Snow

SleddingThis morning there arose such a clatter….I thought to myself could it be Saint Nick? Oh no, wait! It’s the middle of February and the Triangle has braced for the Neptune polar vortex barreling out of the north. Well, not so much.

We woke this morning to an inch or so of snow which has frozen solid. No one is going anywhere. Bible study was cancelled. Our daughter’s business flight to Cleveland was cancelled. My dentist appointment has been rescheduled. Robert’s lunch meeting has been postponed. A gathering later in the week has been cancelled as well as an outing to Burlington.

The clatter? Some neighbor kids knocked on the front door yesterday. Apparently our driveway is one of the neighborhood snow sledding venues and they were kindly checking to see if we would let them continue to sled as the former owners had. That clatter was a couple of kids happily sledding down our driveway on icy snow quite early this morning. Surprisingly noisy…a noise that made you smile and step outside for the briefest moment to take a photo.

Yesterday, texting this sweet request to the former owner, she alerted me to their tradition of serving the kids hot chocolate and Oreos. Now that’s a class act to follow even if snickerdoodles are destined to be a tasty substitute. The house smells wonderful at the moment!

Being a Southern California weather wimp, snow has not played a predominate role in my life. However, there have been a few memorable snowfalls. One, a freak snowfall in my seaside hometown when I was four; a true disaster for the avocado and citrus farmers in the county, but it was one of my earliest remembered childhood “disasters.” I was not allowed to play outside in the few cupfuls of snow because I was¬†recovering from a bad cold and wretched cough. All I could do was stare out my bedroom window at the whitish front lawn and feel hopelessly deprived.

One of my fondest snow memories is from our newly-wed years living in Washington, DC. Our third floor walk-up had a needle-thin view of the Washington Monument. One wintry afternoon while making a cherry pie, I turned to look out the slender kitchen window to see large flakes drifting toward the parking lot, the monument obscured by faraway flurries. Snowfall and cherry pies are irrevocably linked in my mind. There are two cans of tart cherries in the pantry awaiting a tomorrow evening dinner party I hope won’t be cancelled.

The late 70s found us living in England during two of the worst winters in the century. The bone numbing dampness was difficult to live with, but one storm’s supremely perfect snow drew us to the spacious green across the street. The snow’s moisture content was such that my son and I managed to roll a snowball so huge we couldn’t budge it any further, leaving behind a swath of bare grass where snow had lain just moments ago.

Spring in MarlowFor those of you have lived in England, you know spring is a season of dashed dreams…a longing for the sun…for warmth…for the sun…for blue skies that last longer than fifteen minutes…for the sun…well, yeah, dreams of seeing the sun again before you perish in the pervasive, never ending, all inclusive grey gloom. Finally, spring arrived. The cherry tree and primroses bloomed. Daffodils trumpeted the good news. Lawns perked up all over our Thames-side village…until late April… when we awoke to find our webbed patio furniture covered in late-season snow under the back garden’s flowering apple tree!

The snickerdoodles are out of the oven, we’ve tasted a few to make sure they’re not poison, plated and delivered the rest to the garage, the¬†apres sledding chalet for tired sliders. The neighbor kids think I’m wonderful. And The Man says I haven’t lost my turn baking cookies. It’s good to be snowed in!

What are some of your favorite weather memories?

5 comments to Snow

  • Lori

    Oh the weather outside is frightful,
    but inside it’s so delightful!
    And as long as you hold me so,
    Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

    Sounds like a perfectly wonderful time Lynne!

  • Luisa

    Ah, Winter in So Connecticut! Give me So Cal any season!
    In the 1960ies I recall having to wear “over the knee socks” to avoid the winter chill under my skirt. This could be enhanced by full on tights underneath those fuzzy sausage tubes.. In those days…..girls were not allowed to wear pants to school; and waiting at the bus stop for our ride was a teeth chattering experience.
    On the flip side was trudging through snow in red rubber boots with wads of newspaper stuffed in the top so snow could not enter. We discovered how to “borrow” lunch trays from the university cafeteria and use them to slide down the bowl surrounding the track field. Now that was the beat hill ever! A few of us had sleds; but a good melmac tray would do just fine.
    Ah, for the days when my derriere could fit on a lunch tray with legs and feet tucked on too! Wheeeeeeee!

  • Barbara Hayes

    One Thanksgiving weekend, I spent time in Yosemite with friends. It had already snowed when we arrived. In fact, as we wended through the mountains toward our destination, invisible black ice sent us into a 180 when we attempted to stop our vehicle. But we arrived safely and packed in for the night. In the morning, before most people were awake, I listened to the silence. The soft and insistent silence. Then I opened the door to breathe in the silence and saw, for the first time in my life, falling snow. It floated down so softly, so silently. I’m from Southern California, and unless it is drizzling, I always hear precipitation. Whether it is dripping off the eaves after slowly gathering on the roof or pounding on the streets with pellets of water or hail. I had been in snow in the mountains, but I had never seen it snow. I had never heard the silence, the beauty. As I looked beyond the flakes that drifted down in front of the doorway, I saw the most awesome scene that ever graced my vision. Snow laced all the trees, branches, and pine needles. Silently, it draped the landscape making it a true winter wonderland. I was overcome. With a sharp intake of breath and eyes watery from the cold and excited wonder, I exclaimed, “It’s like a fairy land!” My eyes could not drink enough of it in, and my face flushed with glee at the stunning beauty. It was a fairy land, and I will never forget it.

  • Lynn Dempsey

    Believe me, I’m jealous of your flakes Lynne. Here in old dry southern Cal, we are grateful for a little morning grey and most, before our next sunny day. I even thought of buying a ticket and flying to Boston. But I suspect that would be extended airport time. So enjoy winter’s splendid parade and keep the kids cheering.

  • Marie

    The bright yellow crocus are coming out on that patch of green at present, the purple crocus haven’t appeared yet. We are having some beautiful sunny days, dramatic red skies in the evening and rain. We have had very little snow here this year.
    We too experienced a wonderful snowy Thanksgiving in Yosemite when we were living in the States, a snowy Christmas in a motel in Carolina on our way back home to England when our children were small and some wonderful snowy Christmasses when we were living in Upstate NY but my favourite Christmas was in San Francisco with our two new babies and my beloved sister who I hadn’t seen for a few years.
    What fun you are having in your new world!

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