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Tuesday, February 17, 2004

It is snow!

...not here in the Valley, of course, but we visited the mountains this weekend.

It was my 40th birthday on Saturday and my wife was out of town delivering a paper at a history conference., so my son and I trekked out to Palm Desert to visit my sister. Whenever we visit her we try to spend a few hours "up-the-hill" in Idyllwild. This is one of my favorite spots and I would love to have a home there, but for now, I just have to enjoy it when I can.

The town sits at around 5,400 feet, so they get snow during big Winter storms, but it usually doesn't stay too long. On Saturday, a front passed through very quickly as we walked through town, visiting shops and galleries. It started to snow hard pellets and then turned into fat flakes that looked wonderful against the backdrop of the dark green pine trees. It only lasted about 10 minutes, but it was a perfect way to celebrate my birthday. I miss the snow sometimes, so this is a great way to get the feeling without all the mess and trouble.

I do love the smell of the mountains in Winter. The odor of pine mixed with wood smoke from fireplaces and an overwhelming clarity to the air. You just feel you can breathe more deeply. I think this has as much to do with the stress-relieving qualities of a small, mountain town, as much as the clean air itself.

I know some of you will be amazed at my rhapsodizing about snow, since you are probably cooped up inside just itching to get into the garden. That to, will come to pass. Spring has almost sprung and the time for digging is quickly approaching.


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