When people think of Easter any number things might go through their mind - a particularly holy day for people of faith, new clothes, bunny rabbits, colorful eggs, etc. Probably ranking fairly low on that list is snow, at least until 2018.
I know at some point in the days leading up to this most recent Easter there was only a minimal chance of snow listed in the National Weather Service’s forecast for the Hannibal area. But a day or so ahead in advance my oldest son, Caleb, who was in town for the holiday, made a passing comment about an Easter snow. Rechecking the forecast it was at that point I realized not only was there a chance of snow, but a pretty good chance.
Ordinarily the threat of snow is not cause for great consternation in the Henley household, but this year it threatened some special plans. With my wife, Nancy, not scheduled to work that Sunday we had hoped to host my daughter, Amber, and her family. It was to be an opportunity to see Amber for the last time before she is scheduled to give birth to her second child. The gathering would also provide the chance to celebrate the upcoming third birthday of Amber’s son, Aiden.
Also accepting invitations to the party were my son, Jacob, and his family who live in the Kansas City area and planned to drive over for the day, and my daughter, Anna, and her husband, Nick, who live here in river city.
While my kids are all now grown and more than capable of checking the weather forecast, I felt compelled on Saturday to issue my own winter weather advisory. While I assured them they were all still more than welcome to come, I didn’t want them driving into an accumulating snow without at least being aware of it.
Although it’s been decades ago I can still remember a snowy drive into St. Louis for a family Christmas celebration at the home of Nancy’s parents. We saw the first flakes of snow about Bowling Green. By Troy, snow was starting to stick to the highway. By the time we reached Chesterfield Valley the pavement was covered in white and traffic had slowed to a crawl. It was not a fun drive. I was tempted at one point to turn around and head back home, but knew I would have a mutinous crew on my hands if we didn’t push on to grandma and grandpa’s house. Fortunately we made it safe and sound.
As it turned out, both Jacob and Amber canceled their Easter travel plans. It was an understandable decision. It is no fun driving when the roads are bad, especially when you have little kiddos on board.
Particularly disappointed at the turn of events was Nancy, who had invested a good deal of her precious time in childproofing our home, purchasing gifts for visiting grandchildren, loading up Easter eggs with treats and making a dump truck birthday cake for Aiden, which featured Oreo cookie wheels and M&Ms in its bed.
Thankfully, Anna and Nick still joined Caleb, Nancy and I for pizza and cake.
Although he was a couple of hours away, safe in his St. Louis-area home with his parents, Nancy insisted that we all still sing “happy birthday” to Aiden, which Caleb recorded and sent to his sister for Aiden to view.
While I happily joined in during the song, I must admit I could not remember ever paying such a musical tribute at a birthday party lacking its guest of honor.
The views expressed in this column are not necessarily those of the Courier-Post.