Sunday, December 23, 2007

Let it snow.

Growing up in New Mexico, I was accustomed to celebrating Christmas without any snow. Though it was always cold by late December, snow usually fell only a few times a year, rarely stuck, and melted quickly once it had settled on the ground; basically, statistics were against me having a white Christmas. The few rare holidays where we did actually have snow were thus all the more memorable.

Last year, we came absurdly close. I flew home from South Africa a week before Christmas: a long day and night of traveling that had began with an exhausting six hour delay at the Oliver Thambo airport in Johannesburg. After a rushed connection in Washington DC, I was almost stranded in Chicago with the news that the city of Albuquerque had been swallowed in a winter storm. Thankfully, our flight was granted clearance after only a two hour delay. I arrived in Albuquerque long after dark, to find my hometown blanketed in a sugary layer of pristine snow.

By the time Christmas arrived, however, most of the snow had melted- only shallow icy mounds remained, cowering in the shadows of houses and large trees. Christmas passed, and just before New Years another snow storm arrived- even bigger and more devastating than the first. Roads were blocked, businesses closed; I had never seen anything like it. Since our cars were encased in white cocoons on the driveway, we trudged out on foot, exploring the incredible white landscape of the city transformed.

2 comments:

Freshly Found said...

Happy Christmas! I am sure this one will be warm!
Your family and friends back home must be very cold!

Elen said...

Hey, is this Bataan Park, on Lomas just west of of Carlisle? I'm an Albuquerque girl, and I remember this snow - it was awesome coming down, and I took a bunch of photos of the glorious winter wonderland. I am a bit flabbergasted to have found your blog and what seem like so many synchronicities. First there's Albuquerque, where I've lived for most of the last 34 years; the Highway House Motel, which used to house one of my favorite restaurants - Kelly's - before they moved across the parking lot to the old Jone's Motor Company building, and just three blocks away from my old house. Then there's the Southeast Asia connection - my wonderful mother-in-law was born in the hill country in the north of Vietnam and partly grew up in Hanoi (and later Paris), and all of your incredible photos of delectable Vietnamese food, some of which I've eaten with my mum-in-law. Then there's Arizona - I was born in Tucson, and I've been travelling to central AZ a lot of late to visit my daughter who is going to school there. It's eerily exciting! I wonder if we've both had coffee at the Double Rainbow (now Flying Star) at the same time… Anyway, you are a really good photographer, an intrepid traveler, and you write a damn fine blog. Many, many thanks!