by Elizabeth Becton from Washington, DC
Dec 10, 11
When I was growing up in the foothills of the Ozarks, we always had a balmy Christmas.
So, after more than a decade of NEVER seeing snow, my sister and I decided that we were going to have a PRETEND WHITE Christmas.
Our mother bought lots of white and light-coloured construction paper. She helped us cut out snowflakes to tape to the windows so we might “look” into the snow. After several examples, she left us alone to create more snowflakes.
As you know, no two snowflakes are exactly alike, except for mine. I did precision folding and cut four snowflakes out at a time that were exactly alike. My evil sister would then take my snowflakes and mutilate them to make them all different. As you can imagine, this upset the budding engineer in me. It also set off a small battle at the kitchen table. With our blunted scissors, our compasses and our stacks of construction paper, we were two forces to be reckoned with and we were getting rambunctious.
While this hullabaloo was going on, it actually started snowing! The snow was so fine you could barely see it coming down. But out mother noticed it – our creative and brilliant mother – who had stored some black construction paper specially for this moment. She sent my sister and me out in the yard holding the black sheets like they were the Holy Grail of snowflake catchers. We spent a couple of hours out there, running around with our trays of black sheets.
My sister and I still talk about that Christmas, and when we do – we refer to it as our “salt and paper” Christmas; the snow was so fine, it looked like salt. So fine we could only see the snowflakes when they landed on the black construction paper.