Our Last Snowfall

December 16, 2007

A friend of mine made a brief comment about the snow that made me go, “Actually, the snow was more like this,” in an absurdly inappropriate comment on what was actually a wonderful blog post. As I was elaborating on what I perceived the snow to be like, I realized that my out-of-place comment was also getting a bit too long. So I decided to blog about it. Yes… I am blogging about the nature of the snow that most recently fell in Kansas City.

According to the way that I perceive and classify snow, there were actually four types of snow that fell that night and the following day.

First, there was that really weird, melty-wet layer. The stuff that didn’t really stick, was more frenzied in its falling, and mostly just made things wet.

Second, there was a long spell of my favorite snow… the relatively wet packing snow.

“Packing snow” (travels in packs, packs together nicely) clusters together in huge snowflake bunches as it gently falls and then gradually builds up in an amazing, soft layer of white on every surface that it touches. This is the kind that is best for building stuff. This is the kind that clings to you and hangs around a while before it decides to melt. This is the kind that lightly crunches in a coming-together (not a breaking-apart, like shattering ice) kind of way. This is the kind that makes that wonderful and glorious faint sound, as you step on it, that makes me think of winter walks through snowy, untouched fields. Oh the glories of winter. (This is also the kind that was falling when I went and sat outside that night… when I fell asleep watching it fall and take shape on the bushes and railing and cars and grass.)

It seems that a bit of powdery snow came in after the rich layer of packing snow. I’m not positive about that. But it seemed that there was some less secure, relatively dry stuff kind of blowing around on the surface for a while. (I did actually miss a large portion of the time in which it was snowing outside. I am learning to actually make a point of sleeping sometimes.)

The final layer of snow (that I witnessed) is what I think I will forever have to refer to as fairy dust. It was fairy-dusting outside.

This snow is remarkably glittery and sparkly. Even as it falls, it glistens in the air. It doesn’t flurry… it doesn’t float down. It just sparkles through the air and eventually settles on the ground. It’s final effect is an amazing shine and dimension on the solid whiteness that covers the earth. It’s kind of like adding a glossy finish to something after you have completed it. Only… less glossy (that seems to better describe wet ice) and more glittery.

When I first spotted it in action (towards the end of the snow), I didn’t even initially realize that it was snowing outside. I just suddenly stopped and was like “What on earth?” as the space in front of my seemed to be shimmering. It seriously looked like a fairy had just sprinkled magic all around me. And then I looked out toward the nearest light and realized that the “fairy dust” was everywhere. THAT was what was making the surface of the snow so much more glittery and reflective than usual.

This is pretty evident by now, and I have said it dozens of times, but I am going to say it again: I love snow!!! It’s so beautiful. It takes so many unique forms, fills the sky with beauty as it falls, and transforms the surface of the earth in an amazing way.



  1. This makes me happy and proud for so many different reasons. You are a gifted writer and this is a worthy topic. And, on the one hand, I’ve been able to experience the snow without actually being there (sigh; at least we did, happily, get a bit of frost this morning 🙂 ) and, on the other, you’ve made me all the more eager to experience it first hand.

  2. What a beautiful blog! It really touched me. I’ve always loved snow; especially getting to be the first one to walk across a field; leaving the first set of prints in the snow, knowing I was the first to experience the wonder of that particular field hidden away beneath its blanket.

    I think snow is awesome, too, for the way it can make even ugly things picturesque. We used to live somewhere that required us to drive by pastures and fields littered with abandoned farm equipment. It was all rusty and broken, but put a nice snow blanket over it all, and it becomes a sight worthy of a postcard. Snow is, well, cool…

  3. We just wanted to wish you a Happy Birthday! I know it will be a tough one, but you know you are loved greatly by your family and friends. We were there with your mom and dad the day you were born, and I have never seen 2 people so proud and in love with a child as they were with you. love pix and kevin

  4. Dad – well, you got some snow.

    Dorean – Sigh… untouched snow. I love it. Thanks for the comment.

    Aunt Pix – Thank you.

    ALL – It snowed again on my birthday. But before it actually snowed, it was dip’n-dotsing. It was kind of cool, but it wasn’t quite snow. Thankfully, the snow did not take long to follow.

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