When I was talking with neowolf2 last night he'd mentioned that the weather report was predicting a significant amount of snowfall for this area, but I figured that it would either miss us or melt as soon as it hit the ground. I don't think I've ever been so amazingly wrong in a guess about the weather before, but there you have it. The snow that the meteorologist predicted arrived, and it accumulated quite quickly, proving once again that the Midwest is indeed an interesting place to live if only because of the weather. I love this region for that very reason -- it's like a potluck dinner, you just don't know what you're going to find from day to day.
Once I'd truly woken up I took care of feeding Ra and prepared my satchel with the necessary goods for a day at work, then stepped out to start the truck so the cab would have a chance to warm up. I hate driving to work in a cold vehicle, it makes me feel miserable and has generally unpleasant affects on my attitude for the day (or at least it does until I warm up again, which is a slow process for me). Once I actually got outside and took a look around I couldn't believe how much snow accumulation there was. The snow itself was heavy and wet -- in fact it was so heavy that when I started the pickup's windshield wipers they could only move about halfway up the glass before the weight of the snow became too much for them. I had to fight with the truck's bench to get the seat back moved forward, and once I'd accomplished that I was able to retrieve my snow brush (I had stashed it away a week or so ago, thinking that with the end of March I was safely out of snow season. I didn't see any reason to have it cluttering up the cab any longer, and I needed the foot space since Kestral was riding with me to BD's for lunch that evening). After I had cleaned my truck off so that I could see out the glass again (with the added benefit that the windshield wipers wouldn't break under the load of the snow when I tried to remove the remaining flakes) I attacked enveri's truck as well as roho's car, thus making sure they wouldn't have to deal with scraping their vehicle windows themselves. I had forgotten my gloves when I went outside so when I came back in to grab my digital camera my fingers were tingling quite angrily from the cold and I found myself clenching my fists a few times in an effort to encourage my circulation to start working properly again (damn my recklessness in youth -- all that frostbite has contributed to this, I know it has). I'm guessing that with the windchill effect the temperature was somewhere between 10 and 15 degrees F, if not lower.
I took a few pictures from the safety of my bedroom, then loaded the camera into my trench coat and braved the outdoors again since it was time for me to drive to work. I wasn't in any particular hurry to get on the road because I knew that traffic was going to be an absolute wreck (and I was right, it took me the better part of an hour and 45 minutes to reach the office because traffic was just creeping along on the freeway) so I lingered about the parking lot to take a few pictures of the apartment itself and a few more shots of the general area. I'll post the photos later tonight once I download them from the camera and sort through them all. For every ten pictures I take with that camera I probably only get one or two pictures that aren't blurry (stupid lousy shutter speed), and out of those I only find a few that look acceptable after being color-corrected and tweaked in Adobe Photoshop. But I had to take pictures to show just how much snow we'd gotten, because I don't think anybody who isn't actually living here will believe that we got this much snow on the 7 th of April.
In honor of this unexpected shift in weather I've decided to share one of the gifts given to me by somebody special.
As the boy peered out into another beautiful snow laden landscape, he saw a figure standing amidst the trees. He knew all the neighbors, but did not recognize her... and she appeared to be watching the house. Curious, he couldn't get into his winter clothes quick enough to get out there and meet someone new! At first he could not see her, rushing around the house this way and that. As his disappointment started, there was motion amidst
the trees. Brightening he sped over and spotted her, still watching silently. Slowing to a walk, he approached her and smiled. "Hi, I'm Fer," he said. She turned to look at him, startling blue eyes standing against the white, white colour of her skin. She smiled. "Hello, there," she said. He noticed that her breath didn't steam, even in the cold air. "You're pretty, want to go in and talk?" he asked. She smiled a little sadly before shaking her head. "No... I will be gone soon, and you will go on," she whispered in her quiet singsong way. He blinked, then his eyes went wide. "You're the snow?" She just smiled.
Liin shared this with me in the middle of March after I'd told her about some of my fondest memories from childhood. I had been describing my fascination with winter as a younger boy, and how I can still remember to this day some of the breathtaking vistas I was treated to after a heavy snowstorm at the farm. I've always been sort of fascinated by winter, and I'd be hard-pressed to explain exactly why it captivates me so. I think it seems to have a mystical power over the world around me, and when I was young that power seemed larger than life. For instance, I could go to bed with the fall colors still bright on the trees outside, and when I woke up the next morning it would all be covered and hidden from view by a blanket of snow. In eight hours the whole world could be totally transformed by the heavy layer of white fluff that seemed to have appeared from nowhere! Another amazing aspect of it was how dynamic it was... I could go out on Saturday morning, trudge through the snowbanks, make snow angels in the field and come in for the evening to have dinner with my parents and enjoy the time away from the chill of the air. Yet the next morning all traces of my previous day's exploring would be gone, the wind having drifted loose snow over my tracks, blurring or even covering them. Each time it snowed anew it was as if the snow was renewing itself, covering the old snow with fresh, hiding the coloration of dust and time with a flawless new layer of white that would dazzle you with reflections of the sunlight. Another aspect of the winter season that amazed me was how, by and large, it was almost entirely silent. Yes, the blizzards had a sound and fury all their own, but they didn't seem to carry quite the same impact that summer thunderstorms brought. Most of the time this transformation occurred without you even knowing it... this immense power crept in quietly and left just as quietly. The house didn't shake with thunder as the storm raged on outside, you didn't hear the sound of raindrops pelting the windowpanes or the roof. Winter was a mixture of awesome power and stealth, giving it the feeling that it was aware and preferred to do its work undetected. I loved every minute of it. I still do, to be truthful. Unfortunately with age comes responsibilities, and more often than not I'm forced to go to work so I can earn my paycheck. Believe me, I would much rather be frolicking in the snow, digging forts and tunnels in the snowdrifts and simply listening to the sounds of winter.
I hope that LiinSara doesn't mind me sharing her work here. I was deeply touched by it when she shared it with me, and it seemed appropriate to write it down here, especially in light of today's extraordinary weather.