For a few days this year Nashville was a winter wonderland. Snow fell for one whole day and it was glorious! Nashville isn’t famous for having snow, but my daughters, born and raised in Nashville, love snow!

Last January we were living in Iraqi Kurdistan. Every winter in Iraq we missed having snow. It snows plenty in Iraq, just not in our city, Erbil.

Our friends called to say it was snowing in their city, a one hour drive from our house. I was at school teaching. My husband was at his job. We had obligations the next day, but…

We devised a plan to get our daughters to the snow! We picked up my husband from work just as he finished and we were ready to head to our friends’ house for the weekend. Snow was our goal.

As we drove through our neighborhood and broader community, there was not a flake—life as normal, only cold and gray. As we drove on, about 20 minutes out of town, the first flakes began to fall. The further we drove away from our city, the heavier the snow became, flying wildly in all directions. Our faces stretched with smiles and laughter.

As we entered the more mountainous villages the snow had already accumulated on cars and grassy areas. Iraqi people everywhere were pulling off the roads to stop and take pictures and have a little fun in the snow. They didn’t need special clothes—no boots, snow suits, or parkas. Many were dressed in business clothes or traditional dresses or school uniforms, all just stopping alongside a snowy bank for a bit of real winter fun. They pushed and laughed and threw snowballs, took selfies, and even attempted sliding down small hills in the snow…all spontaneously, having just pulled off the road in a spot that looked promising. All thrilled with the snow just like we were.

We finally made it to our destination, the mountain village, and our dear friends’ house. It was early evening, light was fading. The yard was completely covered in fluffy white. It had been snowing all day. My daughters were happily looking forward to a weekend in the snow.

As I look out on this amazingly white front yard in Nashville, I remember the joys of that weekend and snow in Iraq.

Snow in Iraq