Monday, December 13, 2010

White, White, White

I'm not a huge fan of winter weather, but I have to admit, yesterday started out to be a very pretty day.  At noon, the temperature was 32º with very little wind.  A few inches of snow had fallen overnight and coated everything in fluffy white.

The snow was falling gently in large flakes.  It felt like being in a giant snow globe.  It was the perfect day to make our annual trip to the tree farm to pick out our Christmas tree.

We go to the same farm every year. The people are friendly, the selection is great and the price can't be beat (and it includes shaking and wrapping your tree). After you pick out your saw, they give you a map of the farm with the phone number on top. Once you've picked out your tree, you can call them from the field and they will come with a wagon to pick you and your tree up.

No matter where you looked, the view was like a Christmas card.  The trees were perfectly frosted with snow. 

It didn't take long to find our perfect tree (our son is now the designated tree cutter).  It's a lovely blue spruce that is far too tall for our living room, but, as suggested by the staff at the farm, we'll be cutting away the bottom portion to shorten it up to 7 feet. 

While the tree was being wrapped, we took some time to enjoy the fire.  We weren't cold, but it still felt good.  I took a few family pictures, too.  I'm not much on having my picture taken, but, just for my blog, I posed for this picture.

Yep, those are really my feet with my baggy jeans tucked into the top of my boots.

Once we got the tree tied to the car, the temperature had started to drop and the wind had picked up.  The forecasters had been predicting a winter storm, but I assumed they were wrong (they usually are).

By the time we got home, it was bone chillingly cold.  The wind was blowing so hard that I could barely push the car door open.  The gently falling snow had become a driving blizzard that burned when it hit your face.  The news was reporting hazardous driving conditions and airport delays.

I started checking news websites for school closings.  At 5:00, there were none.  By 8:00, there were about 50.  I made a final check around midnight and the number had jumped to 83, but our local schools were not on the list.

At 4:30 this morning, Mr. Willoughby turned on the news and saw that our schools had decided to stay closed for the day.  I checked online and found this:

Click on picture for a closer look.

Do you see what it says in the circle on the left?  541 schools closed!  Note the temperature at the top of the page, too.  It was 10º with a windchill of negative 11º. 

When the sun came up, it was breathtaking in more ways than one.  The snow, lit by the sun, was breathtakingly beautiful, but the temperature would literally take your breath away.  I couldn't tolerate the cold for more than a few minutes when I stepped out to snap a few pictures.

Looking down the street.

The neighbor's trees.
The weight of the snow bending a 7 foot tall arborvitae down
to the ground.
The wind even blew the door on
the gas grill open.  We probably won't be grilling
or eating outside tonight.

How's the weather where you are?  Is it beginning to look a lot like Christmas, yet?



abby jenkins said...

No snow here but we are anxiously waiting.....
picked up our tree this weekend which is always fun
Christmas is coming!

5thsister said...

Wow! I heard it was pretty wicked up your way. Glad you are all safe and you made it home before the worst of it.

Matty said...

I've been hearing about these snowstorms going across the midwest. What a wallop! But the scenes sure are pretty. And I have to laugh at that picture of you. You are so photogenic.

lisleman said...

nice boots
The last time we took our kids to cut down a tree we didn't even have cellphones. Interesting idea I guess you better know where you are on the map.
Plenty of cold wind in Illinois.

tahoegirl said...

Whew! It is cold. The snow crunches when you walk on it. I don't like crunchy snow. (saying hi!)

Liz in Virginia said...

No snow here yet -- but we're still hoping! I just want to get the tall boy home first!

Betty Manousos @ CUT AND DRY said...

I love, love, love your snow photos!

I enjoy watching the snow fall.
It snowed last week, there was not much but it was nice to have it around.
Glad you made it home safe and sound.

Big hugs!
B xx

Joanna Jenkins said...

Looks like you go the same weather as my family in Ohio. They emailed me some similar pictures and they're freezing too.

If it's any consolation-- In Southern California it'll be raining for the next 6 days with temps between 40-55 degrees, which for us is C O L D ! ! !

Stay warm and enjoy your beautiful Christmas tree. I love that you go and pick your own at the tree farm :-)

Merry Christmas, jj

Jenn Erickson said...

I love living a vicarious White Christmas through you, my friend. It looks absolutely beautiful! I love your Christmas tree tradition and enjoyed reading about the farm and seeing your pictures. Merry Christmas! A beautiful post, as always! Warmly, Jenn

Betty Manousos @ CUT AND DRY said...

Stopping by to say hello and wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas!

Big hugs!
B xx

Jenny said...

Living in Arizona, it is fun to live vicariously (and warmly) through someone elses white Christmas. This is lovely, though.

Deidra said...

There's nothing much more beautiful than winter in Michigan!