Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Snow

It doesn't snow here.

Well, that's not quite true. It snows, if we're lucky, once a year. That's real snow, snow that sticks and stays and really means it. More usually we get a few flurries that spend more time just getting down out of the sky then they do on the ground. Optimistic children looking at the clouds in the evening and hoping for school closure are lucky to wake up to anything more than damp pavement. On the rare days when there are a few inches accumulated you have to act fast to take advantage. I remember as a kid finding a white yard one morning and deciding to build a snow man with my sister. We carefully rolled up the snow, working back and forth across the yard to collect every scrap. At the end the lawn was cleared of snow and we had a two foot stack of slightly wonky snowballs, all sporting a thick coat of straw colored Bermuda grass. By the afternoon the other houses had lost any snow that wasn't sheltered under deep shade and our snowman only survived, slightly reduced, thanks to his insulating layer of vegetation.

We all love snow in this family (we like rain too really; if it's damp and comes from the sky we're generally in favor). While we are grateful for the relief from the heat of summer, it's hard not to get frustrated that the blue, dry skies carry on into the winter.

But yesterday, in the morning, I looked up from my monitor to see two tiny flakes not exactly falling, more wandering in a random but generally downward direction. I looked away. There's no point getting worked up about two flakes, not here. Two flakes practically makes a flurry and then you're done. Twenty minutes later though there were definitely more flakes, no bigger of course and no more hurried as they meandered downward, but distinctly more. Two hours later my window showed a steady, gentle scatter of flakes, flakes that were starting to outline the tree branches and cling to the rougher places on the stucco wall. It's not the kind of snow that generally lasts long - usually the sun burns through the clouds some time in mid day and by four everything has melted. This stayed. It snowed all day, all afternoon, melting mostly on the streets because of the heat of the cars, but covering everything else in an inch or so of snow.

We all spent the day commenting on it. It's snowing! Really coming down... Were you out in it? I think it might be sticking.

Driving home, carefully, past the local drivers who reacted either by ignoring the road conditions entirely or by slowing to a five mile an hour crawl and stopping entirely several yards before any light or stop sign, I enjoyed the way even the tattoo artist's sign with its crawling brunette and tempting suggestion that people stop in to ask about tattooed toenails (I've never had the courage) was transformed, slightly, by its dusting. By late that night the day was capped when the announcement was made that the schools and the university were all on at least a two hour delay.

We woke up to find the melt already begun, the roads were slushy but drivable, the snow dropping off bushes and trees in great sodden lumps. But already we're hoping

maybe it will snow again tomorrow.

6 comments:

wheelsonthebus said...

i so miss snow

PI said...

Hi Megan! Just popped over from Jonny B's. I can't work out where 'here' is. Not the north of England for sure.

Megan said...

Emily (wheels) - I missed snow when I lived in California as well, but I admit... I miss the ocean more!

HI Pl, and welcome - Hmmm... maybe I should put up a little 'about me' thingy, although I've avoided it up until now. Nope, definitely not the north of England. 'here' is the American desert Southwest. Snow is a rare and precious thing - although a little disconcerting when seen against the background of yucca plants and cacti!

emily said...

i have de-lurked again from the stalking - i have been hideously busy with real life :(

please please would you not get so excited about snow?! please? I would swap with you in an instant - i am basically a lizard - i like to bask in heat until i can feel it right through to my bones....and i live in Aberdeen...
We had over six inches last month... it lasted forever - so hideous - it makes everything cold and wet and getting anywhere hideous...

i guess its always a case of greener grass though...

emily said...

oh and i double, no triple dare you to get your toenails tattooed... and take pictures - it would be very funny and just think of all the time saved because of no need to paint them with nail varnish! ooooh... i think that would be ace!

Megan said...

emily - damn that real life! It's been attacking me as well, although I have a lovely week off of it ahead of me. But really? Wanna trade? Honestly and for truly? Aberdeen sounds utterly blissful and we had fifty degree weather on CHRISTMAS for heaven's sake.

And nope, no way, totally not going to even Google to find out what tattooed toenails are really about because it sounds like something some horrible super villain would threaten James Bond with or something and frankly I'm no James Bond!