A Desert Snow Day

It started to snow yesterday afternoon. Not the kind of snow other places experience in winter, but just enough to make things pretty. My kind of snow. I like to joke that we pay a premium here in California, to live without the inconvenience of yucky weather!

desert snow
See? Looks just like Main Street at Disneyland!

When I was a young adult working at Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm, we made it “snow” in a few winter shows around the park. We used a machine that blew the perfect combination of bubble bath, rubbing alcohol, and water, through a filter and out onto the stage or street. We all had our perfect combination of ingredients, our favorite machine, the best filters, to get the bubbles to float and fall the way we believed snow should look.

Personally, I had never seen real snow fall in my life. The first time I saw it, or remember seeing it, was when I moved to the desert in 2008. I took pictures and posted it on my new Facebook profile, which I had started so that I could keep in touch with my friends at home in the city. “It looks just like the snow at Disneyland!” I squealed in delight as I ran around the yard letting it land on me.

me in the desert snow
I’m the Snow Queen!

That’s a common thing to hear from me since I grew up spending a lot of time there.

One thing I love about social media, specifically Facebook, is “On this day…” posts. Just a few days ago, a friend reminded me that the BIG snow we got, over a foot everywhere, was at this time of year. A reminder that everything remains on track. It is typical that we get this blast of cold just before March, sometimes IN March.

I woke up this morning before the sun even started to light the sky, as usual, and I’ve been waiting eagerly to see what magic occurred overnight. I snuggled down in my blanket on the couch, with a hot cup of coffee and A Gentleman in Moscow. The wind is still blowing and, just now, rosy fingered dawn is reaching up in the east.

“Intent upon showing who was master of whom, the Count vowed that he would not look up from the book again until he had reached the twenty-fifth essay.

“But as the Count advanced through Essays Eleven, Twelve, and Thirteen, his goal seemed to recede into the distance. It was suddenly as if the book were not a dining room table after all, but a sort of Sahara. And having emptied his canteen, the Count would soon be crawling across its sentences with the peak of each hard-won page revealing but another page beyond…”

I’ve read books that feel like this. My recent experience with Ulysses comes to mind, but even this wonderful novel can feel that way when one is reading to pass the time until some exciting event occurs. I wake up at 4am, and the sun doesn’t start to warm the sky until near 6am, so I had plenty of time to read. Even so, I kept glancing up to the windows as I read, wondering if I’d be able to catch a glimpse of snow dusted desert.

desert snow

But, like the Count, I read on to find this:

“Long had he believed that a gentleman should turn to a mirror with a sense of distrust. For rather than being tools of self-discovery, mirrors tended to be tools of self-deceit. How many times had he watched as a young beauty turned thirty degrees before her mirror to ensure that she saw herself to the best advantage? (As if henceforth all the world would see her solely from that angle!)

“How often had he seen a grande dame don a hat that was horribly out of fashion, but seemed au courant to her because her mirror had been framed in the style of the same bygone era?

“The Count took pride in wearing a well-tailored jacket; but he took greater pride in knowing that a gentleman’s presence was best announced by his bearing, his remarks, and his manners. Not by the cut of his coat.”

Recently, I learned how to take a better “selfie.” Yes, I take them and post them. I will not be shamed into believing that I’m not important enough to be in my own photo album. But this quote from A Gentleman in Moscow reminded me what’s more important than the angle of the photo or the color of the sweatshirt I’m wearing: my behavior and attitude.

I am beautiful, not because of my smile, my red hair, and my body shape, although I am proud of those things. I am beautiful because I’m happy, I find joy in this world everywhere I look, and I’m ready to share it with others. I am willing to communicate, work hard at understanding others, hold compassion and empathy for the people around me, and love with all my heart. I try my best to do what I say I will do and apologize when I can’t. I make many mistakes and learn from them.

That’s why I step in front of my own camera and try not to worry too much about how I look. I know there are people out there that will judge the book by its cover, but that’s not supposed to be my problem. I try, but I am human.

The sun has come up now, and I ran out in my pajamas and slippers to take a few pictures for you before the sun melts it all away. Don’t forget to stop by my Instagram to see the sunrise!

desert snow

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