Monday, October 16, 2006

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow

Okay, Boomer Chickie is back. Week-ends are horrendous as far as workload goes...heck...any day is horrendous around here.

And, it's FREAKING COLD. Wasn't summer just yesterday? I'm sitting here with a hot cup of coffee and a portable heater aimed right at me, and I'm still cold. Of course, browsing through someone's blog and looking at the snow-topped mountains in Colorado only wanted me to grab my fuzzy bathrobe and turn the heater up a notch further.

I'm not a cold weather person, but I do respect the change of seasons. But, the problem is that in my corner of the world, when it gets cold, THERE'S NO SNOW.

Oh, we've had snow...like waaaaay back when I was a boomer chickette, but in the last few years, we're lucky if we get a dusting. And I hate it.

My fondest snow memory was when I was about twelve or thirteen, and my grandmother who worked as an LPN at the hospital would have to get up at the god-awful hour of six in the morning to be at work at seven. It wasn't that she minded, only if it snowed the night before, it was my job to climb out from the warm blankets and go shovel a path so that she could walk from the house to the car.

It's not that I minded anyway because my grandmother was my sole supporter/provider/guardian, as my mother was still in California, and it was my way of helping her being as she was helping me.

Not only that, when I was a young child, she was hit by a car which broke one of her legs which resulted in it not being able to bend at the knee, and it was hard for her to get through anything that was a bit slippery.

So, it was on one Saturday morning, I climbed out of bed and looked out the window to see just how snowbound we were. The moonlight was the only source of light that early in the morning, but I could see where I had no choice but to grab the shovel and make a path for my grandmother to get through to go to work.

You know, it's funny. Since the last few years have been practically no snowfall, when it does snow even a flurry, the schools close up and we all call out from work. It's the perfect day to stay home, and after all, who knows...we could have an accident in all that 1/10000th of an inch of snow, you know?

But, not back in '66. When it snowed, IT SNOWED, and the funny thing about it was, people still went to work. Maybe they had to as in my grandmother's case, but it really did make me realize just how strong a woman she was. Did she call out when there was just a smidgeon of snow on the ground? Nope. Hard-working woman, I have to say that.

Anyway, back to my story.

Because we were too poor to afford boots, I tied two plastic bags on my shoes, threw on my coat and mittens, and headed out the back door. While I hated being out of bed and on a sleep-in Saturday at that, I knew I couldn't let my grandmother go out the door and risk falling.

But, despite all that, it was one of my most beautiful, memorable and perhaps spiritual memories I have, and definitely worth sharing.

Standing in the snow with the moonlight to guide my way, with only a slight breeze to stir up noise, it was magical. Everything around me was white, and clean, and pure. It was a Norman Rockwell painting. The snow clinging to the branches of the cedar trees out front gave it a fairyland feeling. But, it was the moonlight that really made all the difference. If anyone wants to see what it feels like being in a magical wonderland, go outside when it snows before the sun comes up. I'll never forget it.

And I didn't want it to be over. I stood there for a long while, leaning over my shovel, and just gasping at the beauty and the wonder of it all. I think it was the quiet that really did me in. No sound at all, just me and nature sitting side by side, and not having to breathe a word to each other. Just knowing we each were there, and respecting each other's place in the world, was enough for the both of us.

I sit here with my hot cup of coffee, and the heater blasting hot air on me, thinking back to a time that will never be again. I'll never be able to get up and clear a path for my grandmother again, I'll never be able to see what it's like to stand outside in the wee early morning with nothing but the moonlight to guide my way through the snow, and I'll probably never see a winter wonderland out my front door again.

I don't know...maybe it's the global warming thing, but I sure do miss it.

4 comments:

  1. I'd have to say I like snow in the mountains but not down here where I live. I no longer have to go to work but it still causes problems to have to drive through. In our area we usually don't get much snow and it usually warms up above freezing every day, so if we get the stuff it tends to melt enough in the daytime that when it freezes at night we have ice all over the place. As I said, it belongs in the mountains and it nice to look at up there. But then, I try to go south for the winter in Arizona anyway and where I stay there are daily temps in the 70s through the winter. It does get cold at night, though.

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  2. Hey, if you m ove to the Smokies, you'll hgave snow! Not a LOT like the Rockies, but you will see it a few times every winter.

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  3. Oh Dorothy, if you come to Michigan I can assure you of a beautiful moonlit picture of lots of snow out any one of my doors. I will say that for Michigan, the moonlight shinging on a new snowfall sparkles like nothing anyone can describe unless one has seen it for themselves. ;)

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  4. I'd rather have the snow - it generally keeps it warm with the cloud cover. Stay warm!!

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