Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Snow daze

Snow [snoh]: A precipitation in the form of ice crystals, mainly of intricately branched, hexagonal form
and often agglomerated into snowflakes, formed directly from the freezing of water vapor in the air. 

As West Coasters now transplanted in the Midwest/East Coast, we've successfully traded the sun for snow. In fact, we haven't missed blue skies and the sun's warmth too much (perhaps check in with us in March, when we're whining for California sunshine). So far, snow good.

It's been a winter wonderland since we arrived here on Christmas Day. There's something absolutely magical about snow falling. Those beautiful and perfectly formed crystals. Each one as unique as a fingerprint. I love how they descend from the sky -- like a gentle kiss -- on your cheeks, nose and eyelashes. It makes me feel like a child again. God dusting trees and rooftops with powdered sugar.

And the quiet. 

When it starts snowing, it's as if the earth stands still -- even if for a moment. Absolute silence. Just the sound of snow crunching under your feet.

This week, it's starting to warm up. Which means it's still cold, just a little less cold. The snow is starting to melt and I can see grass underneath blankets of icy white. Everyone here in Cleveland says we brought the California sunshine with us. In fact, it's supposed to be 57 degrees this weekend ("Hooray!" they say). But all I want is for it to snow again.  

You can have my tank tops and flip flops. I prefer my winter boots and hat with ear flaps.

My winter vocabulary has expanded quite a bit, too. 

In California, there is one type of snow: white. Here, people have a veritable lexicon: powder, sleet, slush, blizzard, blowing snow, dusting, flurry, flake ice, frost, melted snow, pack ice, snowfall, snowdrift, snowpack, grease ice, hard pack... 

Fun fact: Did you know the Saami (the indigenous people of Norway, Sweden, Finland and the Kola Peninsula of Russia) have some 200 words for snow? 
Here's to more snow days!