My phone just chirped with a weather alert. We get those now and then for thunderstorms with possible flash flooding or for the occasional freak dust storm.

This one was for winter weather. Snow. It was September. Trees are still green (though apparently not for long). Snow. OK, we can push it to “it is a couple of days before October.” Still: snow.

I have a ficus on my upstairs deck and if it does not get taken inside tonight, it will not survive. Last night wasn’t cold. Tonight will be. No gradual cooling down this time.

I used to love snow. When I was growing up outside of Washington, D.C., a snow storm meant days of no school and snow usually shut down of most of the city. (This was before the Metro.)

It meant building snow men and snow forts (we would pull ice from the creek running behind our house to make windows) and drizzling hot maple syrup over snow to make candy.

Once I made a snow Brunhilda complete with monster icicle spear. (That’s what happens when you grow up with a dad who listens to opera.)

There is a certain sound snow makes as it falls among trees bare of leaves. It is a beautiful sound.

Snow became progressively less fun as I got older because it meant shoveling the walk as a teen. Then it meant driving in it as an adult. Driving in snow is not nearly as bad as driving in slush or on ice. Regrettably, all those generally come together, one right after the other.

Where I live now doesn’t get a huge amount of snow.  Yes, we get snow, but not as much snow as other places. Yes, it gets cold, but not as cold as other places. Pick a weather experience and we get it, just not as bad as other places. (Except maybe hurricanes – we’re too far from an ocean.)

Still, even six inches of snow has to be shoveled and driven in with care.

The Navigator likes snow – sort of. He will give it about 30 minutes, then he gets too cold and wants to come in. He will stay out longer when  dad builds a snowman or snow dinosaur with him.

I suspect this winter, if we get enough snow, there will be a snow Dalek in the backyard and maybe a snow TARDIS, thanks to his love of Doctor Who.

The thing I like best about snow now is being inside, safe from the elements, with my family (and ficus) inside with me. There is a certain contentment I get when the dark of winter comes, and I close up the blinds and curtains against the overnight cold, knowing that we are all safe and protected.

When the wind is whipping around the house, tree branches banging and scratching as a storm crosses the mountains, I can curl up in bed and feel at peace.

Sometimes just hunkering down is good.

Hunkering Down