Book of Me – Prompt 15: Snow

book of meThe Book of Me – Written by You is a weekly blog prompt created by Julie Goucher of the blog Angler’s Rest. This is a fifteen month writing project to highlight my life so that I will have something to leave behind for my descendants. Week fifteen’s prompt is Snow.

  • Do you live in area where you routinely have snow?
  • How old were you when you first saw snow?
  • Do you remember it?
    • Did you make snowmen?
    • Throw Snowballs
    • Sledge Rides
  • What is the image that first came to mind when you read snow?
  • What does snow
    • feel like,
    • smell like
  • How do you see snow?


Christmas is all very new - 1971-12

Christmas Is All Very New
By David Yegerlehner (alias ‘papa’)

Our daughter, named Deborah, is now just past two.
So this business of Christmas is all very new.
First came the snow, and what a delight;
Debbie looked out the window to find the world all white!
The snow set the mood,
And even mama and papa could not be subdued.
So we got in the car—all three,
And very shortly came home with a beautiful tree.
We moved the couch and shoved away the chair,
And left a great big spot bare.
This scurry to rearrange (Debbie’s look seemed to say)
Is certainly all very strange—
And she wondered even more
When we brought that big tree right through the door.
But soon that big bare space was no longer bare,
For the beautiful tree was standing right there.
And now, all covered with balls and with lights,
It is truly a sight with thrills and delights.
Each hanging ball is a colorful mirror,
So Deborah gazes into each tiny sphere.
“Debbie! Debbie!” she coos when she sees her reflection,
And so we now know the tree passes inspection.
Our daughter, named Deborah, is not just past two,
So this business of Christmas is all very new.

Growing up in Massachusetts, snow was a common occurrence during the winter. I have spent the last 20 years in California in an area where snow is not common. The central valley is basically at sea level. I still don’t completely understand the science behind this phenomenon, but we are too low in elevation for it to snow. The temperatures can be below freezing but it. just. doesn’t. snow. I think there have been two instances in which it actually snowed here. It was a passing illusion that delighted the local children before it quickly melted. My hometown of Worcester, Massachusetts has an elevation of around 500 feet and I remember it always snowing when I was a kid. I guess geography does really play a part with weather conditions. Less than fifty miles to the east of where I currently live, in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, it does snow. We often hear on the weather reports at what elevation the rain changes to snow. During particularly cold storms, the snow might reach as low as 1,000 feet above sea level.

1978-02-07 David Yegerlehner

David the day after The Blizzard of ’78

My father wrote the above poem about me in December 1971. I don’t really recall the first time I saw snow. I just remember it always being part of winter. For me, snow is winter. In some ways, moving to California has definitely disrupted my annual rhythms. As much as I enjoy the slightly warmer temperatures (and the lack of shoveling), I yearn for snow. My children will never know the joy of a snow day or experience the anticipation of sitting by the radio, waiting to hear if school was cancelled for their district or not. They will never know the true silence that comes during a snowfall or the sense of isolation. I often talk about the Blizzard of ’78 and how we missed school for three weeks. I think the concept is inconceivable to them.

We make a point of visiting the snow at least once a winter. Because the snow only comes to the mountains, there are inherent difficulties in reaching the snow. Many of the local roads are closed if the snowfall is too heavy. Chains are also required for driving (which is another difference from my childhood). In California, there are designated snow parks which are open on a daily basis in favorable conditions. Parking requires a permit which can only be purchased away from the snow. Our favorite snow haven is outside of Yosemite National Park at a very nice hotel at the southern entrance of the park. Once we get there, we can spend the weekend sledding down their hills or skating at their rink. Last year, the snow was gone by the time we arrived so we headed further up in elevation to Badger Pass, a ski area within Yosemite. Some years, when camping at Lassen Volcanic National Park for Memorial Day weekend, we have also enjoyed the snow.

I love snow. I miss it. If I still lived in an area where snow was more common, I might miss it less. I definitely don’t miss shoveling or driving on icy roads. Watching falling snow is one of the most peaceful experiences I have ever had. I consider snow to be one of nature’s gifts. It is truly a joy and a delight for me.

©2013 copyright owned and written by Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found at:

1 thought on “Book of Me – Prompt 15: Snow

  1. davidmadison1942

    I’m surprised how good that poem is…especially the last few lines. 🙂

    Oy, that mustache 😦

    As much as we would like to live in a winter-free, snow-free zone now….I would miss the snow as well. Let’s face it, when they’re forecasting 6 inches of snow, and it doesn’t happen….we’re disappointed, 🙂


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