Sunday, 19 December 2010

It does not snow Downunder in December,

or rather we do not expect it to snow. All too often there is a heat wave and the temperature rises to a point where foolish people drink far too much alcohol and then attempt to do stupid things. This year, despite wild and woolly weather today, the temperature is still forecast to be about 33'C. It is a little too warm for me but most people will not mind too much.
One glorious year however it actually snowed. My mother was not in the least but impressed by this but my father and all four children were delighted. We were going to have the sort of Christmas you see on Christmas cards!
Well, not quite. There was very little snow of course. My brother and I watched it anxiously. Would there be enough? Would it still be there in the morning? Mum would not let us go out while it was "snowing". It was "too cold". This was for a mere dusting of snow on the ground!
We went to bed thinking about snow, not presents. Presents were not important. We had something to do outside.
It was daylight very early of course. This was the middle of the summer. I was awake a little after five. Yes, the snow was still there! There was not much of it. There were bare patches of ground everywhere but there was still some precious snow in sheltered places and, joy of joys, there was another fine layer settling as I watched.
By five-thirty that morning my brother and I were outside. We collected snow. We collected it in our beach buckets and made a heap. We made a smaller heap on top. Our hands were blue and red with cold. We ignored that. An hour later we had our snow man. He was only about knee high to us. That did not matter.
We stood there looking at it and at each other. A real snow man!
Christmas Day or not Mum was cross. We were scolded for being outside "inadequately dressed" and for "bringing in all that water". It was worth it. We had our snow man.
We headed off to church. Nobody else had made a snow man. Nobody else had thought to make a snow man. Would he still be there when we returned home?
He was.
Our grandparents, aunt, uncle and cousins arrived from the city. We proudly displayed our snow man. The cousins were impressed. My paternal grandfather actually collected some snow from a place we had been unable to reach and added some security to the snow man's head. My paternal grandmother sneaked out a piece of carrot for a nose. My maternal grandparents stayed inside and said it was ridiculous to encourage us. We did not care.
All through Christmas Day we kept looking out at our very own snow man. We knew he would not last but we wanted to have him for a least one day.
And stay there he did. He was a little smaller by evening but he was still there. Finally his head drooped a little to one side, as if he was tired. We waved to him through the windows and finally settled down to the serious of business of working out how to make the crystal set my brother had been given as his Christmas present that year.
The snow man was gone next morning. We have never had another "white" Christmas. If we did I think I might sneak out and make another snow man.


Anonymous said...


From what I have read about your father, he would be right htere with you!

Judy B

Rachel Fenton said...

There's no way that you had a white Christmas! Snow way!

catdownunder said...

Oh yes, he is still just a kid at heart Judy!

We really did Rachel! It was weird but wonderful. My brother and I still remember it.

Anonymous said...

I remember that year Cat! We were supposed to be having cold chicken and salad at the beach. We didn't make a snow man but we did make snow balls and threw them like cricket balls at the new cricket bat.

Anonymous said...

Oh Cat! This had me sniffling in a tissue. I will have to go out and make a snowman right now! How could I not have made one?
Yes, we have arrived safely but we almost did not make it. Bob says hello. He is playing "trains" on the floor at present. Pat

Katherine Langrish said...

How lovely, Cat! We have a touch too much of the darned stuff right here right now, but I never forget how beautiful it is.

catdownunder said...

Sounds as if you all need snow ploughs for Christmas Katherine!