When I lived in the Adirondack Mountains, in upstate New York, we used to wonder when we’d get our first day of snow for the new season. It wasn’t terribly odd for us to have snow on Easter, but that was for the outgoing winter season; we were always on the lookout for snow in the upcoming season, whenever that would be.
We used to joke that we only had two seasons: winter and not winter. While I do remember having very short periods of weather suitable for swimming, there wasn’t a big market for so-called summer clothes in that vicinity. But should we ever have wanted to take advantage of those “crazy, lazy days of summer,” we had the good fortune of having our own boathouse and lake right across the street from our house.
While I love to look at water (I find lakes very beautiful and soothing), I didn’t actually go swimming all that much. But for one reason or another, when I lived there I decided I was going to make my own hand-crocheted bathing suit, following the pattern I found in a Woman’s Day magazine. I was very happy with the results, and couldn’t wait to try it out.
This being the first time I had ever crocheted a bathing suit, there were a few things I didn’t consider. It was more or less a generous-sized bikini, meaning it covered a lot more than today’s bikinis. So one day after all the children were in school, I took myself down to our boathouse, got out the raft, and set myself adrift on it. Thank goodness there were very few people in that small town and barely any traffic at all at that time of the day, so I can only hope that no one saw the disaster that happened after I jumped off the raft to try out my new swimsuit.
For those who might ever be inclined to crochet their own swimsuit let me tell them right now to make absolutely sure the thread, yarn, or whatever they choose for that crocheting project is not subject to stretching in the water. That’s right! From a perfect fit, while dry, it probably stretched three sizes larger, if not more, and practically got left behind as I climbed up onto the raft again.
But as another columnist in this paper, Mace Yampolsky, might say, I digress. I got way off the subject of snow in the summertime! Snow in September was not all that unusual, and you could always expect it in October. It was not getting snow after that which would be unusual. So having a whole winter season in which the snow could pile up, it was not that strange for the snow to still be on the ground come Easter.
In fact, we had an old-fashioned walk-up-the-stairs-to-get-to-i
While I probably would have enjoyed seeing it and playing in it, I’m sure many of the campers may not have found it to be all fun and games, pretty as it might have looked, since snow is water in disguise and it’s really no fun at all to sleep on the wet ground; to say nothing of all the little animals that were just recently born and who would probably have to struggle not only with the cold but also with finding food on the ground, which might well be under a deep mound of
While I still love the snow, these days I especially love looking at it from a large picture window in a room with a lovely warming fireplace. I still remember the days I had to wear my big furry Russian-style hat and very thick mukluks to keep my feet warm when going out, even to get the mail across the street, but somehow the memories are warm.
Then last Friday, June 21, there were eight inches of that white fluffy stuff that fluttered down in southwestern Montana to usher in the summer solstice. They were warned, more or less, by the weather forecast that the temperatures would dip to 30 degrees Fahrenheit, but it was no doubt still a surprise to some.
While I always felt I lived in an area with weather surprises, I’m sure there are many other areas in this country of ours that offer up surprises in weather extremes, whether hot or cold, rainy or snowy or anything in between. Anyway, apparently, Yellowstone National Park has a history of major weather extremes. And there is even a legend that in the early 20th century, there was a freak blizzard in August that stranded all the guests at the Old Faithful Inn, located near the iconic geyser of the same name, and inspired them to start a Christmas celebration there, which is still held every August 25th. Now that’s
something I’d really like to attend someday, since I have believed that August really and truly is the month in which Jesus was born. But that way I get to enjoy two Christmases every year. And I wouldn’t want to give up either one.
That may be a lot of nothing about a little snow, but then sometimes we need something light and fluffy when so much around us may seem dark and gloomy…especially the news.
* * * * *
Maramis Choufani is the Managing Editor of the Las Vegas Tribune. She writes a weekly column in this newspaper. To contact Maramis, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.