Thursday, October 09, 2008

Termination Dust

No, it's not a new, lethal drug. Here in the North, depending on which latitude you reside, seasons are measured by days (summer) or in six-eight month increments (guess which season that is), there is one thing we all agree upon: Termination dust.

We got ours two weeks ago. Though the day was reasonable (ie: not too rainy and in the mid 40's) I noticed the mountain tops around us dusted with snow. The mountains being colder, of course, meant the snow was here to stay until late spring. The temperature dropped over the next week or so at my house, mid to upper 30's in the evening and first thing in the morning. It would warm up as the day progressed, but there was the white specter of winter all around us. Each day, the snow line dropped. Lower. And lower.

As I drove to work yesterday, it started to rain. Thick rain. Rain that hit with a thud but quickly liquefied against the heater-warmed windshield. A teasing rain, reminding me that soon I would need to wear my warm boots and carry my indoor shoes to work. That the tires on the vehicles needed to be changed over to the studded versions. That I'll be knee-deep in the white stuff sooner than I desire.

But I don't mourn the loss of summer. You can't mourn what you never had. I can hope the winter holds off for a bit longer, but that means more rain. I'd rather have cold weather, even if it means snow.

Snow is fun. You can make things, throw it about, ski, sled, snowshoe. You can send your kids out in it and they'll stay outside enjoying themselves. Do that during a downpour and all you get is cold, wet, cranky kids. When they come inside after playing in the snow, they may be damp and chilled, but their little cheeks are rosy and they're happy. We like happy.

Perhaps we should see termination dust as a positive thing. An end to the unreliable summer and fall weather. With the arrival of snow, we know what we'll be getting for the next six to eight months. In these uncertain times, isn't it nice to know you can count on something?



At 6:09 AM, Blogger Writer and Cat said...

Is that the technical term for it or the Cathy term?


At 8:21 AM, Blogger Cathy in AK said...

It's the recognized/technical term, Jody. I'm not that creative :)

The arrival of termination dust seems to produce a faint sigh of resignation throughout the area.

I don't know if other snow-prone places use the term or something like it. I'd never heard it before moving here a bazillion years ago for college.

At 2:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We got our second crop of snow just this morning. It was fairly wet though, so I think it'll go which is fine by me. We've not been too rainy. Instead, we've been having cold, crisp nights that dip just below freezing, but then each day it warms up to a few degrees above zero. NICE!

Here's hoping you have a great winter, Cathy! And that a really great kid moves in next door, falls in love with one of your children and offers to shovel the snow all winter long!

At 8:56 AM, Blogger Cathy in AK said...

I hope you have a great winter too, Meretta!

I'd be thrilled if some industrious kid moved in next door, whether he fell in love with one of my girls or not. Then again, my oldest is only 11 1/2 and still eyes boys warily. Smart kid, but it may put off a potential free shoveler.


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