Wednesday, December 10, 2008

It Snowed in Austin Last Night

While watching Anton Corbijn's biopic about Ian Curtis, Control, last night with my friend Molly, I glanced out the window and saw giant white flakes gracefully floating past my window. This will be my third winter in Austin, and I have never seen it snow here. I've seen sleet, freezing rain, and one massive 3 day long ice storm (also crazy-ass hail, but that's more of a spring/summer thing) , but never snow.

We paused the movie and stepped outside to watch the snow for a while. My upstairs neighbors were sitting on their patio watching the snow, and the parking lot of the apartment building across the street had a small crowd, huddled together, enjoying the snow. In that moment, I felt like a true Texan (or at least a true Southerner), standing in the cold, in awe of the snow.

It reminded me of the aforementioned ice storm, which happened during my first winter here. The temperature hovered around freezing, while it rained for days, coating everything in thick sheets of ice. The city (including the university, and hence my job) completely shut down for a few days. I spent my time wandering around my neighborhood. I saw a couple trying to have a snowball fight in their front yard, using the inches-thick ice on the grass as snow. I saw a guy trying to scrape the back window of his car with the claw-end of a claw hammer (and I don't mean gently scraping, I mean full arm swings into his window). They were enjoyable walks; brisk fresh air, trees picturesquely coated in ice, people either enjoying their days off or making fools of themselves in their frustration. As a recent Michigan transplant, I couldn't help but enjoy what I thought was the town's silly reaction to real winter weather.

And then, just two years later, there's me standing in the cold, watching the snow fall, trying in vain to take pictures in the dark. Giddy that it was snowing. I'm sure that I'll get more than my fill of the snow when I fly back to Michigan for the holidays, but for now, I'm happy having spent a few minutes admiring the snow fall in the streets of Austin. I guess context is everything.


Brad said...

Ooooooooooo, snooooooow, isn't it soo pretty?


I had to scrape my car off three times in an hour and a half -- three times in ninety minutes I had to stand my ass out there in the freezing cold, hacking at ice and brushing away snow -- two days ago.

Since then, nothing's been plowed. My street's a rutted mess. It's all black and gray and gross. There's yellow dog-pissy snow everywhere.

It takes me twice as long to get anywhere, whether I'm walking or driving because of this sweet winter wonderland.

It's not pretty. It's not pleasant or fun. It's a huge treacherous pain in the ass and I hate it and I'm moving in with you in Austin.

See you soon!


Scott said...

I figured, you of all people could really appreciate the inherent magicalness of snow.

But no, I totally agree, snow fucking sucks. Unless you live in a place where it snows for 15 minutes every three years. Then it's kind of sweet.

Matt said...

Yeah, it's a quick opinion change. Every time it snowed in Columbus I would get kind of excited, but about half way through the first winter my opinion was pretty much in line with Brad's.

Of course, you won't really be having a southern reaction until you rush to speedway mart to stock up on milk and bread when the flurries start. Hell, I had school canceled one time in high school just because they thought it might snow (it didn't)

Scott said...

I'm going to take sooooo many pictures of the snow while I'm back in Michigan!

Right after I buy one of those flashlights that work after you shake them...