A Snow Bunny and a German Lullaby

On Christmas Day 2015 in Jacksonville, Florida, the temperature stood at 85, at least twenty degrees above the normal daytime thermometer reading for this time of year.

Temperature on our porch Christmas Day 2015, Jacksonville, FL: 85 degrees
Temperature on our porch Christmas Day 2015, Jacksonville, FL: 85 degrees

Over most of the USA, Christmas day was warmer than usual, the forecasters predicting a near record-breaking temperature of 62 degrees for Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania, once my hometown.


Years ago when our young family left Florida’s palm trees and beachy sand during the Christmas holiday, we hoped for Pennsylvania snow, praying for enough inches for sledding and making a snowman.

One Christmas (1973) my husband Cliff and brother-in-law Bill sculpted an Easter Bunny from snow, a photo that made it into the now defunct Elizabethtown Chronicle.


Snow slows everything down.

Snow descends from the skies in soothing swirls, no two flakes alike. The morning after a snowfall is quiet – traffic slows, the earth sits snug in silence, wrapped in beauty.

German Carols about snow are soothing too. Grandma Longenecker sang the first verse of Stille Nacht in German to us as tots, a carol of three stanzas we learned well enough to sing for Christmas programs at Rheems Elementary School. Now in my memory a warm spot remains where I hear Grandma’s voice singing the words to “Stile, Stile, Stile,” a lullaby that evokes the image of gently falling snow in the still of the night.

Whether the weather is dull or delightful, songs from the olden days can help carry us through.

Credit: Weather.com
Credit: Weather.com    12.26.15

How was your weather during this holiday week? Weather stories during a childhood Christmas or Hanukkah celebration may have popped into your mind too. There’s always more to the story when you join in.

Coming next: My Word, It’s 2016!


40 thoughts on “A Snow Bunny and a German Lullaby

  1. Your post is such a sweet, gentle reminder of Christmas’s past. I love the image you evoke of the silent snow and your grandmother’s voice singing in German. That Easter Snow Bunny is incredible! You can tell Cliff is an artist.

    It was even warmer east of Elizabethtown. It was around 70 degrees here, but it has been so rainy and dreary.

    I wrote a post a while ago about how when we lived in Dallas as children my sister and I always hoped for snow. https://merrildsmith.wordpress.com/2013/01/22/the-magic-of-snow/


  2. I just read your snowy post from 2013. You had the same lilt in your writing voice then as you do now, but you’ve gotten more lyrical, poetic. Yes, I remember too those wooden sleds with sharp, steel runners – Flexible Flyers. Thank you for your kind comments about the words, music, and snow sculpture. I’ll pass the compliment on to Cliff.


  3. Looks like no-one is getting the weather they expect at the moment though a friend in Maine tells me they’re due for snow this week. Our weather has been virtually continuous rain with unseasonal warmth. There have been some nasty floods in parts of the country.
    Happy New Year
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx


  4. Here in Spain we are experiencing lovely warm, sunny days too. Similar temps as you are having in Florida. I love the German version of Silent Night as it was sung in our home on the prairies too. It always brings tears to my eyes. Great memories. One Christmas dad brought out the horse and sleigh, we all bundled up and went for a sleigh ride singing Jingle Bells. (He had even attached bells to the horse´s halter) Happy New Year!!


    1. It sounds like your dad set up a picture post-card scene for your prairie home Christmas. I can see it and even hear the bells jingle.

      Sorry, but you Europeans will have to convert Fahrenheit to Centigrade. I think it’s something like +/- 60 degrees. Happy New Year, Darlene.


      1. Sorry, I will try to do that in the future. Of course we used Celsius in Canada too so it is well engrained in my speech. 20 C is 68 F which is what it was here most of Christmas and New Years! All the best.


          1. It’s not that simple. You would be way off in most instances if you did that. 32 F = 0 C, but 82 F = 28 C
            °C x 9/5 + 32 = °F

            (°F – 32) x 5/9 = °C
            Or use the many conversion sites on the web.


  5. I’m listening to “Stille, Stille, Stille” now, and it brings tears to my eyes too. I hear a quavery, soft voice singing it over the choir. The sense of the spiritual life comes to us by feeling small in vast spaces but also by feeling deeply quiet amidst the noise of our modern culture.

    And as for weather, we spent last week in Orlando’s beautiful 80-degree temperatures. No rain.

    Our son and his family traveled to Jacksonville (I thought of you) where they continued to enjoy warm weather with their friends who live along the river.

    Harrisonburg, however, was almost as warm. Stuart wore shorts yesterday on our first long walk after our return. Happy New Year!


    1. I have listened to Grandma’s voice ever time I have replayed the German lullaby. She laughed a lot, but had a serene, quiet spirit.

      Shirley, I think you are ready for the “Cloister Walk” at the Collegeville Institute next year. Your comments often reflect a deepening spiritual awareness.

      About the weather: I never wear shorts and sandals in Jacksonville this time of year. Not complaining though: Mother always said not to. 😉

      Happy New Year to you and Stuart too.


    1. Can you hear Grandma’s quavery voice? I think so.

      I guess the worms you saw are cultivating the ground for spring. Too bad they’ll have to dig deeper to avoid frost-bite soon. Ha!


  6. Marian — I love the Easter Snow Bunny. And it even made the newspaper!

    The majority of my growing up years were spent in southern California where every child would have given their two front teeth to have snow on Christmas day!

    Here in Boise, Idaho (located in the Treasure Valley) there’s snow on the surrounding mountains, but not in Boise proper. It’s beautiful to look at (from a distance), but we don’t have to shovel it.


