The air was clear. The fog and haze lifted and the lights of the city below were clearly visible. An orange full moon floated just above the city, the Wolf Moon of January.
With binoculars I saw the stark relief of earth’s airless sister. The waterless seas (really plains) and bold mountains were as white as the snow underfoot. I stoked the woodstove and walked up the road to the highway and back. I saw one neighbor warming himself by a bonfire he had built on top of the snow. His power was still off.
Orion and Canis Major shone brightly with their other companions. With binoculars I saw the fuzzy outline of the middle star in Orion’s sword, really a nebula. The stars faded in the light of the full moon, this night’s ruler. It illuminated the landscape like a weak sun, and once more I saw the icy sheaths that engulf the twigs. They sparkled in the moonlight, casting shadows on the snow.
Though this snowfall created some hardship, I did not wish to see it go. I see so little snow here in the southern mountains, and it reminds me of my childhood home in Ohio. It does not even approach what I saw the years I lived in New Hampshire and Illinois.
I remember one winter in New Hampshire when we lifted a picnic table out of the snow and set it on the crust, its feet resting above the former level of its surface. The hole made an excellent ice cave when covered with downed branches and chunks of crusted ice. It remained in tact for a month or more.
By choice I do not have television or internet service at my house, or even a landline telephone. For a time, the snow even eliminated radio, electric lights, and heat, and made my road impassable. The pleasure of a snowy day more than compensated me for the inconvenience of missing modern amenities. In many respects, I found it more pleasurable than the alternative. With a battery operated radio and a gas stove, I could live quite well in such circumstances. I remember times in my life when I did so.