Thursday, January 7, 2010


The snow is piling up, hour by hour, drifting like immense cornflakes past the windows. We watched in fascination, ooh-ing and aah-ing for the longest time; then our enthusiasm for the sameness lulled into the feeling of watching something like static on TV, and we moved on.

It’s COLD and will be colder, with forecasts and dire predictions of chill; this morning’s WeatherChip looked all clear and beautiful, til I realized the outlines of the state and all the surrounding edges of others were just black lines on a SOLID BLUE field---indicator of heavy snow from here to yonder.

The fact that other people, other states, other countries have housetop drifts and covered (as in to the tops from the ground up) cars, and their chimneys are two feet down inside the thick mass, possibly keeping the smoke from emerging at all and clumpy bits clopping down the chimneys to hiss SPAT upon the stoves and sizzle out the fires---all these things we are aware of, and we still do our share of complaining over our own plight. It’s messy and drippy and cold and uncomfortable and wet and yukky at this stage, the stage of almost-dusk and fog and the sheer FACT of it and its ramifications clouding over the beautiful.

And I LOVE snow. Always have. I remember the little bubble of joy that would form just above my waistband, the anticipation of those first few flakes, the outright jubilation when the hundredth flake brought school bells and the go-home whistle in the middle of the day. We'd watch and beg and finally be allowed out into the flurries, in our usual coats and the gloves which immediately absorbed snowmelt and froze our fingers and our oldest school shoes which let in whole flakes, let alone seepage from the damp.
The kids across the street have a Snow Fort---a real, live honest-to-goodness FORT, packed and planed and carved into neat walls and blocks, shining white, as smooth and true as if by plumb bob and trowel. I've never known anyone who HAD a Snow Fort---we hadn't enough to waste trying anything so lofty. Why, by the time we got way close to the house to get enough for a pan of Snow Cream---from a pristine spot so that no cinders had drifted down from the trains or dogs lifted or cats walked, there was only a little skimming left, and that melting fast. But we cared not a bit that every bit of snow we scooped was cluttered with leaf bits and old pecan hulls and acorns and twigs---we scooped and packed, not wasting a minute or a flake, and glad for the filler, dirty though it was. I think every snowman ever built in our neighborhood looked as if it had been sculpted out of gallons of Dairy Queen Oreo Blizzards.
I love to watch the falling of it, to see the shadows and the shapes and the forms it takes; there’s a BLUE to it sometimes, like spilling out the whole bottle of sno-cone syrup onto the landscape. I still get a small gasp of admiration and delight at morning’s first glimpse of shapes and drifts formed in the night.

So I always figure that even though I no longer have to do the daily trek out into it, to shovel or to clear away or to drive to work through a blizzard, white-knuckled and my hindside clenching the seat like desperate fingers on a roller-coaster bar, I AM allowed to like it. I don’t think that my hating the stuff would make anyone else’s morning commute or drift-shoveling or walk-salting or car de-icing more pleasant.

Today Sis called from Texas; she’s using her new-for-Christmas pasta maker to make homemade ravioli for watching the game tonight. She’ll take the oil and flour and eggs and stir it into perfect, pliable dough, with a rest and then several trips through the rollers, with the just-so number for each rolling. She’s making a stuffing of cremini, crabmeat and several cheeses, brushing and cutting and laying the little golden pillows out on the lightly-dusted tray, snugged beneath damp towels for resting. She’s serving it with a garlic butter sauce. They’ll sit down with salads and ciabatta and the wonderful wide bowls of ravioli, redolent of herbs and worthy of Mario’s kitchen.

I, on the other hand, took a baggie out of the freezer; it holds about two cups of Chris’ special pasta sauce, made on November 15, according to the writing on the bag. We’ll microwave it and have it over whichever pasta there’s enough of alike in the canisters. And there’s a little green shaker-jar of Kraft Romano on the top shelf.

I plumb SWANNEE, Y'all!! It's SNOWIN’ to BEAT THE BAND!!


Nail said...

The ravioli is resting in the frig until just before "THE GAME" I for Alabama (for I was raised in the SEC and will always be for an SEC team 'cept for LSU and that's just the way it is when you went to Ole Miss, ask anyone) and my hubby for Texas for we have lived here for 32 years. We don't have any beautiful snow like Sis but are very cold in South Texas and will have to do with a fire in the fireplace. I think I would like snow too if it were a possibility....maybe I'll just visit "Sis" and see the snow and talk, laugh, eat and solve all the problems of the world while we're at it! (for we know we could if given a chance)

Southern Lady said...

Rachel, I, too, fondly remember our "Dairy Queen Oreo Blizzard-looking snowmen," but we thought they were beautiful. I remember the soggy wet gloves and shoes, too ...and being so bundled up in layers and layers of clothes we could hardly move, but we loved it.

Kim Shook said...

My favorite part was the Dairy Queen Oreo Blizzard snowmen! I've built plenty of those down here in VA! But in Indiana we had some pure Vanilla Shake ones!