Far into my adult life, I maintained contempt for my fellow grown-ups who spoke despairingly about snow. “They've lost touch with their inner child,” I said to myself with a superior air. “Snow is fun, exotic, an opportunity for play.” About five years ago, I succumbed to the dark side. I don't recall if it was a particularly harsh winter. All I know is that I was suddenly sick of snow. I found myself saying that if I never saw snow again, I'd feel fine. Well, we are in the midst of our first Oakland winter, and I feel fine. There's never even a minuscule threat of snow here.
Lynne, on the other hand, being still quite connected with her inner child, misses the snow. No, she doesn't want to go back to living in the winters of the Northeast, but she does fantasize about the occasional romantic flurry. She even went on the internet and found out that there was a snow machine down in Jack London Square that put on a show every evening. However, when we went there at the appointed hour, the machine was broken and there was no simulated winter to be experienced. Lynne was heartbroken.
And so it was that, on January 4th, as we fastened our seat belts on the plane that was to take us back East for a visit, all of Lynne's fingers and toes were crossed. We were going to be spending five day in northern Connecticut visiting her family, and five days in NYC visiting mine. “Please let there be snow. Please let there be snow. Please let there be snow.” Her mother had said most of the snow that had been on the ground near their house had melted. This, of course, did not deter The Manifester from her prayers. “Maybe my mother is just teasing me and there really will be snow in Connecticut.”
Our arrival at the old homestead revealed that Lynne's mother had indeed been sincere. There were clumps of snow here and there, but mostly there was grass. The next day, however, the TV news was rife with predictions of a storm that night. Sure enough, when we awoke on the morning of the 6th, four inches of the fluffy variety had fallen. I dutifully, albeit enthusiastically, shoveled her parents' walk and driveway. Next night, four more inches and another morning of shoveling. You can imagine how thrilled Lynne was as she looked out the window each day.
That Sunday, we bade our farewells and boarded the Amtrak train at Windsor Locks. The trip down to New York took us through snow-covered forests in central Connecticut. We arrived at my mother's apartment in Greenwich Village and, wouldn't you know it? A truly heavy-duty snowstorm was predicted for Tuesday night. As if on cue, it started falling around 8pm. At midnight, Lynne said she wanted to go for a walk. I had to cover my entire face except for my eyes with my scarf, as the heavy, wet snow was being driven by a slight wind. (Fortunately, there would be no driveway for me to shovel this time.) Washington Square Park was closed, but we pushed through the gate, deflowered the fresh coating of snow with our footprints and took photos of the flakes in the lamplight.
Even without these weather events, Lynne would have had a great time on this trip. It had been her first visit back East since we moved out here last March. We got to spend fun, quality time with our parents, siblings, nieces, nephews, etc. But the “icing on the gravy,” as Lynne would say, had been the snow. She was very happy to have had her vision realized, maybe even exceeded. I was happy, too, both because she was happy, and because we live in California now.
Thanks for reading.
The most effective cosmetic is interest.
-- Cindy Baranco