First Snow Reminds Us of Skills to Relearn


Cardinal eyes me through office window as I finish editing this post.

Cardinal eyes me through office window as I finish editing this post.

A spent rose in snow.

A spent rose in snow.

Well, snow has come to Iowa in mid-November. It’s not a huge surprise—we’ve had trick-or-treating delayed by snowstorms before, but seems a bit early, partly because we are in the midst of several weeks of January-like temperatures that are a bit of a shock to the system.

I had a daughter from out of town who wisely cancelled a visit Saturday, as snow flakes began filling the air in late afternoon. We went to Mass Saturday night, and it was a bit treacherous out—a reminder to get back into the winter driving groove. Watch the speed. Brake or accelerate gently and early. Watch out for all the other Iowans who aren’t in the winter driving groove yet.

Plant hook, sans plant, with snow.

Plant hook, sans plant, with snow.

After Mass, we headed down to Mount Mercy. I had forgotten my piano book, and don’t want to go a whole weekend without practice. Getting to my office proved more interesting than expected, because it seemed almost every street or entrance to the MMU campus was blocked by a car that could not make it up a hill or by a fender-bender accident. The Gazette this morning said there had been more than 150 police calls last night for minor crashes, and I think about 1/3 of those were within a block of Mount Mercy. Students, stay in your dorms. I finally managed to park in the lower Warde Hall lot (drive to upper lot blocked).

And then I had a moment of panic in my office—I could not find the book. My wife was waiting for me in the car, and I was just a bit worried—what if, by chance, I had slipped the piano book into my briefcase and had simply forgotten it was there, and our risky drive to campus and adventure in finding a way in was for naught?

Lanterns.

Lanterns.

Then, I spied it. All was well in the world. I could slip down the hill, piano book in hand.

Today began, unsurprisingly, with the shoveling of the snow. It wasn’t  too bad. Luckily the snow was fairly light for this time of year—the risk is that when it’s fairly warm, you’ll get heavy, wet snow. Well it wasn’t mid-winter powder, but it was dry enough that the 2 inches or so weren’t that backbreaking to move.

And, after that, I took a few photos.

The first snow is usually the prettiest. We may not yet remember yet how to drive in snow, but the Mercury I was piloting Saturday proved itself a pretty winter-hardy car. And I for one am not yet bored with the brown and white landscape.

Norway maple. Should feel at home, right?

Norway maple. Should feel at home, right?

Not that I won’t prefer the pretty greens and colors of spring. But the early Christmas lights looked right at home.

In Iowa, for now, winter is here.

Dogwood.

Dogwood.

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Crab apple.

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