The Snow Storm Birthday

My backyard on March 24, 2013

My backyard on March 24, 2013

Nearly all the best things that came to me in life have been unexpected, unplanned by me.  –Carl Sandberg

Yesterday, we set a record here in Central Indiana.  According to WTHR, our NBC affiliate, it was the largest snowfall ever recorded in March.  As of this morning, there were 8 inches in my backyard and the snow continues to fall.  The previous record of 5.8 inches was set on March 1, 1912. March ONE.  For goodness sakes, God, it’s March 24!!  On this day, my birthday, I usually plant pansies in my front porch flower pots.  What is going on here?

It seemed to me as the forecasters continued to issue their “Winter Storm Warning” in advance of Palm Sunday 2013 that this was just going to be an utterly depressing weekend.   I was thinking like my friend Lauren who posted on her Facebook page, “You know that phrase – I’ll see you when hell freezes over?  Snow at the end of March makes you wonder.  Just sayin”

I’m absolutely with you, Lauren.   You make me laugh because I was thinking this is what the first week of spring is supposed to look like…..maybe in Juneau, Alaska?

Ever an optimist and determined to enjoy myself anyway, I remembered this little golden nugget.

“This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.”  (Ps 118:24)

Ok, God, I will try to love this snow covered birthday.  I will.

Being a lover of all celebrations of life, and with childlike enthusiasm for my own as well, I jokingly issue annual reminders to all who will listen about the upcoming “festival of Shelly” when it comes around exactly one week after St. Patrick’s Day each spring.  If that seems a tad childish and disturbingly narcissistic, then you have a clear and accurate picture.  A gal has got to do what a gal has got to do.

I’ll not defend myself so much as ask that you allow me to explain.  First of all, I have the most amazing parents (no, really, mine are the best) who taught me birthdays are just plain “the greatest”.   We have some fairly terrific birthday memories from over the years and NO MATTER WHAT Mom and Dad always find a way to get us together to celebrate every birthday in the family WITHOUT FAIL.  Always.  This exercise is compulsory.

God used them to teach me something about the value of every life.   I believe a birthday is a gift– it is one day set aside each year to celebrate life.  If your life intersects with mine on a regular basis, eventually I will seek out the date of your birth, add it to my calendar, and when it’s your day,  I will try to make sure sun shines all over you.  Some of you will resist and you will lose your battle.  On my day, I love the chance to celebrate my fantastic life, filled with gratefulness, with those I love.  All of us have been given that great gift of life, all of us are made in God’s image, and all of us have lives worth thanking God for with a little gusto on our special day!

Secondly, a gal sometimes has to advertise the birthday just to hedge against the possibility the CPA husband could lose track of her fabulousness during these ugliest days of tax season.  My friend Lisa would call this my “charmingly abrasive” side.  However, 80 and 90 hour work weeks are brutal.  My guy is pretty well trained now and I could probably back down the advertising campaign, but now it’s kind of a treasured ritual of our family life! Right, honey?

Stay with me now as I circle back to the snow covered birthday of 2013.

My fabulous husband suggested, in advance of the snow, that our immediate family go for dinner to open up the festival.  We did that on Saturday night.  I chose “The Ram” in Fishers because I am a mom with 3 boys and a husband who love March Madness and I knew we could enjoy our family time AND see the games.  I even got to overrule the watching of Tiger Woods on the golf channel “because it’s my birthday” and watching golf on TV makes removing old wallpaper seem like fun.  We giggled, ate onion rings, and then came home, watched more basketball.  Later, they brought me a scoop of ice cream with 2 candles on top and sang, “Happy Birthday”.  In short, it was awesome!

When I opened my eyes the next morning, yesterday, the snow was already falling.  We made it to mass and the grocery store.  My crazy parents drove down here in the snow.  Mom and I went shopping for Easter dresses while the snow came down.  Dad taught the kids a new card game.  We had pizza for dinner, we ate my favorite homemade angel food cake, and then the greatest thing happened!!

THERE WAS SO MUCH SNOW.

There was so much snow in fact that the boys got to stay up late because school was cancelled.

There was so much snow that their grandparents decided to spend the night.

So, the party continued.  There was a long, loud card game won by Tom, a lesson on what exactly is “The Harlem Shake” for the grandparents, there was late night hot chocolate, NCAA basketball bracket updates, more giggling, and bacon and eggs this morning for breakfast followed by a game of euchre.

“We know that all things work for good for those who love God- who are called according to his purpose.”  Romans 8:28

Thanks to Tom, Nick, Drew, Zach, Mom and Dad for ringing in my 42nd birthday with me during the snow covered weekend.   It was fantastic.  I love you.  You all are the most amazing blessing.

And God?  You just get me.  The snow storm birthday of 2013—nice.  THANKS.

“Be happy in the moment, that’s enough.  Each moment is all we need, not more.”  Mother Teresa

7 thoughts on “The Snow Storm Birthday

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