Rainy Days and Snow

I love a rainy day, a rainy morning, or even a rainy night. I love to watch a thunderstorm. The beauty of lightning is amazing. But file0001490316433smwhen winter comes and it snows, I’m ecstatic. It’s rather simple. I’m a Yankee. And for those who aren’t familiar with our regions – that means I was born and raised above the Mason Dixon Line or up north where it’s colder.

Living up north means you always had a snow shovel in your car, an extra blanket or two, a bucket of sand, maybe a plank of wood, and cars had snow tires. But my husband loved Virginia and wanted to move down here. So I came.

It’s a beautiful state with a rich history. It’s green, and lush, with very fertile land. It’s also hazy, hot, and humid in the summer to the point of wondering if you need gills to breath when the humidity hits 100%. Our winters tend to be cold, damp, and rainy. It chills to the bone. The humidity is often 100%. Gills would be good.

The SE corner of Virginia doesn’t get much snow and when it does come, it never lasts. Maybe that a good thing because it is such a rare occurrence that no one knows how to drive in it. When white flakes fall, it’s like the whole area comes to a complete halt. For a Yankee, it’s hysterical. We are used to not seeing blacktop on the roads sometimes for months.

So many years ago, being young and inexperienced with the area, I bundled my kindergartner up, and sent her to wait for the bus. It didn’t come. I later found out I’m supposed to watch the TV for school closings. What? Why? We had school closings when the snowplows got stuck in the blizzard. We had school closings when the school’s furnace died. We had school closings when there was no electric. But they never closed school over flurries. I finally found someone to answer the phone at the school board office. Yes, they had closed school. I’m laughing. Tears are rolling down my cheeks. They closed school over a dusting? Apparently, the bus drivers don’t like driving in snow when they aren’t used to it.

There wasn’t enough snow to make a snowman. Maybe if I scooped the entire yard I might have been able to make a snowball. But I let the girls play until they were covered in mud. Yes, mud. Up north the ground freezes until spring. Here we have a soggy sponge with white flakes on top of grass.

I cleaned the girls up and took them with me to the grocery store. There were a few tire tracks through the snow. I had the road to myself. There are two cars in the parking lot and the store is closed. In fact, everything is closed. The whole area grinds to a halt when white stuff falls from the sky.

After living here for years, I’ve discovered there are men with pickup trucks, the kind that is jacked up so it looks as if the owner is ready to drive through four feet of snow. For these guys, snow is a reason to play. It’s why they have these trucks. They roam the countryside looking for a pretty young girl whose car has slipped into a ditch because she doesn’t know how to drive in the snow. You don’t have to call for help. They will find you and pull you out. They wear orange hunting gear, John Deere hats, and they don’t want money. It’s a macho thing.

Young men will ring your doorbell and ask if you want your walkway shoveled. They have a pointed garden shovel in their file000287715630smhand. They are insistent. No thanks. This is Virginia. It will melt tomorrow. Worst-case scenario, the day after tomorrow, it will melt.

People stock up as if a hurricane were coming. Grocery stores run out of milk, bottled water, bread, peanut butter, ravioli in cans, beer, and toilet paper. Yankees race to the meat department to stock up on manager specials.

A few days ago, it was sixty degrees Fahrenheit. That’s sweater weather, except it was drizzling. The problem is it has rained for days. The ground is soggy. It can only absorb so much water. If you walk through the yard, it makes squishy sounds.

I’m tired of the rain. The dogs don’t want to go out in the rain. I must force them. I’ve had to push my Boxer out the door and drag her into the grass. It never rains hard enough to wash away what the dogs leave behind so the backyard becomes a minefield of poop. I swear that wet poop grows in size, and lasts for months. I’ve thought about buying her boots because she doesn’t want to get her feet wet. I’ve held the umbrella over her while I got soaked. She’s not spoiled or anything.

A few hours ago, the world looked white, there was three inches of snow on my car, the big trash bin, the bird bath, etc. A half hour later, everything looked like slush. The three inches of snow has been reduced to the thickness of your finger. It’s supposed to get colder, very cold for here. That slush will turn to ice. That will be dangerous.

My daughter called me tonight. She was trying to get home in the snow. She’s a highly specialized registered nurse, and she had to get from a patient’s house to the hospital before she could quit for the night. Except the car in front of her was going 23 mph in a 60 mph zone, and she couldn’t pass because the car was hogging both lanes. She was whining.

