238. first snow
Now when I title this blog, “first snow,” I don’t just mean the first snow of the season. I mean this is the first snow I’ve seen, EVER. There’s not a lot of snowfall in Hawaii, especially on Oahu. I mean I think I heard a news report once about hail falling somewhere on Oahu, but that was probably punk kids throwing ice cubes over their apartment balcony.
Before today, the closest I came to seeing snow was on a high school trip to the mainland. We went on a trip to DC and Virginia. On the bus trip from DC to Arlington, we went over some mountains (at least I remember them as mountains) and on the top of one of the passes, we saw white stuff on the ground. And all the kids in the bus went nuts (myself included) because at least half of us were born and raised in Hawaii and like I said above, it doesn’t snow there. The bus driver thought we were crazy because to him, it was just ice on the ground. Well, they stop the busses, we all get out and start throwing snow (ice on the ground) at each other.
Today I got to see the real thing.
And it was beautiful.
And it wasn’t as cold as I though it would be. Never having experienced snow before, I always thought that if the weather was such that it was cold enough to snow, I would have to be bundled up like people on arctic expeditions, complete with Gore-Tex parka and seal skin mukluks. I went to church wearing a long-sleeve t-shirt, long-sleeve dress shirt, sweater, and a jacket, and although I wouldn’t want to be caught outdoors for any long period of time, I was warm enough to get by.
Did I mention it was beautiful?
At first I watched it fall from my window. Then I went outside to get a closer look. It’s kind of like watching rain fall, only in slow motion. I caught some of it in my hand. It’s soft and melts on contact. When you look up at the sky, the snow looks like thousands (millions?) of tiny dark grey dots swirling about in the wind. Then I went back inside and my jacket looked like I had the worst case of dandruff ever.
No, I didn’t make snow angels or yellow snow.
I don’t know how often it snows up here. It was my understanding that it was a rare occurrence in Seattle so I was surprised to see it, especially since the coldest part of the year is still a couple months away. Another rare occurrence I’d like to see is the aurora borealis. I believe Seattle is far enough north to see the event, but I’m thinking I probably need to get away from all the light pollution to get a good view.