Thursday, November 20, 2008

There's No Business Like Snow Business

The Weather Bureau has predicted it’s going to snow 3 ½ feet tonight a 20% chance of snow tonight in the valley. Actually, the Idaho Statesman reported that the National Weather Service “predicted a 20% precipitation”, as there are apparently no copy editors at the Statesman for the weather writers, at least in the online version.

I love the snow. Not just for the skiing, not just for the joy of making snow angels (Hey! Why does mine have a pitchfork?), not just to marvel at my dog’s awesome ability to write her name in a snowbank, not even for the beautiful blanket of white with which it covers the world.

Actually, that last one is related. It’s not the beauty of the snow covering everything, however; it’s the fact that it covers up the ugliness around us, even if only for a while, here in the lowlands. As beautiful as the trees are at the height of their technicolor splendor, that beauty is fleeting, and soon all that remains at Casa de Acorn is a soggy brown mold factory smothering what can only laughingly be called a yard. Autumn also brings as many grey skies as blue, and the irony is not lost in the realization that the color scheme of the grey ghost (the remains of paint and dark rust) coordinates with this, the saddest of seasons.

But then the snow falls. Not a dusting, as we might get tonight, but a good 3-6” covering, with big-ass flakes falling in a breezeless night. Enough to watch drivers who didn’t grow up in snow slide into curbs. Enough that moms are watching TV for school closures. And then … gone are the rotting leaves, gone is the oil-stained driveway. The skies are still grey, but now seem perfect as a surreal background as one stares up into the falling flakes. For at least a while, things aren’t as ugly as they were.

Of course, here in the valley, the snow never lasts. That’s okay. You can still see it in the mountains, you know that it will come again, and the memory of looking up with your tongue out and letting the flakes sting your eyes can sometimes be enough.


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