She barreled in swiftly, unapologetically late to the party and still its honored guest. Crystal beads clung to her fancy pants and frosty confidence sparkled in her eyes.
She’d been invited for Christmas, but Ashley didn’t care. She trailed a white velvet stole from her diamond-heavy fingers, tossed back her salty shoulders and laughed at us all.
Here in the Midwest, where we’re unfailingly polite, we welcomed Snowstorm Ashley, even as she howled through our tidy towns.
Snow plows lined up like suitors tossing road salt roses in her path. School children set aside their disappointment at her selfish timing and feted her with sleek sleds and fleece mittens.
At our house, we watched her gusty winds bend the tall pine trees in our yard and offered typical responses.
“Too soon to jammy up?” I asked at 5 p.m., envisioning a cozy night of toddy sipping.
“I love a snowy night,” said Molly. “Let’s go for a walk.”
Charlie monitored the situation from various social media accounts. Vince headed outside to give our giant vintage snow blower a test drive.
“Anyone want to go for a walk?” Molly asked, again.
Reluctantly, I finally agreed and we tromped off, Molly chatting gaily and me aiming neutral grunts at hopefully appropriate intervals. We stopped occasionally to re-wrap our scarves and wipe sleet from our eyes.
Those activities remained a pleasant memory Monday night, as we soldiered on.
We noticed a common theme among the occasional vehicles that passed us — a fire engine or two, a police car — all emergency vehicles.
“How great is this?” Molly called out against Ashley’s gale.
“So great,” I huffed.
We’re not going to lie. Our first-blizzard-of-the-year walk was pretty miserable in spots, especially when we turned to head home and realized the wind had shifted into our faces.
But we loved the way Ashley gifted our little corner of the world with a precious evening of pristine pleasure. We enjoyed the shouts of laughter she inspired on the snow hills across from our house, and the sparkle she added to fading holiday décor.
She’s a pain, that Ashley, and we’ll be cleaning up after her for some time. But, she swept in with just the right amount of swagger and we’re glad she came to town.