Once upon a time in South Louisiana two little girls eagerly pressed their faces to a big window and watched airplanes taking off and landing. They had been so excited when their parents proposed the trip to the airport to watch the planes. They had never done anything like that before and then the parents suggested that they all get on one of those departing flights. The girls couldn't believe their luck. It was one of the first flights that they remember ever taking. And then as if things couldn't get any more exciting, they arrived in Cleveland, Ohio. Yes, Cleveland, that thrilling city in the far north. It was if they had been magically transported into a glittering snow globe...the glowing Christmas lights, the bustling shoppers, and big, fluffy snowflakes. It was the first time the sisters had ever seen snow and they set right to work. In the middle of a busy square they built their first snowman. Which actually turned out to be a female snow pig, more famously known as "Miss Piggy".
That's the true of story of why I will always love Cleveland, Ohio and my parents. I don't know how they pulled it off so smoothly, but that's how I remember it. The trip was fairly short and it included a visit to the art museum which is what initially prompted the trip (my dad wanted to see a specific exhibit, but I can't remember what it was). In addition to the snow and staying in a fancy hotel, the other highlight for me was seeing Lucy's bones. I was a bit obsessed with the famous Australopithecus and to see her bones on display was very exciting. After doing some research, it seems that I was very lucky to have seen those bones then, because they are now back in Ethiopia.
I have always treasured the memories of that trip to Cleveland, but for some strange reason I hadn't shared that story with my own kids until our recent trip to Austria. I think seeing my kids reveling in all of that beautiful Austrian snow reminded me of how much I loved that Cleveland snow. After I told them the story, Camille couldn't wait to build our own Miss Piggy which was kind of timely since we have all been singing the Muppet Movie songs non-stop. So that's what we did, we built Miss Piggy in Lofer, Austria.
New Year's Eve is always a good time for both remembering and looking ahead, isn't it? So here's my wish for 2012: make more magic. Surprise my kids, surprise myself, slow down the multi-tasking, make more time for savoring, and never forget the magic of Cleveland and Miss Piggy.