Wednesday, December 10, 2008

It's Cold

For anyone who's interested, I've posted the Prologue from my novel on my other blog. Comments are welcome.


What’s that weird white stuff under the oak tree out back? Wait, look at the mulch pile! It looks like a heap of...


Excitement in the vicinity of snow will seem strange to anyone from the north, but for native Houstonians it's a common reaction. Even though we lived in Santa Fe one winter, I’ve never had enough of it.

Up there at 7000+ feet, you get lovely dry snow in thick layers like meringue. And when the weather warms, it doesn’t melt; it shrinks. You can see the retreat by the damp places it leaves temporarily behind, like wet shadows. The only dirty part is if they’ve sprinkled reddish...something…sand?... on the streets, and then followed with a snowplow to produce pink snow banks, which sound more attractive than they are.

This morning, however, is typical of winter in central or southeast Texas: A balmy seventy-five yesterday afternoon, then a forty-degree nosedive overnight, plus a 20 mph wind. Break out the parka, the gloves, long handles for, say, five days—at the end of which the temperature will have climbed to seventy-eight again (actually predicted for next week).

I’m not complaining, although I remember that cozy winter in Santa Fe: Pinon fires in the kiva fireplace; the soporific effect of nightfall when the snow that iced adobe walls would pass through white to blue and seem to glow from within; long walks with the dog while snow fell in the gathering dusk. Born in Colorado, Bronte loves cold weather and would take off down the slopes of unblemished meringue in pursuit of rabbits, real and imaginary.

But I also remember the ice. White ice, black ice. Our driveway sloped up to the garage, presenting a daily challenge. If you tried to walk down it, you’d suddenly be airborne. The only way LH could reach the paper in the mornings was to edge around the slope in the snowy verge, where his boots could sink in a couple of inches for traction. We definitely don’t miss that. (He especially doesn’t.)

It’s mid-morning now and the snow has melted. The fencetops have been dusted with birdseed, and a large woodpecker shares the largesse with one redbird and a very plump squirrel. Life returns to normal.

December View for today is from the warm part of yesterday, Bob Mann from Austin telling a story to LH on our front porch.


Cher said...

WOOHOO! Good for you. I'm going to your other blog when I get home tonight. Something to look forward to!

The Texas Woman

aliceinparis said...

I've heard that there is a massive cold front about to move South. The temp in Siberia was -81!!!!! Ack.
I must take a pop over to read your prologue:)

Wendy said...

I'm ready for some snow. Send it on over!

thedomesticfringe said...

A little snow just adds to the Holiday festiveness. I'm going to check out your prologue now.

Sydney said...

Well, I learned a new word today. Had never seen soporific before and looked it up. I don't think I've done that in years. Great way to start the day, lol!

I am from the north and I have a reaction like a 5 year old to this day. I could not believe my eyes. I loved it.