As a general rule, I do not enjoy winter. It is cold, slushy, and long, and it takes far too much work to get from Point A to Point B (You  have to: 1. pile on the layers 2. slog through snow and ice, slipping and sliding along the way in order to 3. get to your car, turn it on, brush it off, scrape it off, wait another five minutes for it to finish heating up 4. slip and slide your way from the curb onto the road, which may or may not be plowed 5. slip and slide along the streets and highways with other crazy winter drivers 6. try to find a parking spot in a lot full of cars that are parked haphazardly all over the place because the snow is covering the lines, or on a street with the same problem 7. and then slog your way inside, and end up either sweating profusely because you can't take off your layers, or tossing everything in a steaming heap by the door, only to have to put everything back on a repeat the whole process again in a couple of hours. If you have a garage, hooray!, you can remove steps 2-4). And did I mention that it's cold? So cold? So many layers? So much work to exist? 

Anyway, now I live in Los Angeles, so none of the above affects me any more. Unfortunately, along with not having to deal with five months of frigid temperatures and icy roads, I also miss out on a few wonderful things. Like the first big snow of the season. 

Yesterday, the Midwest was slammed with a huge winter storm. My Facebook feed exploded with photos and status updates about the snow, since the majority of my friends live in that part of the country. I watched the photos come in with a twinge of envy, since it is, after all, the holiday season, and nothing screams IT'S CHRISTMAS!!!! more than a good, solid layer of white on the ground. I have many wonderful memories of sitting outside in full snow gear, listening to the sound of snow falling; the hushed stillness, an almost indistinguishable constant soft pattering as each unique flake joins its brethren (and sis-tren) on the ground. The world feels completely safe when there is a big snowfall - the snow hugs everything from the sky to the ground to the gentle tips of plants and flowers. It is beautiful. And I missed it a lot as I sat at my computer and knew that everyone back home was experiencing it right at that moment.

Then I went for a hike in the hills in a tank top and drove to work with the windows down and not a lick of ice in sight, and I felt better (my dad told me that it took him 2.5 hours to drive the twenty-some miles to work this morning - no thank you).  

Though I am missing out on the actual snowfall, I am going to benefit from it anyway, because in exactly two weeks I will be going home for TEN whole days, and I could not be more stoked to have a white Christmas. Last year was the brownest Christmas I remember, with only a few flurries on Christmas Day, so I can't wait for this year to be more festive. I also can't wait to go snowshoeing. 

Here are some photos that my brother took outside of our house this morning, after the snow had stopped (he made a Facebook album just for me; he knows me too well). So. Much. White. Stuff. I love it, I love it, I love it (from the safety and warmth of my apartment in LA). =]

The front of our house

Whenever it snows a lot, the lowest branches of the giant pine tree in our front yard get
completely weighed down to the ground

My brother's foot sunk way down in the snow



Our backyard 
Also:

(This is floating around Facebook; I don't have the credit for it)
Finally, I leave you with a photo of what it currently looks like here in LA:


Not too shabby.

Happy Monday!