I got caught in a snowstorm last night in my dream, and now, on Erev Christmas, I am feeling a bit nostalgic for that strange joy that comes from a holiday time snowfall before winter gets really miserable. In the 9 years since I moved from Boston to Los Angeles, I've seen snow fall [naturally] only once. We threw snowflakes at each other and built the tiniest snowmen ever.
However, the forecast this week calls for temps here in the mid-30s. Last night I said to Shiloh, "Perhaps it will drop to 32, and it will snow." Her eyebrows lifted in surprise. "It's really 32? I thought that was just a ballpark number."
I like LA's winter much better than Boston's, but I can't help imagining how magical it would be to see angels in my yard, hear the soft drop of snow on snow, and scrape shovels against the sidewalk with my neighbors.
Last night, when I tucked Shy in, I talked about how my family used to celebrate Christmas in the traditional American Jewish way: skiing, Chinese food, and a movie. I'm trying to figure out what to cook for Christmas dinner (after weeks of leftovers, we're over the Thanksgiving flavors). Shy doesn't like Chinese food because a Grinch at the hospital told her that it'd be hard to get an accurate carb count for her insulin. I suggested we make fondue, and dip roasted potatoes and cauliflower and vegan sausages, but she only wants fondue if it's chocolate. "We can dip fruit," she suggested, but it sounds more desserty to me than dinnery. I kissed her good night and went downstairs to dream about snow.
This morning, I watched the dog walkers pass by our window in shorts and t-shirts. The forecast keeps changing, and Darby doesn't think it will rain. He definitely doesn't think it will snow. He doesn't say that exactly, but every time I say I wish it would, he gives me a strange, pitied look. He's lived here much longer than I have, and I don't think he remembers the sound of snow on snow, the slide of it off evergreen branches into piles on the ground, the way light refracts through icicles. I remember building white houses, white tunnels, white impromptu sculptures, the tug of my inner thighs as I climbed our unshoveled driveway to the top, the introspective interiority of walking home as the flakes stuck to my lashes. To be honest, though, I no longer have appropriate shoes for that kind of thing.
It's Erev Christmas, and tonight the girls will be at the other household in our bi-nuclear family system. That house is also multi-cultural, but Christmas is a big deal over there, which is nice for the kids. They'll build gingerbread houses, scatter carrots on the lawn for the reindeer, and then get tucked in behind a wall of wrapping paper that won't be broken till the morning. Meanwhile, Darby and I will pour cocktails and go out with our neighbors to see the 33rd annual Christmas Caroling Truck drive through the hood trailing dancing Santas and a snow making machine.
We still need to go to the store, and I'm still unsure what to make for Christmas dinner when the girls are back with us tomorrow, but this morning Shy mentioned her favorite meal ever. I don't miss Chinese food, and don't care to make fondue for an unappreciative crew. Rain, sun, or snow, it's pretty chilly lately, so Shy's favorite meal actually sounds perfect for our Christmas dinner menu: matzoh ball soup and latkes.
Gut yontif, and happy Christmas, my friends! Wishing you all a wonderful holiday, however you do or do not celebrate. Much love.
Let there be peace on Earth, and let it begin with me.