Texan Winter Wonderland

We don’t get a lot of snow in Texas. In fact, when it snows in Texas we shut everything down. I’ve lived there for so long that I can tell when a snow will stick, if it has been warm enough, or even if the schools are going to close. The thing is, it snows every year in Yachiyo City, at least every year I’ve been here so far.

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But, during the beginning of February, we got more snow than Yachiyo had seen in 45 years. That is a lot of snow. I haven’t seen that much snow since I lived in Germany as a child, which means I don’t ever remember seeing this much snow at all.

People may make fun of Texans’ response to snowfall, but it keeps people safe. Sadly, 11 people died and over 1,200 were injured due to the heavy snow in Tokyo. We got over 10 inches of snow in two days. It was beautiful but crazy.

In fact, one of our own girls, Angela, ran off to Tokyo that day and was stuck out there for hours. Trains were delayed, slow, or completely shut down. Taxi lines were 15-30 people deep. She finally ended up at a friend’s place closer to Tokyo than us.

In the face of all that though, Yachiyo was pretty great. People were out shoveling snow with each other, making snowmen, snowballs, snow igloos, and snow ramps. Kids were using anything from trash can lids to cardboard with the plastic real deal thrown in now and again to sled down sidewalks and naturally created snow drifts. One of our neighbor’s, and many others, were kind enough to shovel a path through the snow along the side walks.

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On my excursion to the local shrine, I ran across a few of my students. We made snow angels and I chased her friend’s little sister around until she was giggling and breathless. I lost the key to my house, but found it again without much trouble either. Darn you snow angel!

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After getting some shots near the shrine, losing and finding my key, I helped Talitha decorate a snowman in our courtyard. She also made this obelisk which influence I bet came from the movie 2001 Space Odyssey. *Insert ridiculously undulating, keyless and wordless human voices*

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The next day it snowed again pretty badly and I made my first ever SELF made snowman with Angela; she made her own. But, that snow quickly turned to sleet and the weekend of snowy vacation came to an end.

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But, there is something magical in snow. I really think there is. People who don’t believe in magic will tell you it’s science or endorphin but, I believe, that there are some things, pure and unadulteratable by mankind that still exist in the world. And those things, those places, those moments and scenic visions, are where magic still exists. Sometimes it is in sparkling fun filled eyes or breathless laughter. Other times it is the thunder that shakes the earth or the snow that blankets it. But, it’s still there all the same. You just have to look for it and have the faith of a child when you see it, to still believe that’s what it is, magic.

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I hope you find a little magic in your life this month.

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