Monday, December 6, 2010

Snowing and blowing

 We've got measurable snow at last - 6" and counting, since it's supposed to accumulate a few inches every day this week from lake effect blowing toward us off of Lake Ontario and Oneida Lake to our north.  In other words, it's business as usual in Central New York.

I grew up near Cleveland, Ohio, so snow like this is nothing new to me.  It's almost nostalgic, in fact, since where I have lived for most of the past 25 years was rarely affected by lake effect snow, and our winters were a bit milder in snowfall than the ones I grew up with.  I remember both the Blizzard of '77 and the White Hurricane of '78 in Ohio.  Both times the snow drifted up over our cars in the driveway and halfway up the front of the house.  School was closed for several days in '77, and an entire week in '78 (the whole state was paralyzed during that storm).  The snow was up to my waist in the yard even where it hadn't drifted.  Where it had drifted, it was like looking at frozen waves at the beach, each snow dune gracefully overhung and glittering in the bright sun after the storms finally passed.  Each time the piles of snow by the side of the road towered over us for weeks afterward as we walked home from school, and the snow by the lake shore was drifted as tall as a semi truck. 

Speaking of snow and memories and nostalgia, have you ever seen that holiday classic movie "A Christmas Story"?  You know, the one with Ralphie, who desperately wants a Red Ryder BB Gun for Christmas, but his parents won't get it and tell him it's because, "You'll shoot your eye out!"   The atmosphere of that movie is fairly close to my own childhood memories - piles of snow, huge icicles, Christmas lights and all.  (But no leg lamp!)  I even remember going to that Higbees store to see the decorations and go to their holiday gift shop, although I don't remember seeing Santa and going down the slide - maybe my parents didn't want to wait in the huge line.  (I especially love the kids' Christmas shop, which was strictly "no parents allowed" - you went in alone with your money and had your choice of all sorts of inexpensive goodies for your parents and grandparents, and you'd get it packaged up by the nice shop ladies and keep it secret from your family.  The best thing I found was a pretty brooch for my Mom's coat.  My worst gift choice was soap on a rope for my Grandpa.  What was I thinking?)  Good memories!  This year our own son is old enough to be inducted into the mysteries and catch-phrases of "A Christmas Story."