...because home doesn't happen overnight.

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What if I told you there was a place in western civilization where internet service isn’t even an option? Where cell phone coverage is spotty at best. Where a house is heated by a wood burning stove. Where the great outdoors is the favorite toy of choice. Where only trees and sky are visible as far as the eye can see. Would you want to live there? Visit there? Or steer clear? What if I told you that place is where I grew up and my dad and bonus mom still live there? It’s true.

Tuesday we visited this place because my grandparents are in town from Florida. A wintry storm plus poor planning on my part caused us to become snowed in at my dad’s house. Not that we didn’t try to get home. We did. But impassable roads, heavy snow, road closures, fallen trees and even a little 180-spinning action in the car forced us to turn around. It had taken us over an hour to get only a few miles out. It was pretty clear that we weren’t going to make it home. So we turned around. The boys’ school had already called to say that school was cancelled for the next day.

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We spent that night and the following day snowed in – part of the time without electricity. At first it seemed like such a hassle. We didn’t have pajamas, our regular toiletries or clean clothes for the next day. I hadn’t packed Mabrey extra bottles, her favorite lovie or her sound machine. But all was well. We had a roof over our heads, family, warm beds and food. And I had my camera.

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Our “inconvenient” day off the grid ended up being a blessing in disguise. It was the breath of fresh air I had been needing.

Funny.

I had envisioned my getaway as a tropical retreat including sand, sun and cloudless skies. My tropical getaway came in the form of 7″ of snow.

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It took me back to my childhood winters when time moved at a snail’s pace.

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Snow has a way of making everything and anything look pretty.

snowcountry3Colors are brighter.

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Hills are bigger.

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Snow is heavy.

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But it tastes so good.

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As long as it isn’t yellow.

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My kids are lucky enough to have great grandparents in their lives. Great grandparents who take care of themselves and are mobile, active and energetic. Great grandparents who don’t look or act their age. Great grandparents who don’t know what “too old” or “too cold” means.

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May we all get the chance to play with our great grandkids in the snow someday.

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Maybe next year you can wear that fuzzy purple scarf out in the snow, babygirl.

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And those ear warmers don’t go around your neck. Whatever.

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Thanks winter. It’s been fun.

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

30 Comments

07.March.2013

Probably my favorite post yet! :)

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Sooo pretty! We live just outside of Chicago and also got 7 inches of snow. But instead of getting snowed in we headed up to the House of Blues for a concert! We’re a little nuts… I wished a little bit that we could have just gotten snowed in to take a breath and relax. It looks you guys had a great time!

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Beautiful photos, Dana. Sounds like my dream home as I desperately wanted to be Laura Ingalls when I was little! I wish it snowed that much around here, though I suppose you midwesterners get tired of it come April. Oh, and I think I can speak for all of your readers when I say we need more Mabry pictures now that she’s such a big girl :)

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replied on March 8th, 2013

Hear hear! Mabrey is so cute in these :)

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07.March.2013

Beautiful. The last shot with the tire swing is my favorite. I live in NC and we’ve had snow twice this year, once it didn’t even stick and the second time we had only a few hours to enjoy the 2ish inches on the ground.

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07.March.2013

Absolutely beautiful! I’ve never seen so much snow in my life seeing as I’m from Florida and now live in Texas…but this makes me crave it something fierce. There is such a stillness that emanates from these winter wonderland pictures. Thanks for sharing. p.s. And I’m glad you all didn’t try to brave the storm all the way home. :)

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07.March.2013

lovely photos, dana! the colors are fresh and soothing, and remind me of the colors in your home. i don’t live in snow country anymore, but sometimes i miss a good snow day.

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07.March.2013

The photos are beautiful. . .so glad you choose to see and enjoy the beauty in the snowed in day. =)

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07.March.2013

You make snowed-in the nicest thing to be.

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07.March.2013

Snow sure does look pretty in the country–too bad you missed the “beauty” of it in downtown Cincinnati. Ha! I kid.

But seriously–great photography. I hope you get some printed/framed or on canvas and hang in your house–they really are gorgeous!

