1.22.2005

Stormy Weather

As I write this, snow is attaching itself to every flat surface in the Midwest and Northeast.

Today I drove to the store with my air conditioning on. I wore a t-shirt and jeans. I berated myself for not bringing sunglasses with me on my drive. Tonight, I visited my bf at work and wore a light nylon jacket.

Snow is the reason I have rescinded my Midwestern citizenship. Twenty-four years of snow. And I'm talking about the snow you might not know: snow in your boots, snow up your nose, snowball-snow packed so hard your eyes turn black and blue, car snow, slush-snow, gray snow, sandy snow, salty snow, frozen snow, roof-snow that must be shoveled from the roof before it collapses the house, snow-up-to-your-knees snow, sleet-snow, flying ice-crystals snow. There's more. That's just the first month or so.

Once I went to Fargo for Thanksgiving and they had two feet of snow. The sidewalks looked like they were carved into these enormous white drifts.

I didn't really come to hate snow until I bought a car in Minneapolis. Walking outside to it in sub-zero temperatures just to start it up (hopefully), then to come back fifteen minutes later with a special tool designed to brush and chip snow and ice from the surfaces...it was too much.

When I moved to Arizona, I had two houseguests within six months, and both of them wanted to see the Grand Canyon. The first time, there was a little snow up there. I said a fond farewell to snow that day.

Last December I was back in the Twin Cities for the holidays. It was like running into snow at the grocery store. We were both so uncomfortable—snow because deep down, it didn't know what it had done; my discomfort stemmed from that awkward disassociation from the person I was when I was with snow. I don't know that man anymore.

And now snow is wrapping itself over the landscape in a cold, cold blanket. It gets quiet there. A sad kind of quiet.

4 comments:

  1. Charlie,
    I'm with you, I've got no love for the snow. So, why am I sitting in New England in the midst of a blizzard? Why am I not in Key West? Something to ponder while I'm trapped inside.

    ReplyDelete
  2. When I lived in Boston, I didn't mind the snow. But now that I have lived in California for so many years, I cannot imagine being in snow again. And the disaster of snow melting in your hair when you come inside. Awful. So many bad hair days.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Charles,

    I was just telling Suzanne that they have all that snow on the TV here. I grew up in New Jersey and though we had our share of blizzards I imagine it was child’s play compared to what you describe. I did love snow when I was a kid because I didn’t know snow before. (I moved to the States at the age of 12.) Now I don’t know snow again. No snow where I live, but plenty of rain. Last snow I had was last January while hiking from a little town in France to a little town in Spain—across the Pyrenees. I nearly died for God’s sake! True loneliness up there. That snow silence.

    Alberto

    ReplyDelete
  4. I like snow and snowstorms. I like the quiet that comes with falling snow, how everything looks beautiful, how the streets quiet down. I like that man can't control snow and offices and schools have to shut down. What I don't like is the cold. The cold seeps in the windows and under the doors. I'm writing in bed these days with a hot cup of ginger tea on the side table and several books scattered over the bed -- and a cat wrapped around my feet.

    ReplyDelete