Tuesday, December 02, 2003

SNOW!

I knew it was going to be cold this morning (30s moving down into the teens tonight), so I hauled out the wool pants and layered up with shorts, knee socks (the pants are unlined military surplus and really itchy without the extra layer), JOP t-shirt and turtleneck. It wasn't until I was dressed and looking for my winter coat that I finally looked outside and saw the dusting of snow we got during the night.

Snow!

I love snow, and don't see nearly enough of it in the city. All my winter memories are of growing up on the mountain and the huge snowfalls we would get every winter. Snow made everything more magical. When the trees were heavy with their white canopy, the woods took on an element of the surreal. They could hide fairy castles and be alien worlds all in the same game.

We lived on a hill (actually the side of a mountain, but our whole yard was on an incline) and it was perfect for sledding. The long stretch between the house and the yard, or the back fence and the yard if you were feeling ambitious, allowed for long rides where you could gain some incredible speeds. Ramps of snow were often placed in the sledding paths to provide that extra excitement of flying, before landing with a thump and continuing on to the bottom.

At the end of the lawn was the turn-around that was our driveway. In the bend of this half-circle was a ditch, separating the driveway from the road, and giving us an extra play space (as well as providing some defense against careening into the road on a sledding run.) My friends and I would dig tunnels in the snow and build forts to defend in massive snowball wars. We would stay out until we were soaked through and chilled and finally called inside to dry off and warm ourselves next to the woodstove with steaming cups of cocoa.

Today's snow will be gone by noon, and being close to the ocean, we're unlikely to get the volumes of snow I remember from my youth. But the memories will sustain me.

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