Sunday, December 21, 2008
A White Christmas, and Other Thoughts
It has snowed at least three times this week, which doesn't happen very often around these Northwest parts. When the white stuff shows up, kids joyously suit up and run out to play while adults call in sick from work because 1) they want to go skiing or 2) they're too afraid to drive.
People who move here from the East coast or Midwest laugh their asses off watching us try to drive in the snow. Because this wondrous phenomena doesn't happen here often, most cities don't have a lot of snow-clearing equipment for the roads. Combine that with spastic newscasters who scream "SNOW!" every few minutes and a newspaper photo of a bus hanging off a road overlooking the freeway, and it's white-knuckle driving all the way.
It began snowing last weekend and we all enjoyed it. Then Monday rolled around and all the school districts began delaying school. Then on Wednesday it became apparent that winter break was beginning ASAP. Every morning at 5:30 a.m. when we received a phoned recorded message from the superintendent giving us the school status (canceled) for the day, I could hear the collective screams of parents everywhere, especially moms of young children who had planned to finish their holiday shopping before winter break officially began.
(On a side note, I have learned that many parents resented the 5:30 a.m. call because it woke them up early and they couldn't go back to sleep. I didn't mind the call because I am a sleeper. You could call me early to tell me I won the lottery and I would thank you and go back to sleep. It's a gift. Now I'm done digressing.)
Other than having my kids at home when I had planned to have some peace and quiet, the snow hasn't affected me much. I didn't plan to buy much this Christmas anyway (thank you, economy!) and had most of my shopping done by the time the white stuff hit. I did drive verrrry carefully to Costco the other day to pick up a ham and other supplies for Christmas Eve dinner. I thought it might be quiet there with the roads being icy, but apparently everyone else within a 30-mile radius had the same thought and it was packed in there. Great minds think alike.
I finally reached the point today when I took a deep calming breath and realized how pretty everything looked covered with snow. Case in point: the fir tree in my front yard, shown in the photo above. How can you look at that and not appreciate what you have? Perhaps Mother Nature gave us this snow as a symbolic cleansing of our soul, or a chance to spend more time at home with our loved ones, or a reminder to slow down and look at the beauty around us, or all above.
Thank you, Mother Nature. But next time, could you consult with the school calendar first?