Thursday, January 14, 2010


Okay, I know, talk about a lack of originality. But it seems the best title for this particular entry. You see, snow has descended on this land in which I live. In a rather serious way really. There is snow pretty much everywhere.
It's a different kind of snow than I'm generally used to. Growing up in Northern California we would get these massive heavy flakes that would fall fast and build up in big puffy waves. It was a dense sort of snow, great for building snowmen and sledding down the hill behind our house. Dad and I made a snowman that was more than 6 feet tall once. He stood in the parking lot by the church for weeks, propped up on an old wooden shovel handle as his heavy body slowly began to slump and shrivel. It was also excessively cold there, so we had years when the snowfall was short, but the frost would grow inches in the background, causing a white Christmas regardless of actual precipitation.
In Oregon the snow was always wet. We didn't get a lot of it, and it usually just froze over making the roads impassable. We'd have school cancellations on account of an inch of snow covered in sheets of icy treachery.
Can't say there was any snow to speak of in Hong Kong. Apologies to my friend Derek who commented on his facebook page the other day that it was bitterly cold in Hong Kong. Even when the temperature got as low as 4 degrees Celsius (about 40 Fahrenheit) it wasn't exactly bone chilling. Main problem there was that it never got warm in our house, so we were as cold indoors as out.
Alaska...there's another story all together. The snow was also generally pretty heavy in my way of looking at it. The flakes were often quite large, and fell quick fast and in a hurry like. Contrary to Oregonian precedents, two feet of snow weren't enough to get schools to even have a delay.
Here in Czech, the snow is really dry. I know that sounds strange, but it's of a totally different quality than snow I've experienced in other places. Now I'm not like an Eskimo with 40+ words for snow, but this is definitely snow of a different caliber. The flakes tend to be smaller, and swirl about in the slightest of breezes. It can really pile up, but it isn't really the sort of snow that's ideal for making snowmen. In fact, you can kick this snow. I know, I know, that sounds really bizarre, but it's true. Just kick and scatter it. Walking in it is more like walking in sand. It sticks to you and pulls your feet down. It's the strangest stuff.
After a few days of constant foot traffic it turns into the muckiest slush you can imagine. It does begin to get wet then, and turns brown and muddy, almost like a snowy paste. So while it makes the trees and rooftops all peaceful and romantic looking, the paths which I must tread are just plain nasty.
This past weekend I had to go into Prague for a CA meeting and to do some mid-year reflections. The Mid-years are really one of my absolutely favorite parts about being a CA. They're a time when I can really sit down and get to know the people in my team, and try to encourage them as they process what they've experienced thus far and what their future plans are going to be. Anyhow, it was snowing when I arrived in Prague on Friday night, and it proceeded to snow the whole time I was there. I'd seen a skiff of snow over the city a couple of times in winters past, but nothing in comparison to this. I'm always amazed by how the entire landscape changes in it's wintry coat of white fluff. I took great delight in my chances to run around taking photos of the grand structures of this magnificent city in their winter finery.

I'll end now with a little something to warm you all up on these bleak January days...

1 comment:

Crystal said...

Gorgeous photos! I love the first one and the Charles Bridge. I miss Prague.