I'm not traveling to one of the snow-covered northern states to experience a winter wonderland.
I'm not referring to a movie by that title or some literary work.
I'm talking about my own little house in Winter Haven, FL where coming home causes you to wonder what you're going to find when you land there! (Corny, I know! But stick with me.)
Frank and I finished up with a hospital visit yesterday and headed home in the rain just before dusk. He had started coughing and I was just plain tired!
We were both thankful that Meagan had called earlier to say she'd have dinner ready when we got home. Pajamas, hot tea and maybe a lighthearted movie seemed just the ticket.
My prince charming pulled as close to the door as possible in an attempt to keep me dry. I dashed in through the garage; shaking rain off my jacket and hair. When I looked up, I discovered our living room was FULL of people.
It was like a scene from a movie where the camera slowly pans the room revealing face after face the audience doesn't expect to see.
The first surprise was Noah.
Just as I stepped in the door, he turned around to get up and come hug me. Only.......his little bottom was completely exposed!
I guess my face registered the shock of being mooned by my two-year-old grandson. Meagan quickly offered the explanation, "We started working on potty training today. That's why he isn't wearing a diaper."
Spencer tackled me from the side and flashed that trade-mark smile that could light up Broadway. "Hi, Noni! Are you glad to see me?" As though he had to ask!
My ears caught a voice I don't often hear. I looked over and realized that our neighbor from across the street was sitting next to Meagan. "Bet you're surprised to see us here!" Oh, and her husband. And their six month old was grinning at me from his car seat which bobbed on the coffee table.
"Hi, guys!" (Thank heavens for automatic pilot that seasoned pastor's wives can engage at any moment.) I gave a wave and smiled.
It's such a great thing that this young couple has become friends with Meagan and Nathan. They seemed just as comfortable on our couches as my own children - that truly does make me happy.
I spotted Madi rolling on the floor near Meagan's feet. She made her presence known with short bursts of displeasure over being ignored.
Joy walked into the living room and waved. She was just behind Abby who sort of charges into rooms these days. (We're celebrating all Abby's achievements in the potty training realm, too. She has graduated to the status of "Nearly Complete!")
"Noni!" Abby's precious smile and open arms can melt any heart.
"Hi, Mom." Joy's weary voice.
"Hello! Hello, my babies!"
One more scan of the room and I spotted Zachariah waiting patiently in his car seat near the door. Connecting with him meant dropping to my knees so I could be captured by those magnificent blue eyes. The toothless grin, the dimples, the coo of recognition! He made me forget that I was tired and that my knees don't like dropping to the floor anymore.
A second round of greeting took place as soon as Poppa walked into the room.
"We were all just getting ready to leave." Our little neighbor's comment sounded almost apologetic.
"You're fine!" I quickly assured her. "It's raining pretty hard. You don't want to leave right now." I stepped over to tickle the foot of their baby boy. "Hello, Tyce! You're getting soo big!" I glanced over to see his daddy beaming.
"No, we have to go!" Joy began corralling her angels. "I have practice at the church in thirty minutes."
Dad reopened his umbrella and began ferrying little Schreck bodies toward the car.
Richard and Kristen gathered their gift from heaven, slipped back into shoes and made a dash for their house.
I picked up Madi to wave good-bye to them. Somehow, Noah managed a farewell lap around the living room while riding his trike - bare bottom and all!
When the door closed on the last guest, I took a deep breath, smiled and shook my head. Yep, my home is truly a WINTER WONDER LAND!
And I wouldn't have it any other way!