An Unexpected Snow Day: A (Mostly) Photo Blog


I woke up early on this last day of classes with Dan sleeping peacefully next to me, Shiva snuggled into a ball my lap, and sweet Sophie snoring contentedly at my side. We were supposed to have had some rain come through last night that would turn to a light dusting of snow, but nothing that would stick. Sometimes Mother Nature has other plans.

I came downstairs in the quiet darkness, opened the sunporch door and looked out to find that we had snow- and it actually appeared to be coming down pretty heavily in big fluffy flakes. I put down my yoga mat and did my practice while watching the sun shyly peek over the horizon at the gently falling snow. There is nothing like ‘snow quiet’; it blankets the land and muffles normal everyday sounds, leaving you feeling like you are wrapped in a wonderful cocoon. I love it.

Just a light dusting early in the morning…

Normally in Birmingham (or most anywhere in the South), the city shuts down at even the hint of a snowflake. While our friends to the north often (rightfully so) laugh at us, we aren’t prepared to deal with hilly streets that are covered in even a small amount of snow or ice- and most of us have never been trained to drive in winter weather…something that can quickly become a dangerous combination.

I went into school to give some playing exams and teach lessons, and the snow continued to fall. And fall. Surely it will stop- they said a ‘dusting’ at most. Our world became white and I looked out of my office window to see the students enjoying the novelty.

Snowball fight!

The snow showers continued, getting heavier and sticking more and more. I started feeling that little prickle of concern one feels who lives on a steep hill and remembers colleagues getting stuck in the music building for a couple of nights during the last surprise winter weather event. It was time to head home…while I still could.

With a little scary moment on the hilly street closest to the alley leading to my garage, I made it home just in time. Now came the true challenge- getting down my very steep driveway with clarinets on my back, a computer bag filled with work, and my purse, without slipping and falling…the same hill I took a bad fall on last January. I squatted low and inched my way down, slipping a couple of times, but maintaining my balance in the end. Success!

Now, I’m not going to lie; as a gal who grew up in Florida and lived for nine years in the beautiful mountains of Western North Carolina, I have a fascination and love of snow. Always have. Here in Birmingham, snow is a rarity, so when it comes, I feel like a kid again- a kid with wrinkles, but a kid nonetheless. My husband is just the same. The world as we know it is suspended for a while; instead of the very busy Friday I had planned, it was suddenly a snow day, one free of commitments or worries. Dan and I did the sensible thing (insert note of sarcasm) and bundled up to head out and take photos of our slippery surprise winter wonderland.

We stopped to just listen to the snowfall and enjoy the moment…

We carefully made our way down the long flight of stairs…

I love our funky old home in all seasons, but it is never more beautiful than when it is blanketed in fresh snow.

We enjoyed every bit of the day as the snow fell, talking, napping, practicing, baking cookies (eating far too many of them fresh out of the oven), and making a nice dinner after enjoying one of Dan’s Rusty Nails by the sunporch fireplace. We decided to continue the adventure and bundled up once again for a nighttime inspection of the snowy landscape. It was worth the cold nose and frozen fingers.

How grateful I have been for the out-of-the-blue gift of this snow day to remind us to be kids at heart again, to relish in the freedom of a break from routine here at this crazy time of the semester. I feel energized and ready to power through the busy week of exams, juries, and clinics that begin on Monday, and excited for the Christmas holiday that still awaits.

Oh- and I got to do yoga this morning with this as my view…Even for one day- what a gift.


8 thoughts on “An Unexpected Snow Day: A (Mostly) Photo Blog

  1. Denise, your pictures are gorgeous. The ones of your house would make a great Christmas card…kind of a “from our house to yours” card. I’m glad to hear you appreciate the beauty of snow. I live just east of Buffalo, NY, so you can imagine how much we get. People think I’m crazy, but I really love the winters here. It’s a certain kind of beauty that only comes part of the year, and I guess I just equate it with home and hearth and outdoor fun. Our dogs love it, too, and that makes it fun to be out with them. I feel bad for people who live in places that never see snow. The beauty far outweighs the inconveniences. Just my two cents!
    Hope your holidays are the happiest! ( By the way…I always think of Heavy D when I bring out my ceramic snowmen.)

    1. Lynn, thanks so much for your comment. I am with you- snow is a beautiful thing, and I so wish we got more of it. This may very well be our only snow of the season, so we made a point to enjoy every moment. It makes everything beautiful, doesn’t it? Happiest of holidays to you! I am so glad that you think of sweet Heavy D when you take out your snowmen- she would love that. Our home has several, and they make me smile- and miss my mom, who loved the holidays so much. ❤️

  2. Your pictures of the snow, and your home, are beautiful. What a nice surprise.
    Your “snow day” sounds lovely, and peaceful. ❄⛄

  3. We have had lots of snow here in northern Indiana. Winter storm warnings etc. It is still snowing here with expected accumulation of 4-8″ more tonight. I have to agree that the snow muffled day is a magical thing. All the neighborhood kids were building snowmen since this snow was perfect for packing and making snow sculptures. Relatives in Georgia let us know that their children were confused and had never heard of a “snowplow”! Funny how the experiences are so different by region..

    1. It really is funny; growing up in Florida we had one freak snow when I was in junior high, and you would have thought the whole world stopped. I’m not a fan of ice, but fresh snow…that is magic. 😊

  4. Your house looks stunning in the snow. I love snow too but admit I hate the idea of clearing our drive, etc. Here in Ohio we can really get socked with it. The ice storms–with the damn “black ice”–are the worst, though; a few years ago I fell going down the driveway to the mailbox…I thought I broke my hip! Now, when I walk to the mailbox (we have a very long driveway) in bad weather, I honest to god recite lines from a poem by D. Markova–“I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire….” Weird, I know, but it gives me courage!

    1. Elle, thank you so much. I am with you on the ice issue; I love snow, but when it turns to ice, it is a game changer. I’ve fallen on the ice, too (almost broke my hip in my steep driveway last January 😱). Not a fan of the ice, for sure. Sending you good and safe thoughts for a winter with no falls (and no black ice!).

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