January 19, 2012

Snowbound in a city

So it's been a while. 
To be honest, I didn't quite know how to follow up my last post about my aunt. Anything and everything I wanted to write about seemed so frivolous and silly compared to the magnitude of emotion I was feeling as I was writing on here last time.

A little more than a month has passed, and with it came Christmas and the start of 2012. Most of us find ourselves in the bane of winter -- impossibly cold temps, snow, ice, ultra cold bathroom floors and frosty car windows. 

Right now I find myself in Seattle in one of the worst snowstorms they've had in a while. I had heard rumors about how this city reacts to snow, how it freaks out and shuts down after an inch or so. But I wanted to give hearty Northwesterners the benefit of the doubt; after all, they're known for their insatiable outdoorsy spirit and I feel like anyone who can trudge through mud on damp, chilly hiking trails can surely handle a bit of snow.

I was wrong.

Six or so inches of snow later (at least in my neighborhood) along with a glorious glaze of a quarter-inch of ice, I finally understand why this place can't handle proper snow. I nearly skied down the hill with my boots and arms full of groceries tonight. Hillsides were transformed into sledding routes, and since virtually none of the streets are plowed it's perfectly appropriate to invade an entire slope with eager sledders and cross-country skiers.

The fact is, this weather wouldn't have made anywhere in the Midwest or New England even flinch.
I love it though. January looks like it's supposed to, and it's fantastic.

Snow in a city appears magical, and it seems as though everyone around town wants to believe in it. Since no one can really drive, everyone is out walking and wanting to commiserate together. It's almost like the Christmas spirit that everyone pines for late in December has come to life with the fresh fallen snow. Of course, this is all highly romanticized and the reality of it is, people have found one blatantly obvious thing in common: we're all impacted by the snow. Really, it just gives us an excuse to talk to more people. It's a shame this attitude doesn't transcend into more average, pleasant weather.

I miss the snow. I mean, I don't miss the 6-7 months of it that we have at home, but I miss the four distinct seasons. There's something about the seasons that makes one more aware of the passage of time. Without truly distint seasons, it's easy for things in life to be stagnant. The snow cleans things up, makes everything appear fresh. Unfortunately I know in 24 hours, all the beautiful, fluffy snow will turn into grey and brown slush and be gone altogether by Monday. 

I know I say this every few months about how I need to write more and keep more regular track of my blog. Don't think I've forgotten, I think about it almost every day, I just feel like I don't have that many interesting things to write about anymore. I mean, a year ago right now I had just crossed the border into Vietnam and was navigating through markets in Hanoi to try find warmer clothing. 

Now I'm stable and stationary. I have a job that I'll go to tomorrow at 9 and leave at 5. There's nothing too extraordinary about any of that. But I still feel like I have things to share. I've tried other types of social media, and with the exception of Twitter, blogging is the only thing that has stuck. So I'm gonna stick with it. And I hope you'll stay with me along the way.

I'll be back soon. Hopefully tomorrow. 
I promise.

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