Thursday, November 30, 2006

This and that

I heart snow. That little rustling sound snowflakes make as they settle to the ground is so peaceful, and the way it covers everything – rusted out cars, litter, bare tree branches – with a coat of forgiveness almost convinces me that the world is clean and a better place for it. But of course that is just the surface.

Enter Seattle. November has been the rainiest month, well ever – we just broke the record. We have now had more than 13” of precipitation. Yeah, yeah, I know it’s Seattle, what did I expect? Well I’ll tell you what I didn’t – snow. Since Sunday, Seattle has been a winter wonderland of sorts – that is if a wonderland is a place where your evening commute becomes a four hour nightmare and hundreds are forced to abandon cars along roadsides. I’ve never felt so lucky A. to live in the city and B. to have four-wheel drive. I love it though. Every moment white fluffy stuff drops from the heavens widens my smile.

I’ve always gotten childlike pleasure from snow, which is why I miss white winters, why I hate the constant rain so much, why Seattle’s rain makes me dreary and why I turn into a five year old every type the watery sky yields flakes rather than drops. My favorite snow memory is from when we lived in North Pole, Alaska.

My parents went to pick my grandmother up from the Fairbanks airport just as a blizzard hit the region. By the time they came home the snowdrifts were 3 feet high and the power was off. Being in the middle of winter, we only had a couple hours of daylight, so it wasn’t as though we had much time to play outside. Instead we stoked the wood stove in our little log cabin and hunkered down as a family. My dad had horror stories of his mother as a child. To him she was an Irish Catholic child-having ogre who bore 14 kids but never told them she loved them, but for those four days she was our loving grandma. We played games, cooked over the wood stove and got to know my grandmother, whom I seen only once before, by the light of the kerosene lantern. We didn’t even have running water. It was just like Little House on the Prairie, only we didn’t have piss pots or an outhouse. Cleverly, my dad melted pounds and pounds of snow for the toilet tank because three days of seven people on one toilet was just not going to work otherwise. I shudder even now. If it hadn’t been for the snowstorm and power outage, we probably would have spent sometime watching television or playing our new Nintendo. Instead every moment went to family time. We couldn’t even do dishes.

It was as if it was meant to be. After my parents left to take my grandmother back to the airport the power returned. I washed the dishes that had accumulated for days and turned on the Nintendo. Back to life as usual.

Do you have a favorite snow story?

Thing Two

So now you know I love the snow. But did you also know that I love, nay adore, Christmas movies? Every time a bell rings, I’ll shoot my eye out for a white Christmas. Yeah, a lot of them are cheesy, but I love love love the claymation from the 70’s and look forward to the nightly holiday magic on the FoxFamily channel, or whatever it’s called nowadays. The Christmas List with Mimi Rogers is at the height of cheesy goodness. When I was a child, my mother taped several Christmas specials for us, so every year after it was a tradition to watch that tape – it has the Chipmunks Christmas, Smurf’s Christmas, and wonderful 80’s commercials for Crayola with a song I can still sing and an ice skating Ronald McDonald. I don’t know what happened to that tape, but I just had to get back the Chipmunk Christmas groove, so I ordered me some Alvin goodness. And then I decided to add some Holiday magic to my basket with a collection – Boystown, Christmas Carol (1938 version) and Christmas in Connecticut. For those of you who haven’t seen Christmas in Connecticut, you are missing out on a tremendous classic holiday film. One of Barbara Stanwyck’s finest films, you have to see it. Come on over, we’ll pop popcorn and watch all three! But no sooner had I hit the purchase order button on and clicked over to read some bloggy goodness than I came across this post. My gasp could be heard round the neighborhood. Okay so not everyone likes holiday films, some even don’t enjoy Christmas music, though I try to perish that though, but it is almost blasphemous. Holiday films no matter how unrealistic or silly, cheesy or farfetched are great fun. Well, at least the old ones were – you won’t catch me at in line for Home Alone at an airport or Competitive Christmas, but happy will my heart be when Scrooge wakes up Christmas morning and finds out it’s not too late to right all of his miserly wrongs or when Kevin McCalister turns around to see his mother standing in the living room. Thanks Christmas movies. I love you.

Thing Three

I’ve always had a love hate relationship with comments. I turn them on, I turn them off, I reply to everyone, I read them and let them be, I get nasty ones, I get nice ones and sometimes I get none at all. For some reason I can find myself getting a little obsessed with comments – like one only gets three comments, was it not interesting enough, what can I do to write better next time and on and on. Right or wrong I figure that the amount of comments is connected to the quality of my post. But perhaps you don’t comment because I don’t respond, which is totally okay, believe me. I don’t know. Personally I just like to read blogs, not comment except on posts that really elicit some response for me. I hate sitting at a blog trying to figure out what to say to a writer even though I’ve just enjoyed what they’ve written, if I have nothing to say why comment at all. I write a blog because I like to write, and while I really do enjoy the comments and the friendship, I am having a hard time finding time to reply to all of the emails that have backed up, I can’t visit everyone’s blog as often as I would like and I find myself going crazy at the hugeness of the blogisphere. And Lord knows I don’t need something recreational driving me crazy. Blogging can be a never ending job or it can be fun. I would just rather it be fun, but I would also like the readers that stuck around through my disappearance to be happy and maybe pick up a reader or two along the way So I put it to you – do you want comments to be open or are you happy for them to stay off for the rest of my blogging days so you can read and enjoy rather than feel compelled to comment? I’ll just go with what y’all want. What are your thoughts of comments in general? What is comment etiquette?