Dear editor:
Last February we were lucky enough to find and purchase our dream home here on the mountain. The highway was covered following a big snow the day before when we came up to see the house. An even bigger snowfall followed a month later, in March on the weekend we moved in.
We had been coming up here for Christmas for the four previous years and were treated to a snowfall all but one of those years. I, however, was looking forward to my first snowfall in my beautiful new home.
The week before Christmas, I was in San Diego house- and dog-sitting for my daughter. I missed the first snowfall. My husband was at home and seeing the impending snow on his weather app, followed my neighbors’ lead and parked his car behind theirs, nose to tail at the base of the driveway pointed out toward the highway. The snow fell on Tuesday and he sent me pictures and stayed home working all day that day.
On Wednesday, seeing that our neighbors had left, he drove into town to check the mail. No problem. He returned home and returned the car to where he had parked it on Tuesday night. He climbed the long driveway to the house and returned to work.
He glanced outside a little while later, and what to his wondering eyes should appear, but his car at the base of the driveway, having slid all the way down. Now he sent pics of him shoveling the driveway and musing about the need for snow tires. My fingers were flying furiously on my phone trying to find a snow blower that would arrive before Christmas.
I returned home at the end of the week and the snow was all but gone. I kept checking my weather app, hoping to see those beautiful little snowflakes. The forecast changed hourly and by Christmas day, it looked like it might snow overnight.
The snow blower had arrived on Christmas Eve, family had all arrived and were safely ensconced in their beds; snow would be perfect. Merry Christmas to me.
I awoke at 5 a.m. and quietly came out to the kitchen to look out the picture window. The scene was pastoral, magical, pristine. A blanket of white as far as I could see. I sat down at the table with a cup of tea and breathed a prayer of gratitude. How was it possible that I am so blessed to live on this mountain, to experience this virgin snowfall, to be so completely and utterly happy?
Around 7 a.m. the rest of the household began to stir and my husband reminded me that it was Sunday and I would want to go to church. The snowblower would need to do what it was brought here to do and clear that long driveway. I needed to chip the ice off the car and clear the snow from the windows.
Was I still enamored of the snow? You betcha. I put on my cute new winter beanie, my fur-lined winter boots and my waterproof gloves and set to work. I sent pictures of my husband wantonly shooting plumes of snow to family far and wide. He is in power tool heaven up here. Since our move he has acquired a leaf blower, a wood splitter and now the snow blower.
Off to church I went, no problem. The way was clear, the highway plowed, the tires fine. I appreciate you checking them, Steve.
First snow, Christmas snow, nature’s gift. Perhaps the day will come when I no longer look forward to snow, but right now I cannot imagine that day. I cannot imagine that I will ever tire of the constantly changing nature outside my picture window, floral and fauna, birds and deer, snow-capped mountains and blanketed trees.
Idyllwild, home at last.
Mary Knab