We did something different for Christmas this year. In place of purchasing gifts for our adult children (there were presents for the grands), we booked four nights in a stand-alone chalet at Mount Washington, about 3 hours of driving north.
"Spend Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with your in-law families," we said. My parents came to spend those days with us, and we had a lovely time.
So on Boxing Day (Dec 26) we packed two vehicles to the roof and beyond and drove north. On our second evening we feasted on cheese fondue, with crusty bread to dip, along with steamed vegetables and cooked meatballs. It was reminiscent of being in the Swiss Alps. And the snow fell in great, fat, drifting flakes; in hard, swift pellets; in steady crystal twirls. And the snow shone in between the snow.
"Why does this woman like snow so much?" some readers may ask.
I grew up where winters lasted far too long. By February I was sick of snow, sick of cold, and just wanted to escape to warmth and sunlight.
Then I moved to South America. For 20 years. I can't tell you how much I missed the rhythm of the seasons. I even missed the snow.
Then we moved here, to southern Vancouver Island, where it snows very little, if at all. And I longed for snow. I still do, every year, and am thrilled when it comes, for I know that it won't last long at all. This year we've had snow here at sea level and we knew there would be a lot on the mountain. There was.
This was our view at 7:46 this morning. Until that moment we hadn't been able to see the distant mountains.
8:01 am. Faint pink drifts in to dismiss the blue of night.
8:11 am. A bit of yellow comes to warm the pink.
8:21 am. The sun lifts itself above the horizon and glows on the mountain peaks.
8:29 am. The rising sun washes most of the colour from the sky and pours it over the landscape.
8:37 am. The sun rises steadily for her short, shallow winter arc, and day's brighter blues will dominate the landscape.
By 10 am we were packed up and on our way home, with memories and a few other things to remind us of our time together in the snow. There will be more snow tales to come.