Monday, January 16, 2012

Snow Day in Seattle


Seattle is incredibly temperate with mild winters and markedly “cool” summers compared to much of the rest the United States. You might compare our clime to the South coast of England. If you’re at all familiar with that sort of thing.

It very rarely snows here.

And when it does, we stand in awe.

There is something about the first snowfall of the winter. Especially a lovely, soft, fluffy snow that sticks so well and continues for days. The sort of snow that makes you sit up and say, “We’d better stock up on food and firewood…just in case.”

The sort of weather that demands firewood, fresh bread, and steaming soups.

The kind of weather you must breathe and touch and roll about in to believe. It wakes you up, this muffled, softly drifting beauty. It calls you to the hearth and reminds you of what is good.


I wish I could have gotten photos of my children at play, building “ice sculptures” and delighting in the novelty of brushing off fence posts, tossing a dust of freezing sparkles into the air. Catching snowflakes on their tongues.

But I suppose that is one of those things that is better savored. Like so much of our lives, it never gets “captured.”

Like the snow, it will last long only in memory.

And afterwards, the frantic, red-nosed shedding of mittens and scarves and sopping boots. Cold fingers sandwiched between Mama’s hands while adventures are recounted and marshmallows munched with glee. Still-rosy cheeks puffing with smiles.

A cup of hot cocoa may not be much.

But it is a touchstone. A moment captured. Something by which to remember the joy of the snow.


Thank the Lord for touchstones. Those moments photographed, that snatch of melody recorded, dried flowers pressed, a program tucked away, or a phrase jotted hurried in a journal.

We cannot capture everything. We cannot will the snowfalls to stay. The fragile crystal melts and never again will there be another exactly like it.

But the touchstones, they bring it back. Perhaps not perfectly crisp or precisely clear. Yet it lingers. Long after the days have melted into other seasons, the touchstones draw us back.

Back to softly drifting beauty and a recollection of what was and always will be good.


  1. I had the same Pooh mug as a child! In fact I think it is still in my closet at my parents' house.
    Lovely post! Looks like so much fun. I wish we would get some snow here :(

  2. Ahw, your children are both so handsome, your little guy has a lot of character in his face!
    I rarely snows here (Belgium) either. It rains instead. We are longing for some snow here!

  3. I left a couple of comments on your post about your upcoming novel, about joining the Military Writer's Society of America. I think you can click to ask to join the group. Wonderful authors on the site, and supporters like me.

    Site of joint base Ft.Lewis McCord AFB. You can click like, if you want. I think your upcoming book has this base as its setting??


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