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You know the drill if you live in Iowa. You flip on the TV where they are warning of an incoming snowstorm. Without fail, everyone runs to the grocery store because you just don't know when you'll see civilization again!

Well, that or if you're like I used to be, a mom with 6 kids in the house, you really DO need the milk, bread, and eggs before the snow hits and you might not get to town for a couple of days. I thought of that as I went to the store on Friday morning.

The place was buzzing, as people did their regular shopping and I'm sure there were a few getting ready to hunker down. For me, well, I needed some things for survival too. I knew I'd have a little two-year-old who "woves chocolate." I have no idea where she got the idea that grandma might have some for her, but she expects there to be some at my house. So as I noted that the supply was low, I thought I'd better grab some more chocolate to get us through the weekend!

I just discovered that she loves chocolate-covered raisins, my favorite. I told her that she could take two out of the bowl. In goes the whole hand as she looks at me sheepishly and said, "Two...hands?" and then smiles. " I mean how many raisins can a two-year-old hand hold? "Sure!", I answered thinking, "Ya gotta give the kid credit for outsmarting grandma."

So I replenished the chocolate-covered raisin stash. I also grabbed M&M's knowing that she like a few of those too, although, not as much as the raisins.

A couple of bananas and some "smear" aka cream cheese for the bagels and $20 and change later, I was on my way out the door pondering how my idea of preparing for an incoming storm has changed.

I have to admit, snow is beautiful. It's relaxing to watch, if you don't have to go anywhere. Watching the wind swirl this snowflakes around can be mesmerizing. Something about looking at a streetlight during a heavy snowfall also brings a bit of nostalgia, and that makes no sense to me. Maybe as a kid, I did the same thing, because it takes me back to the 1970s. It makes everything look clean and pure for a bit.

Then reality will set in as we try to get to the street, to get in our car and try to go somewhere. It takes just a good high traffic day to get the highways clear, a few more days in town to make the streets passable, and then if we are lucky it warms enough to melt down to the cement. If not it's ice time, which I hate.

But it's part of living in Iowa.

The two year old always stops to put her hand in it, and then giggles with pure joy at something new, cold and soft as she puts it. Pulling her hand out, she wipes it off and takes a few more steps toward the car before stopping to repeat the ritual. Grandma's hands scream with the cold now, so I don't show her how to make a snowball. Instead, I try to hurry her to the car. To no avail. So if you see a cleared sidewalk, with teeny tiny handprints, it's probably a little girl giggling her way to the car.

As we return home, it's the same thing. "Grandma, look! It snowed!" followed by laughter. To her, it's new. She still thinks that we're going to go past her friend Doug's house and see his lights. I had to break it to her that all of the lights are down now. Try to explain the, "Why?" in that one. "Why did he take them down?" "Lights are pretty!" "I want to see more lights!" "Grandma can we turn on your lights when we get home?"

The only good thing in all of those questions is that yes, we can turn grandma's lights on when we get home. Grandma is with you, she likes her lights and hey, it is STILL January, so I can get by with it. The neighbors might do a welfare check in February though.

So for now, this weekend the two-year-old and I will enjoy grandma's Christmas tree lights, and the snow. And of course, our chocolate because we woooove chocolate!


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