Friday, December 26, 2008

A White Christmas

Is there anything in your life that you decided you knew as a child only to grow up and realize how off you really where? I have moments all the time (well, not everyday, but often enough) where I discover something completely obvious that I could have figured out if I had thought about it. I just never thought about it because I decided that I already knew everything that there was to know some time around age 8. One of these things was the phrase White Christmas.

I grew up in northern Wisconsin, and it wasn't until I moved to Arkansas in high school that I realized that dreaming of a white Christmas could be a request for any snow at all. Up until that point, I thought it meant a fresh layer of snow. When I sang that song in elementary school, I was wishing for a fresh sparkling blanket to fall while we were all asleep. That way, everything would be a beautiful crisp white. Beyond the stories of Christmas snow being magical, and Santa bringing it from the North Pole, the dirty piles left by the plows are just not pretty enough to sing about. All I ever wanted was the inch or two it would take to cover them up.

Then I moved to Arkansas. I know that if I had thought about it, I could have figured out that not everyone has snow all winter long. It just never occurred to me to think about. While I lived down there White Christmas became an anthem for me, and I was never able to get it. I would visit my family in Chicago for the holidays, and they would all comment on how I must have brought the warm weather with me because there was no snow. I met my future husband who was from Seattle. When he took me home to meet his family, he promised that if it didn't snow on Christmas, we'd drive up in the mountains where he snowboards to see the snow there. (He's a sweetie isn't he.) There was so little snow that the mountain top ski resorts were all closed. While we were in Seattle, it snowed in Arkansas, and as soon as we left Seattle, they were hit with a storm. The only snow we saw that year was while we were driving home though Texas, in the middle of the night, and I was fast asleep.

Now that I'm back north, I've been hoping for snow this Christmas. This year I settled for just having snow on the ground, and I pretty much got my wish. When I woke up yesterday morning, all of the grassy areas, and bushes were covered, but yesterday was a bright sunny day so it all quickly melted away. Fortunately, right outside my office window is a is a little shady spot that the sun never hits. So, I still have some snow left over from Christmas. Maybe next year, I'll start hoping for the fresh stuff again.

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