I sit in front of my computer working on the next book while I listen to the sounds outside or rather lack of them. Snow muffles sound, and only those who must be out will brave the streets. When it’s very quiet, I know we’ve reverted back to snowflakes because the dripping sounds stop. I’ll sleep in because the world around me will be extra quiet.

SUN MH900188507 I want twelve inches of snow or twelve days of sunshine, but please, no more rain. All things in moderation, we’ve had enough.

Joan Reeves will be back with us next month.




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17 Responses to Rainy Days and Snow

  1. stephaniequeen says:

    I could go for some snow right now–now that I’m snuggled inside for the long weekend!
    Thanks for sharing, E.!


  2. Being a Midwest girl, I know all about snow–Michigan, no less. Surrounded by those big lakes that bring in the heavy, thick stuff–Lake Effect snow. I think I could do a few winters without it, but on the flip side, the past two winters here have been mild with light snow. A couple weeks ago it snowed, six, seven inches. It’s gone–rain washed it away. (And I’m glad.) It is beautiful when it first arrives, though, and a white Christmas is always nice. I love your cardinal in the snow picture.


    • E. Ayers says:

      There’s nothing worse than dirty snow that’s been around too long. And it amazes me that cities own the sidewalks until it snows, and then they demand that the house owner must shovel them clean. HUH?


  3. Tori Scott says:

    This Texas girl is not a big fan of snow if I have to go anywhere, but I love looking at it from the confines of my office. We don’t often get enough snow to cover the ground, but two years ago we got six inches. Yes, the world around us ground to a stop. But I was prepared. I’d stocked up on groceries, filled the car with gas, bought bird seed, and fixed a big pot of stew. I’d charged up all the batteries, just in case we lost electricity. Then I settled in with my camera and spent three glorious days photographing the birds at the feeder, our red FarmAll tractor against the background of pure white, the trees with branches laden with snow. And then it was gone, leaving behind a soggy yard and broken branches. Fun while it lasted, though.


  4. Jill James says:

    Where I live here in Northern California we get snow about every 20 years or so. Yes, we get a dusting on Mt. Diablo once a year, but here in the flatland, nope. We have to drive about an hour and a half to go ‘see’ the snow. When the kids were little they loved it.


    • E. Ayers says:

      Every child needs the chance to play in the snow. And every adult who has never experienced it, should have it on a bucket list. But living with snow for weeks on end, shoveling, commuting through it, etc., is probably as depressing as our rainy winters.


  5. Anonymous says:

    Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, we (schools, shops,everything) closed down for “dustings” as well. We just weren’t equiped for the snow. It was rude shock to move to Utah where life as usual continued with or without snow. Here in sunny California I sometimes miss the snow days. Although last week I thought my nose would freeze and fall off during my morning run, 31 degrees, and I wondered how anyone could possibly live with frozen noses a toes.


  6. susanrhughes says:

    You want snow? We’ve got plenty of it up here in Ottawa. Take some, please!


  7. monarisk says:

    I experienced snow in Boston for years and loved it. When I moved to Ohio I couldn’t believe how the world stopped because of three inches of white stuff on the ground. And they waited for it to melt. But I don’t miss the snow here in Florida. The sight of the ocean even on a rainy day like today is my favorite.


  8. leighmorgan1 says:

    We haven’t had enough snow here in Wisconsin either! Not the chest high stuff we had last year and the year before. It’s too cold for rain, which is a blessing, but I’m with you, I love the snow. I have family in Southern Wales; they got a few inches and everything shut down…hehehe…for a Yank, that’s not even a reason to put on your boots :). Great post! Hope it stops raining for you soon.


  9. E. Ayers says:

    We have sunshine today. But it’s not enough to dry out the overly soggy ground and puddles are everywhere. I’m just thrilled to have a few hours of sun. Even the dogs seem happier.


  10. Carol says:

    In Georgia, we also close down schools and most businesses at first snow flurry sighting. We had rain most of last week. Yes. Slushy yards and cold drizzly days and nights. Even the poor worms came out of hiding and lay on my sidewalk motionless. What we are most concerned with is ice. Black ice on the roads is dangerous. For those who aren’t experienced at driving on ice, is definitely reason to shut down. I can drive in those conditions, but rather not venture out because of the other guy. This week the sun is out and I’m happy! 🙂


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