Surprise. Twist. Turn!

A couple months ago, my sister offered me the perfect opportunity to bond with my niece and nephew. I could come babysit while her and her husband went to Jamaica. Hmm. I’d rather be in Jamaica…but, Nashville should be definitely warmer in February than New Hampshire. Right? I mean right?

You see, it’s really hard to bond with my niece and nephew over a container of Play-Doh or a good book when my kids are around. And, what a great chance to escape the snow storms and knee deep snow for a while. Maybe see some grass. Green grass.


My sister called and said there was a whopping snow storm coming through TN of 3-5 inches. You might have heard about it on the news. I kinda laughed to myself. 3-5 inches? I mean come on. That’s like a sprinkling of fairy dust in the land I come from. So I lost a day of preparation and got on an early flight to miss the storm. Well, good thing I did. She wasn’t kidding when she said Nashville closes down before a flurry even hits the pavement.

TWIST! (and I don’t mean the dance)

The airports closed for over 24 hours. I learned several things about Nashville.

One, they have like one plow truck for the whole city. So side streets don’t get plowed! (gasp) They wait for the snow to melt! Except, in this case, it stayed cold here, like 15 degree New Hampshire cold. (so much for green grass) So, it’s day three and the streets are still covered with icy chunks of snow.

Two, I learned that I’m a total sledding snob. The day after the snow here, people flocked to the hills like Julie Andrews. And they weren’t wearing matching LLBean snow suits. Kids were wearing sneakers, their mom’s furry fashion boots, mix-matched sweatshirts, jeans, and a few actually had snow pants. I felt like I’d gone back in time.


The kids and adults were sledding in the streets! No worries about snow plows. No worries about cars because no one has snow tires. I watched one lady use a rake to shovel her driveway. We walked to the nearest sledding hill and it was packed. And really, who needs a sled? A laundry basket, cookie sheet,  or piece of cardboard will work just as well. Or your parent’s 40 year old runner sled. You know, the dangerous kind, they suggest not to use anymore. It was a joy to watch.

In New Hampshire, we take snow for granted. We only hit the hills when there’s been a good snow, then we wait a day for other sledders to pack it down, then we go. And if there’s sleet, so the hills turn to a sheet of ice, well, we know to stay home.  And some people don’t go sledding – they go skiing. Like I said, we’re total sledding snobs.

In Tennessee, I feel like I’m in Southtown when the Cold Meiser was allowed to make it snow for one day. And, it has been a lot of fun to watch EVERYONE hit the hills singing and sledding and having plain old fun.

And now, I’ve heard that on Wed. when I’m flying home, New Hampshire might get a snow storm. I just might have to patch up my laundry basket. Or not.

All this to say, I love unexpected surprises, twists, and turns when I’m reading. Have you added one to your story?

18 Responses to Surprise. Twist. Turn!

  1. Anna February 1, 2010 at 1:18 pm #

    Wow, that sounds like another world! I can’t imagine everything shutting down for three inches of snow. Great material for a story, though!

  2. Laura February 1, 2010 at 1:32 pm #

    It truly has been amazing to watch. I think it would make a great picture book. Great opportunity for awesome illustrations!

  3. Kelly Polark February 1, 2010 at 2:12 pm #

    Oh, man, your chance to get a little warmth and it snows! But it does sound like they made a good time of it!!
    I finally bought my own pair of snow pants this year so I wouldn’t be so cold out with the kids.

  4. Laura February 1, 2010 at 2:27 pm #

    Smart move Kelly. I’d freeze outside building snowmen if I didn’t have snowpants! And for sledding, it’s a must.

    And I recently learned that Nashville has 30 plows, not one. 🙂 But still.

  5. Tina Lee February 1, 2010 at 3:26 pm #

    I want a pair of snowpants. Here, I live in Minnesota and I don’t have a pair. i just discovered it yesterday. And I like to go outside. I don’t know what I have been doing until now.

  6. Sherrie Petersen February 1, 2010 at 6:24 pm #

    Sounds like a blast! My kids keep praying for it to snow here. It’s been ten years. We’re about due for a freak storm 🙂

  7. Laura February 1, 2010 at 8:15 pm #

    I think the kids here will be out of school all week! Even at McDonalds I overheard parents talking about all the hospital visits and bumps and bruises kids and adults had. Sleds, kids, and icy hills don’t make for safe fun. I am such a mom! 🙂

  8. Anita Miller February 1, 2010 at 8:34 pm #

    You know, I usually don’t like twists, but I just realized I have one in mine! I know it’s hard to believe, as I am already revising…how could I have not noticed?

  9. Laura February 1, 2010 at 8:50 pm #

    Anita – but those are the greatest discoveries – when you’ve utilized a storytelling technique and didn’t even realize it! 🙂

  10. Terry Lynn Johnson February 1, 2010 at 9:13 pm #

    Thoroughly enjoyed reading your tale. We have hardly received any snow this year – I’m wishing for more in fact.
    Liked how you compared your adventure with writing surprises.

  11. Kristen Torres-Toro February 1, 2010 at 10:08 pm #

    Ha! Great twist!

    The South is a funny place. We freak out because of snow because we don’t have snow plows or salt trucks. :0)

  12. Laura February 2, 2010 at 12:08 am #

    Kristin – It just makes me fully appreciate all the snowplows and salt trucks that we have. 🙂

  13. Heather Kelly February 2, 2010 at 12:41 pm #

    I loved reading this–seems kind of magical when something out of the ordinary happens. We have a sledding hill that we call “Hospital Hill” up here–its steep and gets dangerous pretty fast.

    And, I can’t believe that I don’t own snow pants. I haul everyone home from the sledding spot when I get too cold–the only problem is that I’m getting cold faster and faster as I get older. I should head over to LLBean. Thanks for the reminder that snow is extraordinary! Not to be taken for granted.

  14. Laura February 2, 2010 at 2:37 pm #

    Honestly, I probably only have snow pants because I ski once in a while. 🙂

  15. Jennifer Shirk February 2, 2010 at 3:25 pm #

    Ha! I lived up in NE for five years, so I’ve seen my share of snow. LOL But man, if snowed 12 inches, you’d be out driving with no problem. They knew how to do snow removal. 🙂

  16. Laura February 2, 2010 at 7:24 pm #

    Jennifer – Yes, they do. And I will never again complain when I’m stuck behind 2 snowplows on the highway, going 35 – okay, I might a little bit. 🙂

  17. Elana Johnson February 2, 2010 at 9:48 pm #

    I know! In Utah when it snows, we have like this three-pack of plows on the freeways. I laughed at the sledding in jeans. 🙂

  18. Laura February 3, 2010 at 4:06 am #

    Thanks for stopping by Elana. I’m glad I’m not the only one who is thankful for snowplows!

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