For you, the dress code is casual.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

White Nights and Write Nights

I'm watching Die Hard again, this time with the commentary on. I have a bad headache. I'm writing in between, both here and on the other blog. Taking breaks between each activity for the other activity. Balance. Good.

My laptop computer is charging up. Hopefully by the time my headache dies down, it will be alive again. I'll take the laptop with me to work, and I'll go to work, say, from about 4 to 7, and then take myself out for a bite at a coffee shop and tap away at my computer by candlelight. It's been a long time since I've done that. And it's supposed to snow tonight. I hate being single when it snows. Isn't that weird? But if I am single, then I love to be out in the world on the first snowfall of the year. Usually, I see a movie. This time I think I'll write by a window at one of my fave coffee haunts and watch the world fade to white.

I've told Dad I'm not coming out there. Surrey sucks most of the time, heh, but it sucks more when transit is compromised. Nuh-uh. I fancy a day of housecleaning and walking around the neighbourhood for goods needed.

Like, a muffin tin. I've not had muffins in weeks. Last time: I made muffins for the people at my old job. And as if the Gods were declaring the evilness of that employment, I was never again able to use that tin. Cursed me, methinks. Somehow, the rice flour detonated the nonstick surface and charred remnants fused into that malfunction of a muffin tin. I tossed it. Canadian Tire now has the expensive nonstick pans on for 65% off this weekend! I smell MUFFINS!

Huzzuh. Muffins and snow and blankets and books and movies and all things good for a snowy day.

How I LOVE a snowy day! And a Sunday is the bestest day ever for a snowy day! Like the gods looking down on you to say: You are to do nothing. Stay home. Wander around. There is no need to venture into the world. Behold, a blanket of white goodness.

Want to hear my all-time favourite snowday story? It's my all-time favourite story about my mom, too. I told it at her funeral. I actually got a laugh at her funeral. THAT is how funny I am. Take that! But everything I loved about my mom comes through in this story. Wow, hadn't thought of this for awhile until just now. Okay, I'll tell it to you, then.

Anne of Green Gables is one of my favourite stories ever. My folks are both from PEI. My mother's name was Shirley Ann-without-an-E instead of Anne-with-an-E Shirley of Green Gables. Mom even had red hair. I loved that character, her ability to see beauty everywhere and her romantic view of the world at large. I loved her drama and her self-importance. The Americans have their Scarlet O'Hara, but if Scarlet was lowkey, a good friend, and grateful and never spoiled, she'd be Anne Shirley.

In 1985, the TV movie was released. My mother had been anticipating this movie for a long, long time and was so excited when it was coming out. She decided we could stay up until 11 that night to watch the first part of the movie and even the next night's too. She wanted us to see what kind of place PEI was to grow up in (even though my 1981 summer spent in PEI stands as the happiest memory of my life). My dad was out of town on a hockey trip, so it was the three of us. We had hot chocolate with marshmallows and sat glued to the tube for the whole movie.

Unbeknownst to us, it'd began snowing practically the instant the show began. All the curtains were down, so when we began ascending the stairs to the second floor, it took us by surprise to see through the bay window at the end of the hall that monstrous white snowflakes had consumed the night air, coming down in a furious flurry.

"Snow!" we cried, my brother and I, and we rushed to the window and looked outside. We went to school out in the valley in a private school, so this meant one very likely thing to us: Snow day! Closed for snow! NO SCHOOL! Likely. Probably. Oh, goodness, we hoped so!

Much to our surprise, my mother had a huge smile on her face and was looking at the now-white world splayed before us, and said, "Go get dressed."

"What?" I blurted.

"Well, you're right. There's probably no school tomorrow. Get dressed. Let's go get some pizza."

"All right!" my brother exclaimed.

We got dressed faster than we ever had. By 11:30, we were running through the forest, the soil and snow crunching beneath our feet, wind causing snow to flutter and fall upon us. It was the perfect snow, too. Not too powdery, but definitely not wet. Perfect for snowballs and snowmen.

We got to (the original) Ocean Park Pizza and ordered some pepperoni pizza and milk. I don't think we got into bed until nearly three that morning. With all that warm pizza in our bellies, we made a snowman and we had playfights with the snow.

The snow acted like a buffer, blanketing the world with silence. No one was out there, no cars, no pedestrians. It was my brother, my mother, and me. We ruled the world that night.

We all slept late and had pancakes for breakfast. Later that day, Dad returned home, and for some reason, none of us told him what we'd done. It was our little secret. Just like when Mom would go away, Dad would buy us Honeycombs and Apple Jacks, my brother and me's fave sugary junkfood cereals. (Mom was a Corn Flakes kinda mom.)

So, even today, there's something I absolutely love about going for a walk after midnight in a fresh-falling snow. I do it to this day, and every single time, I think of Anne of Green Gables and my mother, her romantic hedonist compatriot.

I think one of the best gifts my mother ever gave me was the ability to appreciate the little moments in a great big life filled with them. I suspect I do it better now than she ever did. It's funny what we take from each of our parents. These past couple of weeks have given me a new appreciation for my father, too, in that I know what I almost lost, and I'm glad I didn't have to go there yet. So, I'm not going out there tomorrow, because I'll be at home enjoying a new snow. My camera's coming out, and I'm going exploring. We're going on a photo hunt, boys and girls.

Soon, my laptop will be recharged, and I can venture out in my soon-to-be-white world. Insert giddy shiver here. How fun. :)

(Incidentally, this was going to be a thing about why Die Hard is such a great action movie and me writing about why I love and hate action flicks at the same time. The commentary had me thinking. I think a good action movie is the hardest thing to write. You know, so many people do them badly, et al. Funny how writing sometimes takes a hand and turns the tables on a topic. Most of the time lately, I've not enjoyed writing. It's not been organic. I've really had to manipulate things and force the topics. This is what I miss, the ease at which a story can just unfold itself. I wish it was easier like this more often, the writing thing. Who knows. Maybe I'm coming back to that place again. That'd be nice.)