Saturday, January 14, 2012
THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES
Staring out the huge picture window, her nose pressed against the cool glass, she felt one hot tear forming in the corner of her eye.
Never would she have believed she'd miss snow. Moving South meant a new beginning, a new life, and new possibilities. Up above the Mason-Dixon line, her old life and all its memories...those her mind did not from time-to-time regurgitate...meant nothing to her now...mere shadows of what once was.
All the people holding grip upon her heart, from the old days, moved down here right along with her...and yet, with Christmas coming, the longing for snow attacked her heart strings making her first Christmas here, melancholy.
What did she actually miss?
Driving before, during, and after a snowstorm gave new meaning to the word "horror."
Before, everyone races like mad ants to the grocery and hardware stores determined to stock up on staples and purchase the newest high powered snowblower before the first back-breaking flake falls. (No one wants to shovel any more.)
During the storm, many drivers dare to treat the slickening roads as nothing more than dry roads with spots of moisture their four-wheel-drive vehicles can laugh at. (The rise in business at body shops during and after snowstorms prove the error of these ass-umptions.)
After the storm, snow mountains pile along the gutters and sides of roads, dirty crusting towers sculpted by plows and their non-stop efforts to stay ahead of road dangers, create eerie tunnels for cars to whiz through.
Sounds somewhat safe for the whizzing through part, right?
Assuming those mountains don't come tumbling down from the vibrations cars driving past create, no amount of plowing, salting, and sanding can eliminate the trickiest problems that come after the snow.
Black Ice...patches of seemingly dry pavement coated with a thin but deadly layer of invisible ice.
No one, no matter how skilled a driver he or she may be, is up to beating black ice...and yet, the panorama blanket of newly fallen snow, sparkling like diamonds beneath the winter sun takes your breath away.
The crisp clean smell after a snowstorm is unlike any other perfume mankind or science has created in a laboratory or anywhere else.
Sighing, her mind travelling back to her country childhood, she saw the girl she'd been, seated, much as she is now, with her nose pressed against the much colder picture window's glass. The overhead lights in the eaves outside cast wide arcs of glittering luminescence, making the careening flakes racing towards the ground, appear like individual grains of twinkling diamond dust.
Hours she spent watching Nature perform before her awe-filled eyes, oblivious to the red spreading up her happily placed nose, imagining a world as pristine as this newly wafting snow.
And come the morning, that white sparkly blanket, untouched, unsullied, stretching as far as the eye could see made her gasp. Snow crystals laced here and there, dangling majestically from the naked branches of towering oaks, and flocking the spindly needles of pines were so much more dazzling than any artist's rendering, and they filled her heart with reverent appreciation.
Here in the South, she loved her new life, her new friends, many now closer than family, but deep in that pocket where the memories of her childhood in the country with Christmas a breathtaking card just beyond that picture window lived, a part of her ached for...
Somewhere in the background, of her mind, or her new home, she heard the strains of the one song guaranteed to bring her melancholy home...
...Bob Hope singing "Thanks For the Memories."