfway between Milwaukee & Green Bay), the winds would kick up and create huge snow drifts often taller than us kids. We would layer up to stay plenty warm, put on our snowmobile suits & boots, scarfs, mitts, hats, & even face masks with only eyes to see through. Into the snow drifts, we would tunnel sometimes 20, 30, sometimes 50 or more feet; the snow being packed so well, we could make outlets to both let the light in and to crawl up and in or out of! It was literally tons of fun. We had many an adventure as there were six of us in our family, and many more kids on our block to help burrow and enjoy these tunnels in all these big snow drifts. After all this snow drift fun, we'd go inside and have hot cocoa with lots of extra marshmallows on top.

Shared by: William Godfrey, El Paso, Texas


Touching Snow

The first time I ever touched snow was a great event for me. Why? Well, the day before, at the end of December 2000, I had a dream where I was in the truck with my sister and it started snowing and I opened the window and put my hands outside and felt the snow. That was the dream I had before I ever saw or felt snow. The day after, the whole dream came true. I was with my mom in my sister's car at the Christmas Tree Shop in Orange, CT, and when we were on our way home, it started to snow. I think it was in the afternoon, and I opened the window and put my hands outside to feel the snow. That was the first time ever in my life that I touched snow. I was happy for many hours as I played with my nephew in the snow.

Shared by: Jose L. Mejia


Nature’s Gifts Bring a Humble Christmas

I can remember back when I was a child how the outdoors was a big part of our family and how we would bring a little nature to our holidays. We would go out into the desert as a family and collect old fallen tree branches and use them for firewood for the cold winter nights knowing that when we burned our wood, it was a clean burn without harmful chemicals.

We’d find Sycamore, Mesquite and Ironwood trees that had fallen and dried over the years. I was taught that this was a good way to clean the desert floors so that when storms came, there was less dry wood debris for lightening to spread as a wildfire.

I have my own family now and I’m still gathering natural desert wood for our fireplace as a family, and friends now also join in the tradition. I have also created my own extra tradition besides firewood collecting. I round up my family and some close friends to go into the Arizona desert and gather clippings of our desert mistletoe we have naturally growing here.

Each person takes a few clippings of mistletoe and binds it in ribbon to make mistletoe hangings a few days before New Year’s Eve. Everyone then takes their mistletoe hangings home with them to secretly hang on the front doors of each neighbors houses on New Year’s Eve. We do this because the mistletoe is a symbol of romance with a small token of a simple kiss. What better way for people to start each New Year!

I have been living through these meaningful traditions for a time of thirty some years now. Simplicity of nature brings comfort to my families’ heart throughout the holidays and these simple traditions will be passed on to my children’s children and so on.

Shared by: Lisa Racz


Thanks for sharing, Kayla, Bill, Jose, Stefan and Lisa!

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