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?