14 January 2005 by Published in: in my life No comments yet

Yesterday, I looked up from the middle of some very earnest and fully absorbing not-writing only to discover:

it’s snowing!


And from the way it had completely covered the deck and the thickness on the branches of the trees in the yard and how I couldn’t see the grass at all, it had clearly been snowing for some time, and I hadn’t noticed. That’s one of the things I can’t get over about snow, how utterly silent it is. It’s like a ninja, you know?

I don’t mean to convey the sense that I’ve never seen snow before by mentioning it every single time it happens here, because I have, maybe a dozen times in my life. Even so, the three snows I’ve been through since moving here are different from the others I’ve seen in a number of ways. On other occasions where I have been in snowbound environments, I have usually arrived to a place with snow on the ground and left before the snow melted. Here, I am continuously caught off guard by being witness to the grass and the road and the world as normal and then suddenly – in the space of an hour or less – the air is full of fluff and everything is coated in sugar. It’s the fact that I saw the ground there just moments ago and now it’s been metamorphosed into something wondrous and almost unrecognizable. That is new for me. Another way in which snow here is different now is that it’s at my house, where I live. I can see it right out my window. I can’t quite describe how odd this is, a little like waking up to find your house has been moved to a tropical island or going out to your car and finding it’s been painted a gaudy but unique color in the night while you slept. I’m sure that the ongoing strangeness of having it snow at my house will fade, but right now it’s a pretty constant feeling. And lastly, at any other time that I have been where it snowed I was either on vacation and so under no obligation to do anything or in a climate so southern that the slightest amount of snow shut everything and everyone down. I didn’t have to go outside if I didn’t want to, didn’t have to drive, didn’t have scrape snow off a windshield or carry an armful of things up a slippery set of steps. Dealing with snow as a normal part of every day life is very unusual for me, and when I had to pick up Sophia yesterday while it was still falling thick and fast and before any of the roads had been plowed, I was rather scared and intimidated by the whole thing. Snow behaves so strangely. It dances around and whirls upward when you think it should fall and the flakes can look fat as hail but they don’t strike with any force. Water that you can’t see through, that covers everything it touches. It’s taking me some time to think of it as anything short of wondrous and frightening. The tracks I’d made in the driveway pulling out to get Sophia had vanished under a carpet of snow by the time I returned with her, less than a half hour later. She enjoys the snow. She talked to me about how she wanted to see the car’s pawprints (its wheelprints) and how she wanted to walk around in the snow and make her own pawprints and how she wanted to make snowballs and have a snowball fight and make snowmen. Then she told me that Daddy had explained to her that “White snow was available for eating.” I asked Kurt about this, and he said he had told her to eat the white snow, but that he’s almost sure he didn’t use the word “available” to describe it. Sometimes, she just blows me away with her vocabulary. She’s not even four!

Today the snow was still there, and the weather said it was 11 degrees. Minus 2 with the wind chill. Brrrrrrrrr. I was comforted when the radio man told me the weather was uncharacteristically cold. I’d hate to think this was going to carry on for months or anything.

I have so many things I want to write about that I hardly know where to start. It’s a little overwhelming, actually. (Actually being a word that Sophia now uses. Yesterday, after we got home from school I darted out of the bathroom while she was sitting on the toilet to grab a pair of warm socks. When I returned she asked me where I had gone. “To get a pair of warm socks.” I replied. “You got this pair of socks for me, do you remember?” She nodded and said “With Aunt Kelly.” And after a short pause she added,”Actually, I gave you two pairs of socks.” So solemn and sweet and wise, she is. So true to her name. What could I do? I had to simply smile fondly and say,”Yes, that’s right, you did give me two pair. The other pair is getting washed.”) There’s a thousand things I’ve thought about that I want to share, a million little moments that I wish I was capturing and writing down. Like how Sergei so enjoys the snow, even though he always acted like he hated the cold when we lived in Jackson. He looks so incredibly gorgeous and stately with his golden coat contasting so starkly against the whiteness of the snow and his tail up as he dashes around the yard.


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