It snowed in the Deep South yesterday and last night, leaving a nice coating of the white stuff in many places unaccustomed to it. Like my friend’s yard in New Orleans.
We only got a smattering of snow at my house, but it was enough to make me worry that my son’s school would close, and I’d be stuck rearranging my whole day to accommodate his energy level. Luckily for both of us, that didn’t happen.
But it reminded me of the time it snowed in November in the high desert of Southern California about four years ago. We woke up on a Sunday morning to discover everything, including nearby Joshua Tree National Park, blanketed in several inches of freak snow. You ain’t seen nothin’ ’til you’ve seen cactuses coated in a thin layer of snow and ice crystals. It was spectacular. The fronds of the giant palm tree in my front yard drooped under the weight of the snow. Here, don’t take my word for it; check it out for yourself:
That picture was actually taken after some of it had already melted off. But earlier, before I even had much time to enjoy it, my editor Ben called me up. Go out and talk to people about the snow, he instructed me. I tried to protest that it was a Sunday, and I wasn’t scheduled to work that day. Didn’t matter. Snow in an area of the country that routine breaks the 120 degree mark in the summer was News. I lived in the area closest to the national park, and so I was dispatched.
Study the photo again, by the way. Notice that I was wearing sneakers and a windbreaker over a heavy sweater. Not exactly the ideal “venture out in the snow and interview people” attire. But I did what I had to do. I gingerly drove around and found ecstatic people playing in the snow, got some notes, and then drove home, filed my story by email and thawed out. I did what I had to do. My feet got pretty cold in my New Balances, and I kvetched a little about wanting to have a real snow day, but we had a great front-page story and photos the next day.
But it was nice to not have to do that this time…