SNOW, an essay

December 22 to 26, 2012

Sunrise December 26

Yeah, yeah, we all grew up with snow and grew tired of it and for the most part, moved away from it. We were delighted to be able to shovel air in San Francisco beginning in 1992.

Now, we’re in Reno and experiencing our first mountain west winter. On Saturday, that meant snow — lots of windblown, very, very wet snow. So I bored y’all with pictures and so on. The weather changed to sun and a high blue sky on Christmas day. Brian and Natasza came over for a cheese foudue repast. In the late afternoon a big gray cloud appeared in the southwest. Weather guys had been saying that we were experiencing a 3 part storm wrapped around a LOW moving into California. Well, here comes part three. Tiny, flurry like flakes appeared just before dusk, around 5pm. Carol is fond of saying, “Little flakes, big snow; big flakes, little snow.” Yeah, right. The next morning we had four more inches, making 10 inches on the ground on our north back terrace.

Measured six inches Saturday afternoon.
The grill and rolling table; not rolling and not grilling.

New snow on the 26th. I had shoveled a path to the grill and table and scraped those clean. This new stuff is very fluffy.
Afternoon of the 26th. It got up into the high 40s, just right for shoveling.

Growing up in Columbus, winter meant snow, it was just a way of life. The Navy moved us to San Diego and after nearly two years there, I asked to be transferred “back East.” The weather in San Diego was just too damn nice… boring. Norfolk brought bits of winter weather, but not much snow, due to the influence of the Atlantic ocean. Eric was born in Norfolk.

Roanoke, Virginia in the Blue Ridge Mountains got some serious snow from time to time, a foot or more, but it would melt away in a day or two. Between snows, Brian was born.

In Newton, I loved the new snow in the early winter through January. We took up cross country skiing to take advantage of it. But then February would bring the pattern of “snow changing to rain” and that just made two to three months of slush. We were not very happy with those months. Presented with the opportunity to move to snowless San Francisco, we jumped on it.

In the eastern foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains, the dry clear air and sky and snow are wholly different from any other place we’ve lived. That’s why I am so enthralled and allow myself to bore you with these pictures and blow-by-blow descriptions of weather. We look forward to experiencing the full season.


Saturday at about 10 am.
Looking from our garage a little later on Saturday.

It was clear and sunny on Monday and Brian took us on an excursion to Virginia City in his AWD Ford. We also took the opportunity to buy a snow shovel. Christmas morning, I shoveled a path across the porch and down the driveway to the street.

The path across the porch.
As noted previously, Christmas night it snowed again, I had to shovel a path to get to our Newspaper Wednesday morning.
By that afternoon, I was able to attack the length of the driveway; even though our picturesque cul-de-sac is still in rough shape.


Sunday December 23rd
Monday, December 24th
Sunrise December 26th
A little later in the morning, the clouds break up a bit.

2 thoughts on “SNOW, an essay

  1. I too remember the Ohio winters sledding down the hill near Judge Randall’s mansion. Our last winter in CT (sans garage) we had 4 18″ snows and were ready for the move to upstate South Carolina. We have a little snow (largest was 7″ on Christmas day in 2010) but usually it melts within a couple of days. Nothing yet this year…


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