I was reminiscing the other day and thought I would share.
Growing up in Oklahoma, snow was exasperatingly rare, and always looked forward to with great anticipation. When it would finally snow, the very first thought in my mind was always the same – If I walk to Nonnie’s house, she’ll fix me the best hot cocoa in the whole entire world.
Getting to Nonnie’s house always turned out to be a grand adventure. The cousins would call each other up and excitedly talk of all the sledding and snow ball fights we would have that day, then the search for the sleds began. Some years we actually managed to find the sleds and unbury them from their spot in the storm cellar. It didn’t really matter though – our snowsuits were plenty slick enough for sliding down the small hills between our house and Nonnie’s. We would meet at the pond halfway to Nonnie’s, and hurl ourselves down its outer bank, over and over again, trying to see who could make the most daring start. My favorite was to start with a flip at the top and slide the rest of the way down on the seat of my snowsuit.
When we were tired of testing fate, we would traipse the rest of the way to Nonnie’s house, making grandiose snow fort plans along the way. We had, beyond a shadow of a doubt, the worst snow forts in the history of all snow forts. But my, if you could only see the way they were supposed to look!
When we finally couldn’t feel any of our body parts, we would head inside for the real treat. Nonnie would see us coming and start some of her famous hot chocolate on the stove. Then she would meet us in the laundry room and make us take off all our wet clothes to throw in the dryer. In exchange, we were allowed to wear Grandpappy’s pajamas, with the legs rolled up and the waist clothes pinned behind us so they wouldn’t fall off. Next she would sit us at the breakfast bar, and we would tell her all about our awesome snow forts and how brave and daring we were in our snow adventures. She would fill us up with hot cocoa, then read us books or play scrabble with us until our clothes were dry. Thus entrenched in love and warmth, we would head back out to face the wilds of the snowy day.
There are some things Nonnie will always hold the record for. She had the best cinnamon rolls, the softest sheets, the nicest reading chair, and, of course, the best hot chocolate in the world. Come to find out, Nonnie’s famous hot cocoa was a recipe pretty much straight from the Hershey’s cocoa box. Maybe the secret ingredient that made it so yummy was drinking it after the blustery cold of playing in the snow. Maybe it was getting to wear Grandpappy’s pajamas while our clothes dried in the dryer – but I think it was love.