My girls, as many others, have a fascination with snow globes. We have a collection of sorts that is placed around the base of the Christmas tree and each one has a story. One is from England and reminds us of the girls' closest friends who moved away last year. Another one features a jersey cow wearing a Santa hat in deference to Bubba's upbringing on a cattle ranch. And so on. They are all different shapes and sizes and it is difficult for any of us to pass by the tree without stopping to give one a shake.
Until today. The weather forecasters have been predicting a big snowstorm all week. We fought our way through an incredibly cold weekend, making sure the pipes were wrapped and the outdoor cat was inside, shocked when we saw the low temperature of 17 degrees, but only got a smidge of the white stuff. Not even enough to cover all the little green points of grass in the lawn. Monday - school and record cold. Tuesday - school and record cold. We watched the flag whip in the wind and listened to the radio as we sent the children out onto the playground all bundled up. Only their eyes showed, shiny between the layers of scarves and hoods, arms artificially elongated with too-big mittens that hung down from their heavy winter coats. They lasted only about 15 minutes in the glorious sunshine before they came in, scarves floppy and eyes watering, noses red and shiny. Too cold.
We watched the sky Tuesday night, awaiting the snow that was by now hours late. We awoke Wednesday morning to lawns dusted with snow and streets not even wet. The school district closed the schools to guard against stranded children after the morning news assured us the storm would hit by noon. I ran to the school to talk to parents who were confused and angry - they had to go to work, why couldn't they bring their kids to school? The roads were clear! Ridiculous to close schools "just in case."
By 2:00pm, the storm had stood me up. I bundled up to head for home, not even bothering to stop at the grocery store on the way. I assured my kids that they would have school again on Thursday. No way was the district going to make this mistake again.
I awoke to silence at 4:30am. Not middle-of-the-night silence, absolute silence. That kind of silence that only comes with a thick insulation layer of snow. Lots of snow. I separated the blinds just enough to peer out into the backyard and was smack in the middle of a snowglobe that someone had shaken hard. This wasn't just one of those casual, turn-it-upsidedown-once scenarios. This was an overly excited kid pumping the damn thing up and down so hard you can't even figure out what the scene is inside for the white stuff falling all around.
I woke up for real at 7:00 to a foot of snow covering every horizontal surface and birds I've never seen before clustered around the last remaining suet cake hanging from the feeder. Woodpeckers, blue jays, starlings, robins, all of them pecking frantically at the seeds. We filled plastic bowls with extra seed and set them on the deck. Within an hour each and every one of them was buried under another three inches of snow. It has been snowing so hard all day that I know how that poor cow feels trapped inside the thick glass with glittering white bits raining down on him all the time. We're now closer to two feet of snow and it's still coming down.
It's gorgeous and fun. It's more snow than I've ever seen fall here at one time. It is perfectly dry and squeaky and makes awesome snowballs. But it's enough. Two feet is enough. Would someone please stop shaking this blasted thing?