Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Snow Kidding: Independence Day Surprise

Yep, that's snow on Roberto's Basque cap!

Yesterday noon we were just delving into our hearty Independence Day lunch of grilled chicken, roast beef, chicken salad, and potatoes when everyone dropped their forks and their jaws to stare out the window.

White stuff falling from the sky!

My stepdaughters became absolutely giddy, and Patricia insisted that I--as a former Snow Belt resident--go outside and verify it as snow. Dutifully I abandoned the table for the garden, and watched the white crystals collect on my dusky blue sweater.

My 20-plus years of shoveling Syracus snow told me it was sleet, but then again, one can never be quite sure until the meteorologist speaks. I stepped back inside to several hopeful faces. "Es nieve nicolena," [San Nicolas snow] I proclaimed. Smiles all around. As soon as the last bite was downed, coats and hats went on, cameras came out, and the party moved outdoors.

By dessert time, the TV was parked on a Buenos Aires channel: folks dressed in skiwear and smiles were dancing in the streets while a fine mantle of lace was tatting itself over trees and grass. Reports said it was the first snow fall in Buenos Aires since June 22, 1918--an event which inspired its very own tango, "What a Night," though we didn't hear a note of it. Roberto remembered a bit of snowfall in 1975--but that still predated his daughters and their boyfriends, whose own little tangos in the yard are now committed to human as well as digital memories.

Day slipped into evening, the snow here flirted with us a bit more hesitantly than in the Capital, so we missed making snow angels or "snow dolls," though no one was short of ideas on how to build the latter. Even so, the gaiety continued for hours on TV and in our own group, as we played Yahtzee and watched the occasional flakes flutter past the huge sliding glass doors. The subject of fireworks did not even arise, and everyone seemed elated to be present for an historic meteorological event.

As I moved here from Central New York to avoid snow, I was grateful that not enough fell to warrant shoveling or even a swipe across the windshield when our guests finally left, assured that the roads here would not be any more dangerous than Argentine roads usually are.

In my four years here, I've never once awakened with the hope of finding my garden covered with white stuff, and it's not likely to happen. Yet it was a special happy day to share with those never so blessed. As a TV headline noted, the snow was free and available to all. How democratic! And how appropriate for the day marking Argentina's 89th year of independence from rule by Spanish kings and queens.

1 comment:

claudio said...