|Christmas in Western Nebraska|
Christmas in Western Nebraska is a bittersweet holiday because the temperatures are always brutally cold. The northern plains normally get pounded by winter storms and a ferocious wind blows snow across the grassland, creating whiteout conditions that make travel impossible.
During our stay at my parents’ Little House on the Prairie, the weird weather was unseasonably warm. This December, the usually frozen creek was found to be ice-free and flowing smoothly through a semi-frosted pasture.
The cattle had been put out on the corn where the longhorns formed an imposing silhouette against an early sunset. The barren trees stood in stark contrast to the fading, orange light as the entire scene was faithfully reflected on the water’s glassy surface.
Our good fortune only lasted for a few days before the peaceful setting was disappointingly shattered. The forecast turned ominous and just as we were leaving town, a surprise storm appeared out of nowhere and charged down the valley enveloping Chimney Rock.
The fast-moving system buried the Sandhills under a blanket of deep snow. I should have known that fragile window of fine weather at the farm was only a mirage. Those few nice days were really just an anomaly - they were the calm before the storm.
|The creek was ice-free|
|A peaceful setting|
|Little House on the Prairie|