Friday, December 04, 2009


Today it is cold here.  Really cold.  It has finally struggled to make it to about 30 degrees.  There is a pretty brisk breeze blowing, too, so the "feels-like" temp is about 25 degrees.  Even the dogs stop just before going outside to do their biz, take deep breaths, then dart out, pee really fast, and dash back to the door.  It must be really chilly to be a short-haired little Dachshund with that wind blowing!  

Some of my friends are complaining because the snow season has begun in their worlds.  I used to get tired of snow, too, but thanks to Al Gore (just give me this, I have to blame SOMEONE) we don't get much snow anymore.  What we get is freezing rain.  If you live in Arizona or some other relatively warm climate you probably will not understand what I mean when I tell you that that freezing rain, especially if it lasts for longer than an hour or so, can drive you insane!  Without even looking outside you know that the tree branches are getting heavier and heavier, and with the lights flickering off and on, you know it is just a matter of time before the weight of that frozen precip begins to take down the power lines, leaving you in the dark, which is a really fun situation when the temperature is about 75 degrees.  In the wintertime, it does not take long for the house to cool to an uncomfortable temperature, and of course, the electric blanket is not going to work.  As that situation stretches on past 24 hours, there is a sense of dread every time the clouds build back up.  

It is beautiful, though.  The rain starts freezing on impact, wrapping all the tree branches in crystal sheaths that clatter when the wind blows.  The outside handrails look like glass sculptures, and the sidewalks and yards remind me of ice skating rinks.  

But snow...ahhhh...snow.  The excitement in the air when snow is forecast, is palpable.  People run to the nearest grocery store to stock up on comfort foods.  I always check to make sure there is wood for the fireplace, and I check the snow shovel for cracks.  The night it is forecast, I will go crawl in bed early, watch all the weather radars, wiggle with excitement like a school kid while watching the school closing reports scroll across the bottom of the TV screen.  Here where I live, we know when to start getting that school closing ball rolling and when the forecast is going to be a bust.  We just feel it in the air.  We just know.  

The cold dawn light will start creeping in, and I will start to wake up, having slept away the memories of the promises of snow, but as morning breaks, I can tell by the way the light looks in the bedroom, through the blinds, without even getting up to peek outside, that it snowed a lot.  There is an almost white glow in the room, and if it is still snowing, it is a gray color, but bright, and already I will hear snow plows scraping down the streets, driven by people who began that process before the first inch accumulated.  People looking forward to giving up their snow play to go home to a cup of hot coffee and a hot breakfast.

I will slip on my bunny slippers, my warm fuzzy robe, and on my way to the coffeemaker, open the front door and look out at the crystal white, shiny, cold, prism-like covering.  If I cannot push open the storm door, I know there are drifts, and I rush to drink my coffee while watching all the birds bouncing around outside, hoping to find a bite to eat on top of the frozen winter wonderland, so I can get out there and sink deep into the drifts while sprinkling bird seed, clearing my steps, and checking to make sure heavy snow is not weighing down the big tree out back.  

"Good morning, world," I yell, hearing the bright white echo of my own voice bouncing back to me off the church across the street.  

I hope for you, a Snow Day, even if you live in the desert, this winter!  Grab your coffee and your quilt and bundle up for the show!


Tracy said...

I miss freezing rain!

Magpie said...

Beautifully written...paints a wonderful picture. And speaking of pictures, where are they?