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07.March.2013

Love that your grandparents are so active! Wonderful pics of your grandpa. And Mabrey, too! She IS getting to be a big girl!

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07.March.2013

This post brought a tear to my eyes. Your children are so lucky to have great grandparents

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07.March.2013

looks amazing! Sometimes we all need a place to relax and unwind, when we go overseas I don’t it my phone on, no Internet, phone – it brings us back down to earth :)

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Such fantastic photographs!

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Thanks for sharing. Those photographs of snow and your heart-warming story of family and free time are just what I needed. The past two days, here in Maryland, we were promised snow and only received rain. And, everyone in our family, except my husband, struggled with the nastiest stomach flu I have ever experienced.

I am happy you enjoyed your breath of fresh air.

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07.March.2013

wo-o-o-ow! i live in western australia – i have never seen snow. ever. i would jump at the chance to spend a weekend there! so beautiful…

when my older daughter was a baby (she’s now 7) my grandmother had the prestigious honour of being the oldest person ever to complete the high ropes course that a group from her church did.

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07.March.2013

I love the photos and the snow day! Perfection!

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07.March.2013

I grew up in Michigan and your pictures are exactly what it looks like. Lots and lots of snow. White and bluish gray. Perfect when it’s falling and wonderful when it goes away.

No one has mentioned the dog yet – he’s gorgeous! Those big dogs usually love the snow.

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08.March.2013

those are some lucky great grandparents to have great grandkids!!! I’m left without my grandparents and I don’t even have my own kids yet!! I SOOO wish my grandparents were around for my future kids.

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08.March.2013

Thank you for your beautiful photos! I’m another Australian from Melbourne, where we never receive snow, but it’s one of the cooler places in Australia. We’re in the middle of a record breaking March heatwave where we will have 10 days in a row over 30C (86F). Currently it’s 32C (90F) at 8.15pm. Your snow looks like sweet, fresh relief!

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08.March.2013

amazing! we live in FL and winters for us are not that pretty!

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08.March.2013

i would say, “i want to go to there” =)
& oh my goodness what beautiful pictures, and what a fabulous family!
My grandparents (both well into their 70s) don’t look or act their age and it makes me smile that they are still able to hang with their grand children (the oldest is 31!) and drive boats, run 10k’s, and tell us great stories!
So glad you were able to enjoy your family time and come away refreshed!

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08.March.2013

Awesome post. Beautiful pictures. And that dog is awesome, too.

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08.March.2013

Ever single day when my boys are begging to play the iPad/watch a movie/play video games and on and on I dream of living in a place like that!!!! I’ve even specifically said with a tire swing!!

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08.March.2013

Love this post–the photos, the words, the spirit. Soooo true. So wise of you to recognize the gift of that time, for yourself and with the generations. (And you out there in my native Midwest–yes, I’m talking to you, Ohio and Kansas–you got the bulk of our Vermont snow this winter! I’d ask you to send some back, but I’m beginning to get a hankering for spring.)

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08.March.2013

What a beautiful, relaxing time you had. I had about 9″ in the storm North of Chicago and also had a snow day although I stayed in the house for the most part.

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08.March.2013

With all due respect to the country, it’s hard to believe that it could be any more beautiful after the last snow than it was right here on your own street. It was a wedding-cake frosted wonderland!
That said, I really wanted to ask if you have seen the TKCONSTRUCTORS.COM commercial using a dozen or more of their kids. One group of 3 girls includes Ava, Maeley, and Mabrey!

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11.March.2013

Beautiful pictures! I was hoping to get a little snow in Oklahoma this year but it didn’t happen. I’ll just live vicariously through these photos :)

This post reminds me… I think you’ve alluded to your “real life” story a few times. I would love it if you shared it someday!

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Your pictures are awesome. So relaxing just looking at them! (You could submit some of them to freecabinporn.com – my go to daydreaming site) I would love a cabin in the woods. Idyllic!

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12.March.2013

Thank you so much for the awesome pictures. I live in Phoenix, AZ and I never get to see snow anymore. This took me back to when I was a kid with nothing better to do that build a snow fort. Great photos! Thanks for sharing!

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