Thursday, December 20, 2007

A Little Snow Goes a Long Way

We are experiencing an earlier than usual (lately) snow.  Even thought the temperatures are supposed to reach 50 on Sunday (with rain), we've had more snow already than we had last year all through January.

What adds to the interest this year is that we have relatives visiting this Christmas who have never seen snow before.  They are visiting from Mexico City and drove up here from the city in the middle of the northeaster that closed many churches and cut our attendance by 80%.  How they arrived in one piece, I don't know.

One of the fun things about this visit is that we get to see their expressions with every new thing. Ricardo helped me shovel, and he looked like a boy with a new toy.  The kids had a snowball fight with my kids, and they were beaming even as my son whacked Lourdes in the head.  They all shouted in excitement this morning when it actually snowed -- and they could watch it falling!  They held out their hands and looked at it, stared up at the sky and got it in their eyes, held out their tongues to catch it.  I can guess what will be one of their fondest memories of this visit.

But the incident that stands out was two days ago when they were getting in the car to go touring.  Ricardo got into their rental car, stared at the steering wheel for a few moments, then got back out.  He came to the house and got me.  "I can't see out the window," he said.  He stared at it some more.  I nodded.  It was indeed all white.

"What do I do?" he asked.  Then it hit me.  He'd never seen frost before.  I pointed to a little knob on the dashboard and told him to twist it.  "Defrost" engaged.  Then I went to the garage and got out an extra ice scraper.  More fun!  I think when Ricardo goes home, he's going to try to smuggle a snow shovel and ice scraper in his luggage.

It doesn't really take much to renew your awe for the world.  Sometimes all it takes is a little snow.