In my memories I remember snow… how much, so deep, a big part of winter. Snow in Shanghai is a mere skiff that stops and snarls traffic. I would chuckle, this isn’t snow. If you want to see snow then come to Canada in the winter. They can not fathom the amounts I describ and maybe think I am embellishing or over exaggerating. However, the excitement of the locals and children alike to stop and snap photos, or make a snowman in the street made me feel the childhood joy of snow, a newness and wonderment. Many in Shanghai enjoy the fun side of snow because it was unusual or new to them. I just missed it, that wasn’t real snow.
In the last 3 years I haven’t seen real snow. I have come home each Christmas, but real snow doesn’t arrive until January or February now. Last year really none to speak of except maybe 1 storm, but the temperatures quickly rose and the white stuff was gone as quick as it arrived. Maybe a sign of climate change? Gone are the days of a white Christmas with big fluffy flakes and trees laden with the wonderful white stuff. A white Christmas only seems to happen on a Hollywood movie set to make the ideal scene for Christmas. Have you noticed every sitcom that takes place around Christmas has snow? Even in cities that don’t usually get a lot of snow! Kind of distorts our reality about what makes a perfect Christmas. Most people are probably glad we don’t get a lot of snow anyway since it slows down traffic and causes delays in travel and getting all the errands done before the big day.
This year was different. The forecasts called for snow and a storm at that. It came late Boxing day and dumped 10-40 cm depending on where you live. In Niagara we saw about 10-13cm of a fine dry snow. It was really windy so most of it just blew around. It was enough to cover everything and make it look Christmasy even though it came a day too late. The forecast called for more snow again and today (Dec 29) it has been snowing all day, about 12 hours and counting. Some of the nice fluffy flakes in a steady pace. A few hours after the driveway was cleared you had to do it again. Everything looks like a winter wonderland with the trees covered in a fluffy white blanket of snow.
I forgot what snow was like… I remembered the ‘how much’ and the beauty, but I forgot some things too. Like how cold it is when it is blown into your face. The heaviness when you try to shovel it. How slippery it can be. How often you must clean the car and driveway and then an hour later you may have to do it again! Putting on all the layers —with mitts, hats, coats, boots…thank goodness I only have to dress myself and not a class of 25! I think I have decided snow is best viewed in a movie, or from a nice warm spot inside with some hot chocolate. I do miss snow, but not all the work that goes with it.
I love the beauty of snow and how it makes things so still and quiet. As a kid we loved to go tobogganing in the park and having hot chocolate when we came back in. Funny enough my greatest memory of snow was after my first year in Shanghai and our school Christmas concert. We started a little late because people had trouble getting taxis and traffic was extra slow as drivers tried to navigate the foreign substance that made the streets slippery and slick. Once the concert was over and I went outside a laughter and joy filled the air as children and adults frolicked in the few centimeters of snow making small snowmen and having snowball fights. I felt like I was a part of a movie and thought about the feeling of fun and joy and how it filled the air and me with happiness; so surreal. It was magical…
What is your favourite thing about snow?
This can fit somewhat with Ailsa’s theme “New” . It is NEW snow, it makes things look NEW and to some people who have never seen snow a skiff of snow is NEW to them OK a bit of a stretch, but check out her site to see better examples of NEW.
Happy New Year and Stay tuned everyone…