A blanket of snow


I had to step outside the other night. It was a magical experience.

Yes, that might be overselling it a bit. (Just a bit.) But you need to understand the entire scenario. It was around 10pm. Dark out. But thatís just itÖ because it wasnít. Even overcast, the full moon was making attempts at pushing a bit of light through the clouds. And with a layer of snow on the ground, the wonderful result was you could see everything.

Usually if you step outside at night, even with clear skies and a full moon overhead, there will be corners of darkness and shadows hiding something.

(Not necessarily something sinister. In this scene, we are considering playfully lurking. Not trying to set the stage of a horror story. So, think of a deer, or some other character not presenting much of a threat. Maybe some tools you brought out to the garden, forgot to bring in, waiting to be discovered and eventually returned to their proper place. Ok?)

But the snow reflects the moonlight a bit, spreading some light while also creating a better visual background.

So there, on that night, I could see. Walked all the way to the car and back to the house. Never turned on a flashlight. Never was concerned about surprising a visitor in the yard.

(Again, cute visitor but potentially unwelcome visitor. Say a skunk. You donít want to surprise a skunk in your yard.)

It also happened to be one of those nights that felt warmer than the thermostat was reporting. No wind either. It was a comfortable and mostly silent experience.

When was the last time you smacked right into something in your home? Corner of a coffee table happens to us, even in the best of light. But then, in the middle of the night, not wanting to turn on lights, we set off thinking we can navigate our path. Three steps to the entry of the room, turn left down the hall, five steps andÖ andÖ and weíre usually off before we even get to the edge of the room weíre in.

Terry and I have a few nightlights scattered around the house. Originally, we put them out when guests came to visit. You get the ideaÖ people that arenít sure where the doorways and light switches and more are placed. Offers an easy way to get around an unfamiliar house in the middle of the night. Over time we just got used to having them on so we never turned them off. And so, at 3am, we can move about a bit without the assistance of lights.

Iíve become a big fan of skylights. Never had one in any other place where Iíve lived. And the light it creates on a sunny day is amazing. But the really stunning and unexpected part for me was the full moon crashing into the house. Sets off a wonderful glow down a hall.

A few warmer and sunny days are expected over the next week. Nothing amazingly warm, but enough to melt the snow we have. The world will disappear for a few hours as the night takes over and the shadows extend their reach.

But storms are comingÖ more snow. Days are getting longerÖ more sunlight.

I donít always find myself on one particular side in most battles. This isnít Coke against Pepsi, where the only correct answer is Coke. (Obviously.) Itís essentially blankets of darkness and blankets of light for the overnight. Blankets in general can be comforting. On this particular winterís evening though, it was a pleasant surprise to enjoy the views.


If you have any comments or questions, please e-mail me at Bob@inmybackpack.com