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January 23, 2002: Missing

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It's been cold lately, with frost on the grass when I leave for work in the morning, and a bed piled high with cats at night. My father, currently working on a project in Colorado, sent an email gloating over snow, and the little green monster is grumbling faintly about the unfairness of it all. I like cold. I love bundling up in thick winter clothes, and going outside on days when the air is so cold that my breath hangs in frosty puffs in the air. My body has become accustomed to the milder winters of California but that does not keep me from fond remembrances of the years we spent in places where winter brought snow instead of rain.

I realize that I was too young at the time to view snow with the same exasperation adults feel - snow means having to shovel it off the walks, and defrost the car door locks with a blow dryer before you can go anywhere. Snow means ice on the roads and loss of traction. And then once the snow begins to melt, even more inconveniences abound. There is soggy slush and muddy water everywhere, interspersed with the pervasive aroma of dog poop as the results of months of people letting their dogs romp, unchecked, in the snow begins to thaw right along with the frozen ground.

But I'd be willing to put up with all of that, just to have the things I remember as a child. Snow means going outside and standing with my face turned up to the sky to catch the flakes. Snow means perfect beauty on the ground, snow angels, mittens frosted with white, building snowmen, sledding. Even adults can do all of those.

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