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Friday, December 19, 2008

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow...

When I was a child, I pined for snow. There was a lot of longing for not a whole lot of gratification, since I grew up in Atlanta. Once every five or six years, we would get a BIG snowfall (4" or more). Out would come the scarves, heavy socks, and plastic bags. Heavy socks went on your feet and your hands. Over your socks and shoes, smaller plastic bags made perfectly acceptable boots. Underneath you, garbage-sized plastic bags made excellent sleds. We lived at the top of the best sledding hill in the neighborhood, and since there are no snowplows in the entire city except at the airport, it was perfectly safe to sled down the street into the cross street at the bottom. Not a soul was out in a car, and dozens of kids would gather in front of our house and launch themselves down the hill atop cookie sheets, full-body-plastic bags, or rubberized cutting boards. I don't recall any of us using a real sled, though surely someone might have had one.

Those were blissful days.

Then I went away to college in Vermont, and at the first sign of a real snowfall (in mid-October), I begged and dragged at my friends to come outside with me. One of them finally looked up at me, laughing. "Hurry up, HURRY UP! Get your boots on!" I was saying. "Why are you in such a hurry?" he asked. "It's going to be snowing until March." OH. Yes. I'd forgotten that this was not a land in which the snow might stop for good faster than you could even get your shoes and coat on.

I spend many evenings solacing my romantic heart, taking long walks in thickly falling snow. There was a golf-course abutting one end of our campus, and I had an indulgent friend who would walk for hours with me in mid-snow-storm. I loved the quiet swish of falling flakes, the slight squeak new snow made under my boots as I walked, the growing layer of white on my heavy wool overcoat, the sparkling chill of a snowflake caught on my eyelashes. I loved the hush that comes with heavy snow, the sense of being alone in the wide quiet world that a blanket of snow can produce as it isolates you in a world of glittering crust and knee-high powder, the unbroken sweep of hills not yet marred by a single footprint.

Now, living in Michigan "below the thumb" (look at the mitten-shape of the state, and you'll get it), I don't get giant all-winter-long snow very often.

But this morning? Ah...this morning, it is snowing. The weather warnings promise 1-2" per hour throughout the morning, tapering to a slower fall after noon. We got about 3 or 4" earlier this week, just enough to make a good base for what's coming down now. Everything outside is sparkling and misty. The snow just keeps coming. Our patio table is groaning under at least 8" already, and the swirling flakes are making no dismal sign of stopping any time soon. We are sitting around, respectively drinking our coffee or warm milk. Grandma and Grandpa -- who made the entire drive from Atlanta in one day yesterday, so as to get here before the storm -- are still cozily asleep in their beds.

And. we. have. snow.

Enough snow to satisfy my deepest longing heart. The world is good good good.

14 comments:

angie said...

I was just going to call to see if they made it. I can't tell you how relieved I was to hear that they are not on the road. Enjoy the day. We (or rather N) can't wait to shovel. And we look forward to some snowman building and snow angel making :-)

Rachel said...

Here, in NW Ohio, we got the same snow! I wouldn't mind it much, it's the COLD that I can't stand!

Any other day a snow day would be thrilling, but my 3rd grader is bummed that the holiday party is cancelled for today. :( And I'm bummed because I'll have to reschedule the xmas shopping I had planned.

Enjoy the SNOW and the grandparents' visit!

Ree said...

I'm so glad you're enjoying this. ;-) I'm going out to shovel soon. Blech.

It'll leave soon, right?

houseofD said...

Seems like this year, at least for some, the Holiday season will be going in a direction closer to the ones we knew in a time passed. Commercialism seems to not be the important thing afterall... I too longed for the snow I knew when we were young. I also longed for the message the Holidays represent to be at the fore, and here it is. The snow can only hope to bring that out of people. I can't stop listening to Irving Berlin.

LceeL said...

As someone who has grown up with the snow - year in and year out - and has grown to see it as more of a nuisance, it's refreshing to see and hear it again through the eyes of someone who really enjoys it for what it is. Kind of like we used to do when we were kids. Oh, thank you for that. It was lovely.

Mr Lady said...

We have snow, and it's actually sticking around. This NEVER happens up here. Looks like we're getting a white Christmas, too, which is AWESOME. I hear you, though, I miss that New England snow. there's nothing quite as romantic as that.

Tracey said...

We had lovely snow, too. And then the icy rain coated it all so much that I couldn't get a shovel under it!

No school!

Maggie said...

Since it's snowing pretty much everywhere BUT here in LA (9" @ parents' house in Mass, 12"+ in Seattle where my boss was yesterday and today, Michigan where a friend & a couple bloggers are...)...how about some photos to accompany your enchanting story??

Thank God I'm going home to Mass next week...September through December is when I miss living in the northeast (fall foliage & the first few snow falls)...after that, I'm in love with Cali the rest of the year :)

Lipstick said...

I just love love love this post. I grew up the same way, racing outside to play in the snow before it was all gone!

CaJoh said...

Funny how some people say they used to love the snow when they were little, but hate it now that they have to drive in it.

I still and always will love snow— even to drive in it.

Daisy said...

The Farmer's Almanac predicts a big snow winter this year. I hope yours is beautiful! I do enjoy looking out the windows and walking in the winter wonderland that we get here in NE Wisconsin.

E... said...

No snow here right now. Just frigid. Wish we had some. I'd love to tromp around in it. I like snow, but admit to being picky about it. Not to slushy, not too icy, the fluffier the better. Guess that's why I still have the same skis I got in high school -- I'm a fair weather girl on the slopes as well.

TTucker said...

Sledding on cookie sheets...that never even crossed my mind. Sounds like fun. I grew up in Wisconsin and now live in Tennessee...not too many white Christmas' here. I do miss sledding and the glittery tree branches, but I do NOT miss shoveling, snow plows plowing in our driveway, or driving in it.

Jaina said...

That sounds perfect. I hope you enjoyed it very much :)

 

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