It Snowed…and Then, Opal Went Foolish

You gotta love the first snowfall. Deep in your childlike heart of hearts, the excitement of the virgin flakes falling on your face, creates a buzz in you that defies rational thought. You consider hurling yourself into the smallest accumulation to make snow angels…but you don’t. You think, “gee, maybe I’ll take up a winter sport this year”, but you won’t. Your mind takes you  spinning through  potential Christmas shopping trips; You envision pleasant seasonal music playing everywhere, happy, friendly, patient people exchanging polite conversation, beautifully decorated stores filled with helpful staff that have  ‘just the right gift’ for everyone on your list, and then motoring home effortlessly through the picturesque streets to your warm casa. Reality? The music is largely hokey and annoying, the people are ruthlessly shopping for bargains that don’t exist which makes them even crankier. The heat in the stores is oppressive, as people wander hopelessly around in  winter gear causing them to sweat. No one can find a staff person for love or money. The aisles are choked with the usual displays of useless Christmas crap (like Chia Pets), intended for the desperate impulse buyer. These displays impede the progress of anyone in a wheelchair. The long wait at the cash is resonant with the sound of cranky kids, the swish of credit cards being processed, and couples discussing how they are going to get that monstrously large entertainment unit into the car. The car needs to be de-fogged and cleared of snow (once you can open the doors after de-icing the locks with frozen fingers). You wonder why you didn’t take that defensive driver’s course. It would have come in  handy here at  the mall parking lot filled with weary shoppers in cars skidding on summer tires. They seem a little too eager to beat you to the exit and half of them didn’t bother to clean the 2-inch layer of snow off their windshields.  You may or may not get whacked by an SUV full driven by a harried shopper. Traffic in town is crazy and you get stuck behind an accident scene involving a Metro Transit bus and a snow plow. The casa’s driveway requires 45 minutes of shoveling before you can get into it.

Me? I Christmas shop in September or on the Internet, IF  I have any money at the time and an inclination to purchase gifts. I will not subject Opal or myself to the insanity and unpleasantness of a mall in December. I would not have a hope in hell of getting through aisles with her anyway (displays create spaces too narrow for us), and there is rarely staff available in the stores at his time of year to help me  “shop” (ie. find something, read labels…). Instead, when the first snow hits (as it did yesterday), I take Opal outside on her retractable leash and share her profound joy in discovering  the first snow of the season…she seems to forget from year to year about this stuff called, ‘snow’.  But here it is….and the thought bubble over her head reads, “Mum…I think I’m going to go foolish…yes, I believe I must go insane and jump into this  white stuff, run around like a dervish and maybe throw myself upside-down for good measure…NOW!”

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2 responses to “It Snowed…and Then, Opal Went Foolish

  1. summitguidedogs

    The first snow we had this year, Sterling would walk along, take a big snort of snow, and then jump and blot forward like he just got electrocuted. And he did it over and over again. Man, they do love this stuff.

    You forgot to add in the people who are out in their brand new 4×4 that just moved her from Florida…and go 5 MPH when there is ANY snow on the ground.

  2. It’s a mixed blessing; so much fun to play in, but very messy walking the sidewalks full of salt, ice and slush. I spend half the winter cleaning Opal’s feet on the go, (she’s not crazy about boots and they take a while to put on and take off) and cleaning her up at destinations. Her belly gets filthy from slush that spatters up as she walks and from lying on dirty floors on buses. It’s a lot of bending over to clean her up, and planning for precision timing…so as to avoid long waits at bus stops in extreme cold which is unreasonable to expect her to wait in.

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