I had a teensy-weensy bit of a hissy-fit.
With my hair flying out of control, the pots and pans acquiring a few dents in my angst, and the cupboard doors left barely hanging on their hinges, I counted to ten and gently asked, “Where is my mini baking pan?”
3 pairs of eyes tried to mask their terror.
“I dunno.” Those words mumbled in unison made my toenails sizzle – they shouldn’t have said that.
And they shouldn’t have shrugged their shoulders, either. That was a BAD idea.
Out I stormed to the deep-freezer in the garage. My quest? Frozen peas. I also figured sticking my head in the freezer would help cool me off and help me put the missing pan into perspective. Peas now, pan later.
I opened the freezer door, the sudden whoosh of cold air instantly doing the trick. Before I could start hollering ‘Where ARE the stupid peas!?’, something caught my eye; or should I say some things caught my eye. The pan, the peas and my sizzling toenails were suddenly forgotten.
There is snow in my deep-freezer, and not the kind that needs to be chiselled off the inside walls (come to think of it, the big box COULD use a good defrosting).
I guess in my constant whirlwind-blur these last few weeks I hadn’t noticed these things – or maybe I just forgot about their existence.
Or maybe the now missing bag of peas was previously hiding them.
Seven snowballs sit, frozen in time, the joy of their existence preserved in a box of sub-zero degree temperatures. And underneath the snowballs? The missing mini baking pan.
Six of them are circa November 2010.
One of them is circa January 2011.
We DID have one from November 2009, but a move during a record-breaking August heat-wave sent the poor thing melting faster than Frosty the Snowman on a sunny winter’s day.
I tried to save it – I truly did try. But moving a household of thirteen years worth of belongings took precedence.
The deep-freezer has held, and still holds, a great many things – and not necessarily all food. One year we saved part of the carrot Rudolph snacked on – you can’t just leave Santa a snack on Christmas Eve, now can you? Even though it was preserved in a Ziploc bag, eventually the gnarled, blackened nub of the half-eaten carrot had to go.
A tier of wedding cake sits beside a turkey waiting for the next great feast. Freezies from last summer wait for next summer, while a water balloon, filled and frozen (yes, it’s true), is nestled between loaves of bread. An ice-pack is at the ready for the next injury (and in this house, there are many).
But what are most important are the snowballs – God forbid the power goes out for an extended period and the freezer defrosts, thawing everything within.
The six from November 2010, were made by Brother 1 and his friend when Brother 2 was at a sleepover. Brother 1 and his friend didn’t want Brother 2 to ‘miss out.’
The seventh snowball recently preserved in January, was made on the night of The Great Snow that had us outside until 10pm – WAY past bedtime on a school night, no less. Keep in mind that in these parts snow is rare and causes great excitement, good and bad, sending the city into upheaval (see my entry dated December 5, 2010 - Don't Panic - It's Just Frozen Water). As the weather man/woman/person predicted, the snow melted away by the next day, but we had them beat. We saved a ball of this precious commodity, holding on to the memory of that wondrous night.
I struggle to foster and savour memories for my family. I fight myself from participating my children in a science experiment to stunt their growth, so eager am I to hold on to their youth – the NOW. I know these snowballs will eventually shrink and evaporate (think of the ice cubes sitting too long in the ice cube tray – they always shrink), unlike my children who will grow and grow, no matter what.
I have to remember to freeze the NOW. Forget about missing pans, missing peas, and dinners yet to be cooked. Freeze the memories I have now; don’t let them melt away.
As they freeze the memory of snow, sometimes bragging to their friends that they have REAL snowballs at home, I remember to freeze my own memories.
I went back in the house, hugged them all, my frozen cheeks and tears making them squirm - and made grilled cheese sandwiches.
Forget about the peas and pan - long live the snow.