Okay, Listen Here

Okay, Listen Here

Friday, January 13, 2012

When Only a Snow Plow Will Do

A few snowflakes yesterday....Today’s forecast? High 37; Low 22; Clear : /

We all know that northern Alabamans woke up to a ginormous amount of snow covering the ground on Christmas morning 2010. It was something like 8-9 inches of the white stuff at my house! Wow! Needless to say, Christmas 2011 was a bit of a disappointment with no snow on the ground. Zero inches. Nada. Zip. Not even a flake in the forecast, thank you very much. And no one was more disappointed than V, my 10 year old. Especially since her Christmas list was all about the things she wanted for the Best Snow Day Ever! Poor thing; all she asked for was a new tutu for snow dancing, wax for her snowboard, and hot chocolate… lots and lots of hot chocolate! (Okay. And cheese. She’s got this thing about cheese….she wants a wheel of Parmesan for Christmas! It’s becoming legendary in our home. This desire has even replaced the classic song lyrics…. I want a wheel of Parmesan for Christmas…Only a wheel of Parmesan will do. You get the idea.)

One of the hardest lessons to learn growing up in the South is all about the snow, or the lack thereof. It just doesn’t snow much in the South. Get over it or move. But when it does snow, take full advantage of every minute of it, for it may not return for a long, long time. Years even. Like my grand kids may be the next ones to enjoy the use of our sled. Geeze! And remember, I’m not as old as my sister, so that’s many years away……far, far away into the future!

Okay, so after growing up in these conditions, I’d had enough. So, I took matters into my own hands. You know it! I moved. Where, you ask? Oh! To the state with the greatest snow on earth! Utah! And let me tell you, it did not let me down.

Snowfall in the month of November the first year I lived there was over a foot, maybe 3 feet or more in the canyons, which of course is where I decided to lock my keys in the car when I took a hike through the woods with my honey. In my Sunday best clothes, complete with ballerina flats, brrr. On my birthday. With no cell phone or even the idea of one for a few years out. Oh! But who cared if I was freezing to death? There was snow! Beautiful glorious snow! And look! There’s a river passing to the right of our trek. And somebody even left a bottle of wine chilling in the snow! (Thanks honey! Sorry about the keys!)

In late June I realized I was wearing a heavy sweater to work and it stopped me in my tracks. In July, I watched fireworks from the side of the foothills, freezing my tail off! Later that month, my sweetie and I drove home one night fighting to see past the snakes of snow on the road, huge snowflakes slamming down onto the windshield. We laughed hysterically at the wonder and insanity of snow in the middle of summer. Oooh! And once there was a storm we watched through our living room window that produced the craziest thunder and lightning in clouds oozing through the canyon walls and dropping snow like crazy! It was spectacular!

While I have lots of wonderful memories from my time in Utah, the thing I brought back with me to the South, the thing I appreciate the most is, a bigger love for the snowflake. And of course, I really miss my Utah friends, too. They just decided the gypsy life was not for them! But yes, Snow; it’s greater than any piece of Art I know.

This year, with Christmas 2011 a memory, I find myself at night listening to V’s prayers for snow (and more Parmesan cheese!) It’s such a tug to my heart, hearing her echo the same prayers of my own southern youth (minus the cheese). Couldn’t we have snow in January if Utah can get it in July? It’s not too much to ask, now, is it? Of course, she’ll probably move to upstate New York when she’s had enough, where she’ll have snow, raise a few cows, make some organic cheese and write a song about it!

For more snow-beauty and snow-details take a look at http://www.its.caltech.edu/~atomic/snowcrystals/ Snow…it’s where Art meets Science!

And just so there’s no confusion…. today’s snow is shoveled by someone other than me, because…well, because that’s someone else’s passion, right? But I put the scarf on the Snowman, make the endless pots of hot chocolate, and play the DVD of Raymond Briggs’, The Snowman, for my own little quiet time.

So what are your thoughts on snow? (Be careful how you answer, you might just give away your age! All 5 year olds LOVE snow; 45 year olds, Ehh, not so much; 80 year olds…Schmacka-rucka-dadblasted …schmucka….) Do you love snow like I love snow? Do you know the sound of snow? (Some people don’t. I know.... it’s so sad!) Do you have any favorite memories of snow? Do you collect frequent flyer miles with snow destinations in mind?


  1. I only like to look at the snow from the safety of my home. But I don't usually get that luxury. Having farm animals means trudging out in the wet stuff, falling down a lot, breaking ice on the water troughs and wagging hay for the pasture horses. Snow exhausts me. Guess I am getting old. LOL

  2. I still like it, but I want it to arrive for a couple of days and then go away. And I don't really like it in the South because a) Southerners cannot drive in it and don't understand that possessing a 4-wheel drive isn't enough to do so, and b) the lack of snow removal equipment for the roads. Snow is fine when you can still go about life, but it shuts down here and I don't like that.

