I fell asleep on Nov. 30 to a soft, steady rain after a month of beautiful autumn – cold nights but warmer days and sunshine and blue skies and the smell of drying leaves falling, piling, one on another.
I woke Dec. 1 to winter. A cold wind blew a cold rain into my face when I ran down the sidewalk just before 7 a.m. And the cold wind blew driving, spitting snow into my hair when I left work that afternoon.
It really hasn’t stopped since then, this winter weather. And when I look out at weeds and tall grass poking through an inch or two of white, or cross small creeks rushing dark between their snowy banks; and when the wind drives snow under my scarf and the furnace kicks off just to kick right back on; I wonder if summer happened at all.
It did, of course. And the nasty, sharp snow is now giving way to fluffy flakes falling soft and silent, and the dried weed heads are disappearing and the forecast calls for snow all week long.
Winter came with the tearing of calendar pages, and I wasn’t ready. But I’ll put out my Christmas candles today and warm my kitchen with baking bread and maybe, if the wind stops, I’ll introduce Alaska to her first snow and see if Vesper remembers it from last year. (But I’ll make the hot chocolate just for me, no matter how much pink noses twitch at the smell. Dairy and chocolate are bad news for ferrets. And I’m possessive of my marshmallows.)
Because if you’re going to live on the ridges and in the valleys of Western Pennsylvania, you’re going to have winter. And you might as well enjoy the snow.