Snow In Texas

0227151In the hotel breakfast room, girls competing in a national cheerleading competition scooted away from their moms. They congregated in ponytails, flannel pajama bottoms, sweatshirts decorated with glitter. Then someone said, “I had to come all the way to the South for snow,” and we all turned our heads toward the windows. The storm was here.022715We thought it was charming when we wiped off the windshield, caught a photo of a cactus dusted in white. But the ride home was long and slow. Semis insisted they merge as the lanes narrowed. The highway detoured onto the access road and then back onto the highway. Bridges slowed us while snow whirled above the road. It was nearly Waco before the highway was dry and back to its usual levels of danger. Snow in Texas — novel and tricky to navigate.

February 27, 2015

Century

020215Winter in Texas isn’t so bad. While photos of houses trapped behind drifts of snow and stories of school closings populate my news feed, we come off a weekend in which people strolled by the lake in t-shirts. But sometimes the cold finds us, and I’ll mark this winter in my mind by the walk I took with friends from Colorado before work one morning. It was 23 degrees and the air was crystalline. We paced the boardwalk almost alone, most people driven inside by the cold. It was hard to describe how rare it was to people who live with the cold all winter. I felt apologetic that the weather hadn’t cooperated for them, and a little thrilled that it offered us such an extreme. The walk to work and back on Monday was more typical of winter here. Chilly, but not frigid. The sky gray, the leafless trees befitting the season. It won’t be long before the primrose jasmine are a tumble of yellow again. And the century plants standing sculptural in gardens keep their noble gray-green no matter the temps.

February 2, 2015

Watching the Weather

012615True, it was so balmy in Austin today that I took a walk during lunch and removed my jacket on the way back to let the sun warm my shoulders. Still, all day I was tuned to the weather as a blizzard — “crippling and historic” predicted Mayor de Blasio — spun toward New York City. B was on a plane from LAX headed straight into it. It was a work gig, already scheduled, and she didn’t want to risk missing it. So by 6am the texts were flying. We checked flight trackers, web sites that showed airports mostly closed. We wondered about the roads between JFK and Manhattan. We breathed a sigh when her flight landed. By nightfall the temps dropped in Austin and I sit before the fire, feet stretched toward the heat, laptop open, getting news. B is safely in her hotel near Grand Central. We wait to hear what bears down in the night.

January 26, 2015