Snow Sunday: How To Think About Snow in A Ski Town

Snow Sunday: How To Think About Snow in A Ski Town

Last week, I had a crappy week. I don’t mean “ski town crappy” in that it was off-season so my favorite yoga class was cancelled or the Butcher and Baker had sold out of all their sausage breakfast burritos or I couldn’t go backcountry skiing right after the season’s first major storm—although all of those things happened.


I mean “real world crappy” in that my computer crashed, the plumbing in my house stopped working, I had to take a 40-hour professional development class, make sure the dog got walked and kids got fed (apparently you have to feed them), and hold down my day job – all while my husband happened to be out of town.

It was a hectic, scattered, disjointed five days. The kids got shuffled from friends to sitters, the dog didn’t get walked and peed in the house, and I spastically hurried from one thing to the next. Then Sunday night came and it all changed. The clouds started to gather, the humidity dropped, and snowflakes started to fall. A calm came over our house.

The wind picked up and the snow fell harder, swirling through the naked aspens in our front yards. We turned on the porch lights watching them illuminate the white lines of snow falling from the sky, sticking to the ground, and quickly erasing the landscape. The harder it snowed, the more peaceful it was. We felt like we were in our own little cocoon inside in the house, while it stormed around us.

That night I also received an email. The computer guy in the Ukraine, who had been working remotely on my computer, declared it fixed. I also got a voice message. The plumbers, who I had called the week before, finally returned my call; they’d be there the next day. The kids stopped fighting, put on their pajamas, and went to bed without argument.

I woke up early the next morning to finish some work. I looked out at our driveway; it was blanketed in 36- inches of snow. The snow between our front door and our car would be up to my youngest’s chest. I put on my snow gear, grabbed the shovel, and began digging out a path. The snow was light on top, but a little dense below. It’d be perfect to ski. I found the broom and swept off the car, mesmerized by how the snow gracefully cascaded in small fans.

The kids awoke and the hectic morning routine began. Get dressed, get breakfast, get in the car. The youngest refused to put on her boots; the oldest was upset because I forgot to make lunches. I raised my voice; the youngest cried, then put on her boots. The oldest reluctantly made her own lunch.

Then I opened the door and it was as if a magic snow fairy cast a spell over the kids. They were in awe. These are mountain kids; they’ve seen snow before, but not like this. They jumped out of the house and bounded through the snow to the car, no longer crying about boots or upset about lunches.

Photo 2

We piled in and I began backing out. Our driveway does not get plowed. I had shoveled some right behind the car, but a two-foot-deep, blank, layer of snow covered the 100-feet between the road and me. I gave it some juice and backed up– snow flew out from either side of the car. I felt like Mad Max, but instead of flying through the sands of the desert, I was flying through the deep snows of the arctic.

I should have had Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song” blaring, “We come from the land of ice and snow, from the midnight sun where the hot springs flow.” I started to laugh as the car hit the precipice between the driveway and half-plowed road. I got out to finish scraping the window and when I got back in, I was still chuckling.

“Why are you laughing, mom?” my oldest asked.

“Because of the snow,” I said.

She looked at her sister and they began laughing too. It was Monday, and the crappy week was behind us. In front of us lay the fresh-fallen, snow—covering the landscape like a blank canvas.






1 Comment
  • Emily Shoff
    Posted at 14:40h, 08 December

    Such a beautiful story. Makes me want some more snow right now!