Sunday, December 20, 2009

Bread, Milk and Toilet Paper

I'm looking out the window at over two feet of snow, a lot for Maryland, and quite an early arrival (generally, snowstorms visit our area after the holidays, not before).

We have kind of a pretend winter in Maryland. Looking out, we seem very New England, but there are tell tale drips from the roof and the freshly shoveled driveway is wet, signs that it's already beginning to melt. In the northernmost parts of New York State, for instance, once the stuff falls it stays put until spring. Here, the snow teases - now you see me, now you don't.

That's what makes it a little harder to deal with. We don't have the gear. We don't want to invest in snow gear when we don't know if we'll get any or if it'll stick around. A few indulge in snow blowers and such - items that sit gathering dust in the garage 360 days of the year, emerging for their triumphant fifteen minutes of fame every now and again, making the rest of us jealous (but not jealous enough to buy one of our own).

But getting snow in inconsistent spurts is also what makes it magical. We snap photographs and update our Facebook statuses, we call our parents and measure the snowfall on our decks with yard sticks. We send the dogs out, free of a leash, to frolic (where could they go, anyway?) and stuff our ovens and stomachs with baked goods. We'll never get used to it; it's like loving a man on deployment. You make the most out of every second of leave, because in a few days he's gone again. And when the snow leaves, then it's just plain winter. It's just plain cold.

This was a big year, from the start of a historic presidency to the high school graduation of Mini Mannerz 1.0. We lost cultural icons like Michael Jackson and witnessed the emergence of new artists, like Susan Boyle, onto the world stage. We looked on as disgraced athletes returned to play and celebrated sportsmen took their turn at falling from grace. We celebrated new jobs and, all too often, mourned lost ones. We drove up the price of gold and watched the price of cars plummet.

This year end capped the decade, finishing the clean peel away from the last century and insisting that we chin up and look into the next one with clear eyes. It's fitting that, at the end of such an event filled decade, we witnessed a historic snowfall. We hurried to the grocery store to stock up on the supermarket triple crown, tossing in a few extras like wine. Then we went home, and waited for the promised two feet of snow, which came just as expected.

We'll cherish the memory of the big storm, of the big year, of the big decade, because we know how fast time goes. We know how fleeting each moment is, how if you wait five minutes, the entire world will have changed and the landscape will be completely different.

Just like snow.


Two Shorten the Road said...

Like. :)

Brenna said...

What a great post! I really enjoyed reading it. The comment regarding the graduation of "Mini Mannerz 1.0" totally made me chuckle. Love the year-end wrap up all bundled in with the epic snowfall (that we're SO SAD to be missing!).