Monday, August 28, 2006

But it NEVER Snows Here...

It snowed. It snowed real snow, several inches of it, in Virginia. The kids were beyond pleased because the green winter that had been confronting them was suddenly and comfortingly coated in white - as it should be.

Granted it was a sort of strange white. It was a white that didn't squeak underfoot, and that packed easily into various sculptural shapes. Alaska snow is too dry for snowmen. Our neighbor built a snow fort by simply wedging up the concrete-like chunks discarded by the snow-scraper, then spraying them down to make an ice palace that lasted until well into June. This stuff was wet and sloppy and when thrown at a sibling it splatted delightfully before trickling down necks or into boots.

Then there was the fact that most of the neighbors came out to marvel at this odd whiteness covering their landscape. They commented on it loudly for hours as well. By the end of the morning it was clear that they all agreed - it never snows here. Not here, nope, not snow, never.

Nothing phased the kids donned coats, mittens and boots like the snow-experts they are and headed off to school It was only a five block walk, but they left a bit early because with this much snow-ballable material it was going to be necessary to pause now and then.

Kirk had left hours before, powering out with our newly purchased old-clunker truck, but I enjoyed watching the Edie Bauer edition SUVs around us fizz and whine in the snow that was icky and slippery and probably ewwwwwww getting their detailing all mucky!

Then the kids came bursting back in the door.

'Mom! Mom! The school is closed! Closed!'


'Well... I don't know really. What's a snow day?'

Three years in Alaska, feet of snow every season and at least one winter where it didn't get above zero for what felt like months and we hadn't once, not once, had a weather closure at our school.

The Virginia school was closed for 4 1/2 days. It appears the city had sold off all their snow plows several years before. Why?

Well, it never snows here.

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