The Ice Is Falling!
Ice is falling from the white sky. It falls like frozen snowflakes on our wooden deck, which itself has turned to ice; I could almost skate on its glistening veneer. We wonder how the dogs will react to this: they’ve never experienced anything like it. They are, after all, California dogs. Maxi is curious and ventures out immediately. The icy pellets hitting his body don’t phase him, although he’s delighted with the ice water in his outdoor bowl. Lucy is a bit more timid, but then, she’s always disliked rain so we don’t expect her to enjoy this new phenomenon. But, she finds it fascinating. She too goes outside and begins to sniff everything in sight: every blade of grass, every plant, has taken on a new texture and taste; she likes it.
It’s the equivalent of a “snow day” in College Station, minus that awful shoveling. All the schools, including Texas A&M, are closed. The Bush Library is also closed. That particularly concerns me because we have our monthly design team meeting this week. My associates are flying from LAX into Houston tonight and driving up to College Station—in the dark, in the sleet, in the ice storm—on what the weather reports tell me will be highways covered with black ice, roads that should NOT be traveled during this weather emergency. I’ve called at least three times to warn them to postpone, but they seem bent on keeping to our schedule. Maybe they think I’m exaggerating, or that they’re being responsible, or maybe they want to be macho, but around here even those experienced in winter-weather driving don’t try to tackle the ice; it’s too dangerous. My associates, brave souls that they are, are California guys—they can barely drive in the rain!
It was in the 70s all last week. Weather in Texas is a total adventure, with jet streams moving across the region so swiftly that, as the saying goes, if you want to know what the weather is like just stick around for 24 hours and you’ll experience it all. Not quite, but it does change rapidly, and for everyone who warned me about the stifling heat and humidity, there was no one who told me about the crisp, fall air that smells so extraordinarily clean, the spectacular thunder and lightning storms, the gusting winds and gentle breezes, the remarkable sunsets, the deep blue skies, puffy white clouds, and clear, star-filled nights. And of course, there are the seasons. For the first time in a long time I watched as the seemingly impenetrable green trees that line every street and fill every yard slowly turned to reds and yellows and oranges, and then, as the winds picked up suddenly became transparent, as piles and piles of their dying leaves covered the ground. Then, standing in stark relief against the sky, the branches reaching in every direction, creating something, in its own way, as beautiful a work of art as any God has created.
I love the weather in Texas, probably because it IS weather, in all its splendid diversity. I even like the deep, penetrating heat of the summer; it’s intense, hot, searing, yet it doesn’t dry out my skin. But I have yet to experience a Texas spring, and I can hardly wait. In my mind I see all those naked trees budding with those tender light-green leaves that mark a new beginning, and all those unknowable stalks of brown and green turning into flowering plants and bushes, and the state flower, the bluebells, covering in azure the long patches of what now seem to be barren fields. It should be quite a spectacle, and I love that I know it’s coming. For now, though, I’m enjoying winter, albeit a Texas winter where it can be 60 degrees one day and 30 the next, with ice falling from the sky.
me your opinions at LParis@netlistings.com