  7. I’m also listening to the video – thank you, it makes me feel cool. Or cooler rather 🙂 because of the heat wave we’ve had for far too long now … temps above normal by 5 degrees C and more here in South Africa … I’d eat the snow if we had some right now.

    Thank you Marian, delightful as usual!


    1. It the video makes you feel cool, I guess you’ll have to play it more than once. Do you have air conditioning? It’s odd that our AC comes on at this late date in December when we are usually running the heat.

      I remember eating snow a time or two as a kid and remember it made my teeth hurt. Thanks for sending a chuckle my way, Susan.


    1. How pleasant to see you here, Ann. I have a feeling your priest, Father Dwight, has heard this German lullaby, maybe is even familiar with it as I was from childhood. I’m glad you enjoyed it!


        1. Yes, we are friends on Facebook. I don’t think he has much time to comment though with his ministerial duties and now his commitment to writing a book and a deadline looming. Thanks for asking, Ann.


  8. No one can ever understand me when I say I love snowy weather Marian , they look at me in horror . How can anyone enjoy snowy weather they say …think of all the disruption , they say , exactly 😊 I say with a smile . Snow brings disruption a chance to do something different , can’t beat it .
    I once met a lady that didn’t like snow , even as a child , but she also had never had he desire to grow her hair , imagine ,
    No chance of snow here just endless rain and horrendous winds 🌬🌬I felt I was on a ship 🙃in my house yesterday . Still we managed to find a break in the rain for beach walking , loads of people had the same idea as us just before dark yesterday afternoon , it was a joy to beheld .
    A very happy new year to you and your family .


    1. “. . . all the disruption” is sometimes a good thing, I say too. I remember being glued to the radio on a snowy morning hoping the weatherman would declare that ours was among the school closures. They we kids could cavort in the snow.

      A beach walk after a “ride” in wild, windy, rainy weather sounds like just the tonic you needed. Your writing is always so conversational. I feel like you are right here talking to us. Happy New Year to you and your family too, Cherry.


  9. Here in Ottawa, Canada, my son and my husband were out throwing a baseball in the park on Christmas Day, like it was summer. Unheard of! My daughter’s birthday is Christmas Eve, so she usually has cold, snowy birthdays. This year we took her picture out on the front lawn on the green grass. She was thrilled with that turn of events.
    The weirdest thing is, for us snow is like a cue that says, “Okay. Time to get ready for Christmas now.” Without it, many of us arrived at Christmas week saying, “What? It’s Christmas this week? How did that happen?” Then we had to scramble to get things done.


    1. Welcome, Arlene. Many of my favorite readers are Canadian authors. I wonder if you know Debby Gies from Toronto.

      Thank you for the humorous vignette here. Apparently snow gives the green light for Christmas. I did check out your website and admire your many accomplishments as writer, copy editor, book reviewer, photographer. In the process, I read your 12.22.15 post. Yes, Life is all about how you handle Plan B. Also, I can tell you value family and have a strong spiritual core. Regarding the latter, I think you may enjoy this previous post: https://plainandfancygirl.com/2015/07/25/do-you-like-to-color/

      Thank you for reading and commenting, Arlene. Do visit again!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Fortunately, our area of Wisconsin got about an inch of snow just in time for Christmas, so it was a pretty one after all. I hope you had an equally aesthetic Christmas and that you have a wonderful New Year!


    1. You are the first ever to wish me an aesthetic Christmas. What a beautiful thought! The aesthetics of my Christmas were a sparkly tree and smiling faces around the holiday table. Happy New Year, Rebecca!


  11. We rarely ever get snow and it’s especially rare at Christmas. This year it was very warm here. In fact we have only turned our heating on in the last two days! Happy New Year!


    1. Ah, even Shakespeare remarked about England’s weather once: “This precious stone set in the silver sea / This blessed plot, . . . this England.” But maybe the weather’s not as moderate as it sounds in those lines. At any rate, it’s good that you can save on heating bills right now.

      Happy New Year to you too. It’s now January 2 in your time zone. All the best in 2016.


  12. We had an unusual white Christmas this year. Our first snow storm did not arrive until Monday the 28th, but it was a good 10″.


      1. Got it, Athanasia.

        I wonder where you live and if you like being out in the snow. Regardless, new-fallen snow is gorgeous, especially early in the morning if the sun shines on it making sparkles. These are only memories now, looking back in time from warm Florida. Happy New Year to you!


        1. I don’t love snow, but it is the way it should be this time of year, here. Some of my cousins drive snow plows for the county or on the side so now they are busy. Even our pond had not frozen enough for the new years eve gathering to ice skate and normally it would have been solid. But there was snow for cross country skiing.


          1. I have wonderful memories of skating on a neighbor’s pond Sunday afternoons. At my age, it would probably be safer to go cross country skiing – ha! Thanks for all the details here, Athanasia, nice chance to reminisce.


  13. It seems the whole world is having wild weather. Our Christmas was mid 50s and snowless. Two days later we got a wallop and then it melted with mild temps and rain. It seems I left just in time; I’m told winter has arrived in Toronto, lol. Even sunny Arizona was 39 degrees last night, yet went to 68 today. Lots of layering. Loved this little Christmas share. 🙂


    1. Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Anita. I’ve missed you, but know you have been busy, busy with family over the holidays. I’m sure you have many memories echoing in the corridors of your mind too. Thanks for commenting here. All the best in 2016!

      Liked by 1 person

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