    Now ask me about my snowy winters in Germany. Those were marvelous! Everyone could drive, it wasn't a bunch of bumper cars, and the roads were clear while the snow piled on the fields and houses. Gorgeous.

    OTOH, I moved from Germany to Hawaii -- and realized that I like sunshine and tropical breezes way better. I am very unhappy today in this cold we're having. My inner island girl is whining.

    And what's with the wheel of Parmesan? That's so funny! And kinda cool. You may have a budding foodie there.

  3. Oh, snow! Love glorious, glorious snow! It's like a holiday. The difference in me and a lot of southerners is I KNOW I can't drive on it. And I know they can't either so I keep to the house. After all, it won't last long. Now The Guy. He is not so enamored. He spent too many formative years in Wyoming where he claims it once snowed on the 4th of July. I guess I believe it now. We had a little tiff about it last January. On the Sunday night that the big snow hit, we had plans with Precious Angel's family. The Guy and Godson's Dad kept insisting it "would be all right" that there would be no snow. Godson's Mom and I called off the plans and we were right. I ended up telling The Guy that if he loved me he had better get on board with my glee about snow. I even told him that I didn't ask for much. Which is a lie. Even I know it. But he did try.

    Lesia--Did you divert from your blog plans calendar? I know you couldn't have know this when you planned out your blog year.

    Also--My email is down.

  4. Snow! Crisp, crunchy, sharp like glass icicles, snow on your tongue and eyelashes, yes, SNOW!!! I love snow!

    As a child in Japan, we had tons of snow. Dad built tunnels for us to play in. Firefighters flooded a low area that froze so we could ice skate.

    Snow in Germany, Italy, the Alps, wonderful days in Bressanone, sledding and skiing. How I miss the blizzard of '96 in New Jersey when the world stopped. There was no school and LTC had to stay home from a TDY trip because the airport was closed. Sledding on the golf course sand traps behind our quarters.

    Youza! I love snow!!!!! And I know about the freak Wyoming snow storms via historical research I've done. Very interesting. Well, not as interesting as the penchant for cheese V has but close. ;)

  5. I love snow too!! I love to crunch through it in my boots and look at the tracks I made! I love to watch it fall all beautiful and silent!

    I also love, love, love a snow day. I don't even mind making them up in May or June. It is just the unexpected magic of a day off. Oh, my, I have just confessed to like a suprise!

  6. I grew up in Northern Manitoba, Canada. North of the 55th parallel right before the tree line ended. We had two seasons: winter and bug. I have played in forts made into the mountains of snow that the plows would push to the street corners. I have had my tongue stuck on a metal pole due to a dare (don't try this at home). I have had mounds of snow shoveled into my face by bullies who wanted to "drown" me in snow. I have frozen my tush off walking to and from school in the dead of winter, in the dark, in the cold cold cold while carrying a sax to school for band (don't play a cold sax). I have ridden snow mobiles over frozen lakes. I have swum in lake water that still had ice on the edges of the beach in June. I have jam pail curled, figure skated, and ice fished. I have cross-country skied in minus 40 degrees celsius.

    How do I feel about the snow? Or winter? Hate it. With. A. Passion. If I never see a snow flake again I will be very happy.

    When people try to drown you with snow that pretty much sums up why I will never seek out snow.

  7. That's so sad, Christine! There must be some kind of magic in growing up in the south with that expectation of "it could happen" and then when it finally does, the thrill lasts and lasts and lasts! But then, we don't have to trudge through such conditions as Canada produces either.

    I agree with Lynn though, Southerners do not know how to drive in the snow. And exactly what part of bread and milk does the Southerner think will sustain them in a snowstorm? I say go for the peanut butter and crackers, cheese and crackers and maybe a bottle of wine to boot! But then there's nothing quite like a pot of Snow Day Soup to warm the soul! Of course, that would be Italian Wedding Soup topped with Parmesan for V!

    Thanks for sharing everyone! Stay warm... <3

  8. Oh! And btw....no Jean, I did not deviate from the plan. I had this written far in advance! Amazing how things work out, aye?

  9. Even though some people here find snow uncomfortable, I absolutely love it! My kids and I would just stare out the windows during a heavy snow fall. My daughter would always poke me whenever she sees a snow plow pass by. I find it very cute of her. I don't know, maybe I just appreciate nature for what it is. =)