Monday, March 2, 2009

You can laugh at me

This is Southern Virginia. Remember how I've sorta been rubbing that in? Not intentionally, but...well, I can't help being thankful for where we live.

In Virginia.

Where it's warm.

Where we can (and do!) plant peas in the garden in February.

Where we have green Christmases, three light dustings of snow in January, two in February, and not a bit more for the rest of the year.

Today is Monday, March 2. Spring is well on its way, in southern Virginia.

Sitting on our kitchen table are two containers with seeds soaking in them; beet seeds and lettuce seeds. I planned to plant them today. We started soaking them Saturday evening.

Sunday, the weather men were calling for snow. The sky did look gray, but we all knew nothing would stick to the ground. It just doesn't - not on the first day of March in southern Virginia.

Sunday afternoon, soon after lunch, it began to snow. Big fat flakes. Fast-falling flakes, too. We were all ecstatic, and enjoyed watching it come down, hitting the ground and disappearing. Of course it didn't stick. My Pennsylvania-raised Daddy told my younger sisters "Eventually, if it keeps coming down like this, that snow will make the ground hard enough, and the snow will start piling up."

Yeah. Sure.

A few hours later, this was the view from our kitchen window:

Please notice the greenhouse. We finally finished it, several weeks ago. Doesn't it look better? And doesn't it look like...SPRING?

Oh yes - and please notice the snow. That's important. *grin* We couldn't believe how fast it piled up!

Then, instead of curling up by the fireplace (which we don't have), we got to go out in the weather and head to church. Excitement! It's been a looooong time since we've ridden in snow.

We live about 12 miles from our church. Most of the drive is on a major highway, speed limit 55-60 mph. I don't think we went over 45 last night, and much of the time we were going 35. We only skidded once, thank the Lord, coming out of our road, and it wasn't a bad slip. Dad is an experienced snow-driver. We all felt quite safe with him, but it was still odd to be driving on ice.

A mile or two from our house, I saw a red car that had run off the road into a ditch. "Look!" It was the first time I'd ever seen a car that has run off the road because of snow or ice. That just never happens where we live - at least not that I've seen. I don't very often ride out when it's snowing.

Then, a while later, we saw another car off-road. Wow! Two sightings in one day!

In those 12 miles to church, we saw SEVEN cars off the road. That's not counting the cars that stopped to help. The roads were indeed pretty bad.

But we made it to church safe and sound, had a good service, and headed home again. The roads were a little better on the return trip - the snow had changed to rain, and already things were getting slushy. We all knew the snow would be gone by morning.


When I woke up this morning, an oddly-bright light was being reflected through our bedroom windows. I could tell from my bed that snow was still on the ground. (Of course, Mom popping her head into our bedroom and telling us happily that it had snowed during the night also gave me a clue.)

Mom said it was "this much!" but until I looked outside I didn't realize just how much that was. TEN inches of snow! On the second day in March!!!!

My three younger siblings have never seen this much snow here. They've visited our northern grandparents, but that's different - it's not home. This white stuff is in our back yard!

We five youngest went out in it this morning, to shovel our driveway clear. After finishing that, we explored our woods.

What beauty! I wish I had pictures to show. The snow weighed down every branch and twig, making them bow to the earth like weeping willows. Each slender width of skinny branch or bamboo stalk balanced a delicate bank of snow - some banks 6 inches high or more. We ate snow from branches that hung right under our chins, like some giant hand offering us powdered sugar on a spoon. We gave ourselves snow-mustaches and laughed.

Deep in our woods lies a tangled bamboo forest. We plowed our way through the snow drifts, trying to reach the bamboo. Evergreen branches blocked our way, laid low across the narrow rough path. Giggling and squealing, we shuffled under the branches on our hands and knees, floundering and tripping on the deep drifts and branches and thorns hidden under the snow.

As we came out from the branches, snow clinging to our hair and eyelashes, we all gasped.

"We're in another world!" Tiffany exclaimed.

And so it appeared. All around us, 25-foot-high heaps of snow covered leaning bamboo stalks. Some stalks waved free, high above. Their snow-dusted leaves stood out sharply against a brilliant blue sky. The tiny clearing we stood in was like the bottom of a frosting-filled bowl. We looked up, up, up, surrounded by fluffiness.

We crawled around in the bamboo forest for quite awhile. I purposely forgot my age, and gave myself up to being a little child again. It was lovely.

Now, it is afternoon, and the snow is beginning to drip. Frozen gutter spouts are now running again. The giant bear outside my bedroom window stands taller than my father, defying the sun. We've heard that we're supposed to get more snow later this week.

Even later this week, the temp. is supposed to be up to 60 degrees.

That's southern Virginia for you. Maybe I'll plant my lettuce later this week.


Nina in Portugal said...


We've been emailed several pictures from our hometowns of Alabama and Georgia with pictures of the snow...they were beside themselves with all that snow. How fun!!

Alethea Jordan said...

Same here. We all(except Jonathan who is usually pretty pessimistic) thought there wasn't going to be much of anything. We had eleven inches here in the mountains. =P

*Anna* said...

Sounds like so much fun, Amber! :) We had a 5 degree wind chill last week and supposed to be close to 80 degrees this week~Oklahoma seems to always have crazy weather. :)

Leah said...

Yep, I'm laughing Amber! :)

Sandra said...

I know, we got some snow down our way. I can't ever remember getting snow in March. So much for global warming! ha ha :)
I actually drove on the roads some today, a first for me =]

I'm sorry about your plants Amber. I figured that you got snow too, but I forgot all about what it would do to your garden :(