Woke up at 7:15 this morning, looked out the window, jumped out of bed and yelled, “SNOW!!!” First time I’ve seen it in anything but pictures since 2006. I was jumping up and down like a little kid. I immediately jumped back under my stack of comforters to watch it from warmer space. I’d forgotten how much I love reading and watching the rain or snow outside.

It was like last summer in Myrtle Beach when I hooked up with a bunch of other Charleston High School grads and woke up the first morning thinking someone was watering the plants. Then it hit me. RAIN!! Real rain. It’s true that it very seldom rains in Southern California. Now, Berkeley, that was different. We got official winter which meant rain all the time. I liked it. Even went for long walks during rain storms. It wasn’t appreciated as much by the college kids, and there were more than a few mornings I drove them to and from classes.

But I hadn’t been in an official East Coast Rain Storm complete with Thunder and Lightening for way too long. Every one else was put out that our first day of vacation at the beach was rained out, but I stood on the porch and let the rain blow on me. Even threatened to sleep out there until I realized the whole floor was getting flooded and that probably wouldn’t be a good idea — so I slept on the couch in the living room so I could hear the rain. There’s a lot to be said for the East Coast. Myrtle Beach. Dancing the Shag, Thunder storms. Water spouts on the ocean in a storm, four official seasons…….if only it were on the West Coast. If I pulled a beach chair to the edge of the surf line to let the water wash over me in California, I’d be an iceburg within five minutes.

But more than rain, I love snow. I’d even put the top down, turn up the heater, and drive in it. Remember when we had Greeks Bearing Gifts and had to pick up about 6 orders of tee shirts from the south side of town (far, far away from our shop in Edmond) and it was blasting snow. The only way I could get them all in the car was to tie the trunk closed and keep the top down. Got plenty of looks, but I loved every minute of it.  For the record, I learned a long time ago that if you can maintain a speed of 40 mph, the snow — or rain — will divert over the windshield and totally miss the cabin of the car. Life’s too short to drive a hard top. Even in the winter.

Then, my thought went back to growing up in West Virginia. We lived on a little dirt road just south of Sherwood and off Oakwood. Sue Jacobs was my neighbor, and our other neighbors, the Fry’s, had a steep slope down to their house. As soon as we realized there was enough for adventure, our sleds were flying down the hill, up what seemed to be a couple of hundred stairs, and right back down again. Then, when those round “flyers” came out, that made it even better because we didn’t have to share to get our speed up.

Of course, in those days our parents bundled us up so much we barely could see out of the scarves and wraps and were lucky to be able to move. I believe the mantra was, “You’ll catch your death of cold.” The characters you see in Peanuts? That was us. Multiple layers of pants and shirts, a couple of sweaters, heavy jacket with hood, scarf after scarf after scarf, every sock we owned and those horrible rubber boots. Luckily, we all looked the same, so no one could make fun of anyone else.

And I remembered a time in college when I was dating a Delta Tau Delta from West Virginia. Don’t remember whether it was in the Charleston area or nearer to Morgantown, but a bunch of us went sledding out in the middle of nowhere — huddled around a fire until it was our turn, then down the slope in hopes of not hitting a barbed wire fence. It didn’t matter. Just a bunch of college kids, bundeled up, sharing stories, laughing, and sliding down slopes. If I remember correctly, Anne Patrice Miller was there, too. It didn’t take much to entertain us in those days.

And there were the trips to WVU from Concord to spend the weekend. That’s a whole state away, there were no freeways, it took — forever — but it didn’t matter. At that point in time, the Playboy College Party Poll had an ( * )at the top. At the bottom was a footnote:  “We cannot include West Virginia University  or of Miami of Florida in this list because we can’t compare seasoned pros to rank amateurs.”

But when it was winter? At WVU, maneuvering ourselves from fraternity house to fraternity house on glare ice sidewalks, in the snow, in heels was an adventure. It meant pulling ourselves up the hill branch by branch on the shrubs and trees that lined the street. Getting down was even funnier…..but the TKE’s had a “Gotcha” board game that made looking hysterical worthwhile.

“Gotcha” was a monopoly sort of game permanently affixed to the bottom of a ping-pong table. Inverted, it was converted into a drinking game. Unfortunately, there was only one “Go to the bathroom free” card. The Delta Tau Deltas were known for their parties — except if a Delt asked an unsuspecting girl if she wanted to go to the TV room, upon entering she’d be surprised to find a totally blacked-out room filled with mattresses specifically designed for making out. I was dating one of each at the time, so attendance at both was mandatory. I stayed with a girlfriend at her sorority house — I think it was Diana Ferguson who had gone to junior high school with me at Thomas Jefferson. Her mom married Bob Boaz (a newscaster) and they moved to DC. I know. You don’t care.

Back to Denver.  The bad news is that for the first time, I realized I was turned around and we’re on the north side of the street. In Denver, the snow very seldom attaches itself to the streets, so driving isn’t a problem. The rest of the houses on the street are already snowless. The snow always melts by afternoon.  And I don’t know about the outside of Peggy’s house, but the north side of my car is still covered in snow. For the first time since 2006. And then, it had a garage.

The really bad news is that I have NO, absolutely NO winter clothes with me. My worker’s comp suit was supposed to go into negotiations in August and be over by the end of September, so I didn’t need any for my world tour.  In my trunk are one pair of jeans and one long-sleeved shirt. I picked up another long-sleeved shirt at a consignment shop yesterday. And I have the UGG house slippers/driving shoes that Abbi informed me I can wear anywhere. My only closed-toed shoes.

I was supposed to be back in Cali by now.

Other than that, all my winter clothes; all my sweatshirts, my UGGs, my jackets (except for a flannel Myrtle Beach zippie) are in Abbi’s storage unit, and it would cost more — and be more aggravating for Abbi — for her to have to go to the facility, rummage through my clothes, pull out what I want and ship them to me, than it will be for me to hit consignment shops to fill in the blanks. But it’s cold out there, and once again, I have no winter clothes. Maybe I’ll buy a new purse. Or another pair of UGGs. I can always use another pair of UGGs.

And then, there’s the other problem. According to the guy at Social Security, my Medicare set-aside should be in our hands sometime next week. That means a couple of weeks of negotiation on our part and a couple on theirs, and then, it will finally, at last be over. Then, I can head back to California and decide what to do until hiring season for sorority house moms starts again in March or April. So, do I want to buy winter clothes not knowing if I’ll ever need them again? It’s already been decided that I won’t be visiting Oklahoma in August or anytime between January and March, and trips to the east coast are out of the question until warmer weather….maybe Destin? I could always use a trip to the Gulf Coast. We’ll see.

So, from Peggy’s couch in Denver, Sophie at my side, wearing capri jeans, an Alpha Xi short-sleeve tee shirt and my UGGs houseslippers, I’ll leave you until tomorrow (when hopefully, the temperature will hit somewhere over 47 degrees).  Until then, stay safe out there, and bundle up. You’ll catch your death of cold.