Monday, January 10, 2011

Snowflakes Are Falling On My Head

This is the story about the beauty of snow. But first, a lesson from a Minnesotan to all you southerners.

To all you southerners who are not use to snow, there is only one way to make sure you last longer than 5 minutes outside in the snow before your legs start to fall off. And that is layers.

This morning when I drug myself out of bed to get dressed I had to run through the process of winter weather wear in my head to remind myself it's better safe than sorry. So I figured I'd give you a lesson as well.

First, if your a girl, leggings and/or Long Jons are a must. They fit nice and snug under your skin tight skinny jeans and keep you a good 10 degrees warmer. Second, double long sleeves. No, this is not over kill. Unless you so wish to throw yourself in the snow for a snow angel and end up with frozen limbs and a trip to the fireplace instead. Next comes my favorite- Double socks. Yes, double socks. It's amazing how cold your toes are capable of getting. And make sure you wear BOOTS. Not converse, not TOMS, not Vans, BOOTS. Got it? Then comes the usual. A heavy jacket or coat and gloves. I personally skipped out on the hat and went for fuzzy earmuffs instead. But if you wish to wear a hat, go for it.

Undoudtedly once you've been outside for 10 minutes you'll realize you are still cold and your legs are still numb. I'm sorry, but no amount of clothing can help this. It's an inevitable thing of life that can only be made better, not taken away.

You may also realize something else. Your nose is FREEEEEEEZZZZIINNGGGGG. This is another one of life's laughing matters. Because there is now possible way to keep your nose warm without looking like the little boy from A Christmas Story and your neighbor not being able to hear anything but, "Hhhhur Mhr Ghhra hu Wuuhg." When you say "Top of the morning to you." And we wouldn't want that, would we? But I promise that no matter how stingy, chilly, or drippy your nose may get that it will not fall off. My nose has braved many a winter and it is still with me till this day.

After getting clad in my chain mail against the enemy, so to say, I immediately grabbed my iPod and stumbled out the front door and started trudging through the snow. It was dry, icy business. A layer of ice had formed on top of the powdery snow and made trudging loud. Awkward stares were had by the few people out. But I didn't mind. Port Blue was pouring through my headphones and everything was beautiful. Not a trace of homesickness was felt in my heart and I knew this was going to be a wonderful walk.

I started off just walking up my road. My goal was to get lost in my own neighbor hood, but that is easier said than done and regrettably did not end up happening. Every step I wished for a neighborhood friend to play with and shove snow down each others coats like in Minnesota. It was just slightly heart wrenching to see the neighborhood children running around and pushing each other in snow heaps. As you get older, you start spending more and more time alone and I'm still getting use to that fact. But the nip of the midwest was a familiar on my rosie cheeks and I decided to spend the remainder of my walk consulting my Best Friend. Along my journey I decided to see how snowball capable the snow was. So I picked up a clump and quickly realized that the melting technique was needed. And from then on I continued to randomly smash the thin ice on peoples trashcans and grab handfuls of snow, rubbing it in to semi-melt it into a perfect ball shape.

As I passed the neighborhood playground I seriously considered being the immature teenager who climbs on the roof to form snow angels and write cheesy poems in the snow. Or twirl around from pole to pole screaming "Whoooooo!" with my tongue sticking out to catch the falling freezing rain. Or, ya know, swing on the swing set... But just as I was standing in front of the gate I decided to withdraw my presents. I don't know why. Perhaps I just felt out of place. But non the less, I walked on. The more I walked, the colder and wetter I got. The colder I got, the more alive I felt. The more alive I felt, the more I noticed the beauty in every bit of God's creation. The more I noticed, the more words came flooding to my head. The more words came, the more I felt like myself. And the more I felt like myself, the more I was happy. Not just happy, content and willing. There's just something so beautiful about the cold and snow. It makes everything it touches beautiful. Like a gentle kiss from heaven. I noticed the once flowered trees that hang over the sidewalk's bare branches, the heaviness of my UGGs as the slush and snow collected on the bottoms causing my steps to weigh 2 extra pounds. Everything was illuminated.

By this time my snow ball was the size of my hand. Every stop sign I passed I contemplated throwing it at. Except anyone who knows me knows I have a terrible arm and would likely sooner hit the person shoveling their driveway 10 feet away than the big, red stop sign 5 feet in front of me. I could just see myself trying to explain this to a red faced middle aged man with a medal shovel gripped in both hands. So I decided against that as well. All the same, every family I passed seemed to keep a watchful eye on the suspicious looking teenager with a giant snowball made out of half ice. I don't blame them.

When I finally decided to turn back(after wondering through half my large neighborhood) it seemed like everyone had decided to come out to the world of the living at once. Dads were driving 4x4s while their daughters hung off the back with a smile that could melt the heart of the Winter Warlock, people were playing catch, two year olds were building their first snowman, and you couldn't go 10 feet without someone flashing you a smile and saying, "Lovely day!". To this I would of course reply, "Oh yes! Cold, but perfect." while pretending I could actually hear them perfectly through my music. It's amazing what a difference in weather does to people.

Once I entered my street the change of pace was staggering. Our hill down to the Col-de-sac had been turned into a ski slope with even the parents enjoying themselves. I watched at a distance for a while before deciding to go inside and have lunch.

I don't know why I felt the need to dump all of this on you guys. I guess to make up for my depression over Tumblr. I could say so much more about how my indoor experience today has been. Like how at the moment my dad and mother are baking cookies and blasting German, trying to decode it... But I wont. I've already been typing for 2+ hours. I shall not bore you any longer.

Stay safe.

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