I hate snow, and hearing someone say, "It looks sooo pretty" does not change my mind. I tell people that the only snowfall I want to see is the one I sprinkle under my Christmas tree.
As I sit at my home computer, I can turn a smidgen to the left and look out at a Norman Rockwell winter wonderland in my backyard. I am separated only by a thin pane of glass and a couple of icicles.
The scene comes on the heels of a prediction from the noon news weatherman, who said: "Snow will begin falling later today. Expected accumulation will be about an inch or so." Well, in the last hour we have surpassed the "or so," and it's coming down fast. (I must pause for a moment to ask God to keep safe those who have to navigate the roads home from work.)
Although I live in a community just 15 minutes to the north from Downtown (if there's no snow to slow traffic) I have a big backyard, a lot of which is a steep hill way in the rear. When it snows, the old, fallen trees and wicked neighbor's occasional trash are covered over and disappear. When the often-coined term that "all is blanketed in white" becomes apt like this, with everything the color of my down-filled comforter, I must concur that this makes the landscape look nicer.
In years past, my family and I would make a unisex snowperson, which usually resembled a mix of the Pillsbury Doughboy and Short Fat Fannie. I would also wrap myself in 16 pounds of clothes to go out with my girls, and later the grandkids, to sled ride and make snow angels or devils, depending on who was being good. I don't think I hated winter as much then, or was I just having too much fun to care?
Wait! A movement on the hill just caught my eye. It's none other than members of our resident deer herd. Let me count -- one, two, six. Like sure-footed goats on a mountain, they have no fear, nor do they falter as they dance across the snowy slope.
Even when Logan, our nice neighbor's dog, chases them (a futile effort, he knows) they raise the flags of their tails, snort a "ha-ha" at him, and dart off to eat some other Shalerite's bush. I must admire the Christmas card image they present at this moment, however.
I remember how, when I was a little girl of 5 or 6, it seemed to me the snow had millions of minute, sparkling flecks like diamonds in it as it lay on the sidewalks of the city. I would feel as though I was walking on a carpet of shimmering magic. I have seen that on occasion since, and it never fails to take me back to that little girl who liked the snow.
Tomorrow, when I go out to the mailbox, I will see the footprints of the creatures who inhabit my domain and I will leave my own. The rather long trek down to the driveway's end will capture my own boot tracks, just like the "CSI" episode where they caught some creep by using the footprints he left in the snow.
And, by the way, I might just stick out my tongue to catch a flake or two if it's still coming down. Wouldn't it be funny if Mother Nature put flavoring like lemon lime or cherry in the snow so it's even better to eat!
It is dark outside my window now, and unless I turn on the backyard light I cannot see much of this Arctic copycat land, so I will close the drapes and end this. Before I go, though, I must try to put into words what a snowfall sounds like, feels like, falls like.
It is cool on the cheeks like the brush of fall rain; hard and brittle on mittens when you exchange one pair for a fresh, dry set; freezing to the feet of your dog or cat or the homeless souls with holes in their shoes.
It is quiet like the sound of nothing, falling like confetti from some heavenly winter celebration.
Gee, for a moment I think I might almost like it.
Sandy McPeak of Shaler can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.The PG Portfolio welcomes "Winter Musings" submissions and other reader essays. Send your writing to email@example.com; or by mail to Portfolio, Post-Gazette, 34 Blvd. of the Allies, Pittsburgh PA 15222. Portfolio editor Gary Rotstein may be reached at 412-263-1255. First Published February 13, 2013 5:00 AM