Silent Soft Snowfall

February 25, 2007



Driving home last night – which was really this morning since it was well after midnight – the streets were dry with no hint of this winter storm. As I lay in bed this morning, I could hear water running in the downspout outside my window. The sun wasn’t out so I just assumed that we got rain. Instead, there is a lovely blanket of white that is covering everything. All the unmelted ice from the last storm is now frosted with the most delicious soft wet snow! snow! snow!


One of my favorite snowstorms was the 1993 “Superstorm.” It acted a lot like a hurricane. We were away at Colonial Williamsburg enjoying spring break – a rare time when my husband actually was able to walk away from the university for a week. We knew there was a storm coming – and watched it track up the east coast. We were to the east of the mountains so when it went over us – we just had winds and VERY low pressures. The eye of the storm passed right over us and the sun came out and it got very quiet.


We called neighbors and asked how things looked. They told us *if* we could get home – we wouldn’t be able to get into our driveway. Of course my husband didn’t want to miss school on Monday – and this was in the day when the university NEVER closed no matter how bad the roads got. We ate a leisurely breakfast and got on the road late morning.


After living three years in snowy Binghamton and the Lehigh Valley while in graduate school – I insisted on driving. (I used to be a bit of a control freak :) Everything was fine until we reached Richmond. There the roads were a bit wet – but salt and sand took care of that. As we began to climb over the Blue Ridge – the road became very icy and treacherous. I crept along at about 30 – 40 mph and all around me cars and tractor trailers were in the ditches. We made the top of Afton Mountain and I assumed that the worst was over.


Instead as we crested the mountain we realized that the Shenandoah Valley was buried in FEET of snow. We were stuck on the interstate because the exits were clogged with vehicles that had gotten bogged down in the snow or had just stopped. As we approached the southernmost exit – we saw that it was impassable. We continued north to the JMU exit – impassable too. Onwards to the main exit – impassable. We continued to the northenmost exit and were able to get on US 11 and head back south.


I no longer remember shoveling the driveway or what happened when we arrived home. Probably because I came in and had a nervous breakdown while he shoveled the driveway! I do remember the university was closed for DAYS and it sure would have been nice to just stay in Williamsburg for a few more days until the roads were cleared.


There is a part of me that misses big storms like that.


In 1996 we had a huge snowstorm in January, then it warmed up to 50 degrees and it all melted. We live on a creek and the creek flooded and carried away several sections of our fence and wreaked havoc in my square foot garden. Weeks passed before we were able to collect most of the fence sections that had washed away.


Well the snow is no longer falling, the sticky bun dough is rising, so I am off to make cinnamon rolls and enjoy another cup of coffee.




One comment

  1. I love these photos, Julie! How wonderful a gift this is for me. I thank you.
    Funny how photos of snow can bring back such strong feelings of nostalgia. We are just starting Autumn now (March 1st) here in Australia, as you are starting Spring soon. I yearn for my own bush block to commune with the Goddess Earth from a more experiential point of view, but for now the ‘burb is home.

    Your gardens look lovely, even with that thick covering of snow!

    What a blessing this is for me…

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