Winter fun in New York. (Nyssa second from front)
(Click picture for larger view)
"Snow provokes responses that reach right back to childhood." ~ Andy GoldsworthyNyssa's basketball coach and teacher; his wife who was her cheerleading coach; and his three daughters who were her best friends, moved from Mississippi to New York in the fall of 2000. She was particularly crushed as they had become her second family that year.
The H.'s took over directorship of the High Braes Refuge just north and slightly east of Syracuse. This was a large, wilderness camp that offered facilities for various church groups and their weekend seminars or retreats. In the summer they sponsor free day camps for underprivileged children with a variety of activities including Bible School, hiking, organized games and work on a ropes course.
The family had been there for almost seven months when Nyssa flew up to see them on her spring break. Syracuse gets its fair share of snow during the winter. But the High Braes location gets lake effect snow as well as the storms passing through. It was quite the shock for people born and raised in Mississippi.
The H family picked Nyssa up at the airport and coach, always loving to tease her as much as possible, told her that the 11 inches of snow piled along the streets of the city and now gray and dirty was all they had that winter. He said that she looked a little disappointed but as they drove the 45 minutes to Redfield, he watched her. Her eyes got bigger and bigger as it began to snow harder and harder. Of course they had several feet of snow at their place.
The girls hit the snow straight from the car and threw snowballs and made snow angels until all were exhausted. Early (this "early" thing surprised me) the next morning, Nyssa popped out of bed before any of the other girls and looked out the window. Apparently, she ran around the house skipping, dancing and singing "It's snowing! It's snowing!" Finally, Kimberly stopped her and yawning said, "It snows almost everyday, Nyssa. Not a big deal. Go back to bed." But to the Nys, it was a VERY BIG DEAL!
She had the best week. The coach took the girls on the snowmobiles through the trails in the woods. She noticed a sticker on each machine that said "N.Y.S.S.A." and coach said "Yeah, we missed you so much we put your name on these things." Of course it stood for "New York State Snowmobile Association". Each day the family took time to tube down some of the runs they had prepared and Mrs. H. took this picture with Nyssa's camera. Ride the tube down alone or in groups like this, then run back to the top and do it again. Hit a bump? Fly off into a snow drift, only once did she land head first.
She made it back to Mississippi in one piece and with memories to keep for a lifetime. Good friends, good times, good memories. These we should cherish always. Made me wish I had been able to go! Oh, the child in all of us.
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