Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Snow at Sea Level
On Sunday night, Drew and I were awake in bed talking, while Ella snored away beside us. Being in a yurt, we are privy to each and every nuance of precipitation that passes this way, cringing when the winds pepper the sides with rain, and dozing off when the light, wispy, misty rains fall. In our talking, we didn't notice right away, but a moment after it began, Drew said, "That doesn't sound like rain." I agreed, and Drew said he wanted to have a look. So we grabbed flashlights, descended the creaky ladder, and opened the door of the mudroom out to the north.
AH! Our breath caught in our throats, as we saw with our own eyes that it was, indeed, SNOWING. I suppose it's really not such a big deal. It wasn't really more than a light dusting. We definitely see it on the ridges surrounding our home at least once a year. But it is a little unusual (though not unheard of) to have snow down here at our lowly elevation. It's so unusual that I found myself feeling the thrill of the first snow of the season that I remember when I was a kid. For those of you growing up in many snow-free California locales, this won't mean much for you. But for those of you who lived in snow country, the first snowfall was like magic, speaking of exciting things to come: snowed out school days! sled riding! snowmen! mom making hot cocoa! snow boots! ice skating! and white christmas! Bonus points for that.
We are still in our little cold snap here, with lows in the 20's the last several nights, and daytime highs in the 40s. We've had to keep the water running at night to prevent broken pipes and so we can have kitchen water in the morning before the day thaws. I've had to scrape the car windshield to take Ella to school. The cats are very unhappy. And we've been running the woodstove most of the time. But I have to admit that it feels kind of nice, encouraging a cozying up inside the house, drinking tea and reading a good book. Our mild winters here in California kind of cheat us out of the purpose of winter, to hole up and reflect on the year that has just passed. Normally, it's not nasty enough outside to warrant retreating indoors, and we feel guilty snuggling in slippers and scarves, because there is so much to be done. I mean, what about all the stuff we were too busy to handle in the summer?
So here's to snow and cold, frosty night, and to each of you who will hibernate a little, and enjoy the memories of your past year.