Home > Family, Russians > And the Snow Glows Blue

And the Snow Glows Blue

February 28, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

We drive up to the country house Friday afternoon in the midst of yet another late-winter snow storm. Mother Nature has dumped about 18 inches on New Jersey but when you’re married to a Russian, this is not an obstacle. Our road hasn’t even been plowed thanks to a downed power line, but no big deal. The Russian powers through in the SUV and charges ahead towards a nearly-deserted NY State Thruway, lecturing me loudly about sissy Americans and our fear of snow.

In Russia we have snow every fricking day, okeh? And no food in the stores. My pop and me, we was walking thirty minutes each way to market and when we get there? Is nothing. No meat, maybe just potato, maybe sunflower seeds. Sometimes not meat there. We take the bucket, we fill with potato, we pull back home on children’s — what is this, sleigh? No? Sled. We pull home on sled. But here! Ooooooo, it’s snowing. Oooooo, better run to grocery store. In Russia, what is snow? You have to just go! You just go to survive! I got the huge, made-of-wool veil, you put on your head and wrap around your body because it is so cold. JUST TO GET THE POTATO.

It’s like this pretty much all the way to Kingston.

We finally arrive at the house and even the Russian has to admit — this is serious snow. About four feet, judging from the tips of fence I see poking up through the sea of white that is our backyard.

You know what else? It glows blue.

We jab holes in the snow to see how deep it is and an unearthly blue light glows back. It’s eerie and lovely, a light created by some weird alchemy as light particles bounce from ice crystal to ice crystal — smarter people than me explain it here, it only happens in icebergs or when snow is very clean and very deep. It’s as beautiful and mysterious as I imagine the aurora borealis to be. We ski the next day and see blue everywhere, emanating from the tracks made by skiiers who’ve left ghostly trails in the ungroomed snow beneath the lifts.

Upon our arrival...

...I had to climb through the snow to find the shovel. Which btw a certain Russian had left under the porch (and four feet of snow.)

...I had to climb thru snow to find the shovel. Good times.

Not your ordinary shoveling job.

Even the Russian was impressed.

Categories: Family, Russians Tags: ,
  1. February 28, 2010 at 2:13 pm

    That Russian of yours is hilarious. Sissy Americans. All of that snow looks amazing, we don’t have nearly that much!

  2. March 1, 2010 at 12:36 pm

    JUST TO GET THE POTATO is my catchphrase of the week. Fun to say, fits almost any need!

    • ssmirnov
      March 1, 2010 at 3:33 pm

      Right?! Make sure you say it very loudly and very indignantly.

  3. March 1, 2010 at 12:40 pm

    In reading this….I can hear the Russian (he would think I am a tremendous baby! I can only imagine the lecture!) and can nearly picture the beauty I imagine to be the blue snow. Love that you had a glorious weekend – nice work on the shoveling. (I might have had to sleep for 24 hours after that!) That Russian sure found himself a good woman!

    • ssmirnov
      March 1, 2010 at 3:33 pm

      The Russian is like the U.S. post office — his weather-related rants are as dependable as the mail delivery!

  4. March 2, 2010 at 3:07 pm

    Beautiful pictures. And it made me LOL that you refer to your husband as “The Russian.” It’s very James Bond-ish.

    • ssmirnov
      March 2, 2010 at 4:00 pm

      You should hear him talk, he’d make an excellent Bond villain. Sometimes for fun I paint myself in gold from head to toe and we…oh, never mind….

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