Saturday, November 29, 2008
Part I. Thanksgiving Snow, Thanksgiving Rain, Thanksgiving Snow, and Little Boy Logic!
We returned from our lil' Thanksgiving getaway today, and I must say, I have so much more to be thankful for: A Thanksgiving Day Snowfall, but even more importantly, watching my children experience the Thanksgiving Day snowfall, which for the area, was also the first of the season.
When we decided to go up to the Show Low/Lakeside/Pinetop area and rent a little cabin for a few days, in no way did I expect any type of "winter precipitation". We expected cold and pine trees and a reason to wear mittens and jackets. But that was about it. Sure, it is a beautiful mountain area that receives snow (about 6500 feet elevation), but let's face it - this is still Arizona and it seemed early in the season to "get lucky", know what I mean?
However, a few days before Thanksgiving, they were talking about rain around here for the "Day of the Turkey" and snow up north. Could it be possible? A day (whether down here or up there) without the boring dry headachy sun? Seriously? (Yes, I realize I'm cynical. That's been established) Around here (Phoenix area) they said it may be the first day in 20 years with rain on Thanksgiving. I was delighted. Anyone that didn't like it probably moved here from somewhere else, so they don't count anyway. But even the weathermen are transplants from somewhere else, so they talked like rain was a bad thing. Talk to a native Arizonan, or a native to a hot and sunlight overkill climate (aka HELL) , and you'll get the REAL story. Rain is enjoyed, appreciated and welcomed. Even if a native Arizonan (or a native to a hot/sun climate) doesn't like the rain, I can at least respect their opinion a lot more.
But as usual, I digress. Moving on...
Our way up to Pinetop was met with rain and mist. Even down here as we climbed from 1200 feet (yes, that's how low we are here...bleh...) to 5000, the windy roads had mists of fog and occasional sprinkles. The desert is the most beautiful with overcast, mist and rain. And it is unfortunately a rare sight, so I was grateful to see it.
It was little scary on the Mogollon Rim as it was rainy and even foggier and well passed dark. But it cleared up (for the most part) from Heber to Show Low. We arrived at a our rented abode in Pinetop, and the wintery crisp air was welcoming. We wanted to have dinner at a local joint, but unfortunately, we didn't get everything unpacked until after 9pm. While the Show Low/Lakeside/Pinetop area isn't a TINY town in the middle of nowhere, it is small enough to not expect any local restaurants to be open after 9pm - especially the day before Thanksgiving. So we had a nice late dinner at a Denny's in Show Low.
Thanksgiving morning it was raining. I was a little sad to see this, as I thought we might luck out with snow. But I remember from the news the day before, they said the storm system (that gave us the rain during our departure the night before) was a warmer one, so the snow elevation would be higher - about 7000 feet, which we were just below.
However, later that morning, on Thanksgiving, rain suddenly changed into a noisy "freezing rain" and then almost immediately after that, fluffy quiet snowflakes began to fall. It was so beautiful. Even if those few moments were the only snow I would see that day, it was something I wouldn't take for granted.
Here is Christian out there enjoying it, not long after the rain turned to snow. It was so fun to watch him react to it. This wasn't the first time he saw snow, but probably the first time he probably could understand what was happening. The picture above, just outside our cabin, is also from that first snowfall.
Mikelle got in on the fun soon after as the snow accumulated even more.
From that morning's first snowfall, Christian soon realized that "cold" came with the snow, but he did return outside again as Mikelle did something that every child should experience, but she doesn't get the chance that often, which is: build a snowman. Is that the cutest little snowman ever or what?
Soon after, it turned back into rain (as we were clearly located right on the rain/snow/rain/snow borderline of the storm system), so some of that accumulation melted as a result, but there was still quite a bit left from that first snowfall. Our Thanksgiving meal later that afternoon was outside, as there was no table or room for one, in our little loft cabin. I can't remember if it was raining while we were eating or the weather took a break, but we ate our little Thanksgiving meal under the carport. Good thing Chris and I were "thinking" the night before, and put the picnic table under the carport to dry off! lol
Later, after our meal, we got another treat! The rain changed its mind again and turned back into snow! I have believed for years that the best conditions to photograph people in are falling snow. Therefore, when you get that chance, go for it!
That's all I can write for now (hence, this being Part I). Therefore, the "Little Boy Logic" portion will have to wait for Part II.