Monday, December 14, 2020

A Story About Snow

 I went with the random prompt generator today, and after a few tries, it told me to write a story about snow. We all know how well I follow directions, so what follows is actually something that happened when it didn't snow.

My father was in the US Air Force when I was growing up, so we tended to move hundreds of miles every few years. By the time I came along, my parents had already been to New Mexico, and then Texas, but I was born in Northern California. After that we moved to Southern California, and then to Missouri, where my dad did his masters. I was six when we got to Rolla (which had 13,000 people at the time) and eight when we left. It was the first time I'd ever seen snow, but the winters we were there ended up being pretty mild and there was never more than a few inches on the ground at any time. (Two weeks after we left, they had almost two feet of snow. At the time I thought it was unfair, but I'm sure my parents -- with five kids, one under 4 months -- were quite happy we left when we did.) One of those Christmases, we got a sled. And then we got a saucer because it turns out that a saucer is much easier to slide around on.

Anyhow, we moved back to (snowless) Southern California, but the thing about moving in the military is that they pay for moving costs, so the movers showed up and packed all our stuff, and then dumped it in storage until we found a place to live in the next place. There's no real incentive to get rid of anything, and who knows, you might need it again in a couple years when you went to the next place. So we ended up with a sled (though somehow not the saucer -- I suspect it was plastic and broke somewhere along the way) in Southern California.

So there we were in Southern California, in the five bedroom ranch house (tiny, tiny bedrooms) with the perfect lawn. My parents' lawn was a thing of beauty. Some people have the smell of baking spices bring them back to their childhood. I have flashbacks when I smell pesticides in the hardware store. The grass was a uniform 2" tall, at least until my brother Jeff got old enough to be expected to cut it.  (He saved time on the corners by banking the lawn mower.) There were no invasive insects or animals in that grass because there was nothing alive in that grass. But it looked great from a distance.

Then one year... it hailed. It hailed so much that the ice balls stayed on the ground. Not only did it stay, but there was over an inch on the lawn. All of us kids were ecstatic, and also bored since this was pre-internet days, so we dug out the sled. Sliding along the hail sort of worked if you held the sled to your chest and ran forward and jumped. You could slide four or five feet until it sank through the ice and ground to a halt.

Anyhow, we were out there for a while sliding and grinding into the ground, and then the ice finally finished melting, at which point all you could see was dozens of parallel slices running through the now much-less-perfect grass, exposing the mud below.

I don't remember any fall-out from that, so I'm guessing it had partially repaired itself before my dad saw the lawn in the daylight again.

So there you go. That's my story of snow, or the lack thereof.

That Just-Got-Out-Of-Bed Hair

Fluffy little dog with hair going every which way
I walked into the room and woke the little dog, and her hair was going everywhere.

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