Winter and the Moon of the New Year
Christmastide Day 8: Snow Day
Saturday gratefuls: Rigel’s sleeping habits. Keps. Mine. Kate’s. All different. Dogs to feed. Humans to feed. The night Sky. The International Space Station speeding past Ursa Major this morning. The waning full moon. Sleeping through the night. Amazing. Writing, back to Jennie’s Dead. A new schedule. Working. Ribeye and Lobster, today. Held over.
Remember Frau Hulda, aka Mother Christmas, from Day 2? Also called Frau Holle in Germany. Midwinter Snows are the feathers shaken from her bedspread. We’ve still got a few feathers on the ground here.
Today we celebrate Snow.
Got into Jack London as a boy. Read Call of the Wild and fell hard for his descriptions of the North. Remember Buck? I fantasized about Pine Trees, Lakes, Dog sledding, and, Snow. Snow that lasted. Snow that did not turn into the slushy melt of Indiana Januaries. Winter as a real season, not a sometimes cold, sometimes chilly, sometimes wet, sometimes icy season.
We had family vacations that took us to Stratford, Ontario for the Shakespeare Festival on the banks of the Avon. Our journey often took us to the MS Norgoma ferry from Tober Mory, Ontario, across the Georgian Bay of Lake Huron and onto Manitoulin Island.
In Stratford we camped in the Ipperswich Provincial Park, also on Lake Huron. Those travels plus Jack London’s novels put living among Pine Trees and Lakes as a stronger desire than I realized while the impressions formed.
As an adult, when I got the chance, I moved to Wisconsin, Appleton, and from there on to Minneapolis/St. Paul. I lived in the north for over 40 years, a place Jack London and Lake Huron had taught me to love.
The Winters were real. That first Winter in Appleton the temperature dropped to well below zero for a full week and we got a foot of Snow over one weekend. I discovered engine block heaters and knew folks that took their batteries out at night and brought them inside. This was 1969.
Minnesota is cold. It Snows, yes, but the big difference there is that the snow sticks around. The temperatures remain well below freezing for weeks, months. And the Sun hangs low in the Sky. When the Winds howl and the Snow blows, it can, as friend Tom Crane observed, blot out all the boundaries: fences disappear, roads, roofs, front yards and back yards.
After our move to Colorado, we’ve experienced a different Winter. On Shadow Mountain, the second Winter we were here, 2016, 220 inches of Snow fell, four feet in one storm. Minnesota typically gets between 40 and 50 inches.
But. After the Snow in the Mountains, we get warmer weather. Often, a Snow fall, no matter how big, disappears in less than a week. The Solar Snow Shovel. The Sun’s angle is a bit higher than Minnesota and we’re a good bit higher at 8,800 feet. Colorado’s blue Skies mean we get a lot of Sun shine even in the deepest midwinter. This is the arid West. Humidity outside today is 19.
What’s your Snow story? Today’s a good day to go out and play in the Snow if you have some. Perhaps a Snowball fight. A Snowman. Skiing. Snowshoes. A hike.
Tomorrow: Evergreen Day.