dancing in the snow

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from the kitchen window by Janne

Here in the little village, outside of Jerusalem, we are enjoying our first snow storm of the year. It came as something of a surprise to me. Though we were warned. The weather reports referred to a storm, with winds of up to 100 km per hour, but there was only passing mention of ‘light snow’ and rain. And we’ve often been warned in the past. These warnings aren’t taken very seriously. But of course, the reality of any situation, makes a very different impression than the discussion that comes beforehand. During the night we were informed of hundreds of people who were rescued from their cars on the streets of Jerusalem. This morning, we were told of more than 2000. Roads and highways have been blocked by snow. Stranded people are brought to refuge stations that have been set up. Diapers and warm milk are provided for the babies Now we hear that driving is prohibited in Jerusalem and in the nearby villages.

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on our front lawn

Electricity is no longer working. The home in which I am presently living is heated by natural gas. But as it turns out, the gas furnace is controlled by electricity, so that doesn’t work either. And though the sun has come out… somewhere… and I can see beautiful snow filled landscapes through the window, it was so dark this morning, inside, that I was forced to use a battery powered electric lamp in order to write on my battery powered computer. Fortunately, I also have a radio that works on a battery, and so can continue to be amused by news of the emergency situation. I won’t bend the truth. I’m enjoying every minute of this adventure. There is something very exciting about watching all of our excellent ‘state of the art’ conveniences fold under the pressure of nature. Trees have fallen down, And the electrical grid has failed. Covered with blankets, we watch the storm through our windows, drinking tea prepared on our gas burner. We have bread, We have water, It looks like we’ll have no problem lasting through the storm.

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Bonnie trudges through the snow by Janne

Yet though this isn’t a tragedy, many of our local citizens can’t help but wonder why it is that in other countries, say in northern Europe, they’re able to provide normal services while covered for months by a blanket of snow, here everything has come to a standstill after only a couple of days of snow. And the answer is relatively simple. Every locality provides answers to the common problems of that locality. If we had snow for long stretches of time, there’s no question we would build the necessary devices to deal with it. But since it only comes a few times each year, it’s easier to look at it as a temporary inconvenience and not employ all the means available, for that costs money. If the town fathers were asked to decide whether to invest in heavy machinery and structural improvements in order to weather proof the town, or to spend the money on fireworks for Independence Day, you can be sure that they would prefer the fire works. But now that a lot of people have found themselves stuck on the streets, one hears complaints.

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a winter scene by Janne

On the other hand, a parallel question is why people in our country get such a kick out of the snow while others see it as no more than a nuisance? The answer to that is that people can find glee in an unusual event, but grow weary of standard difficulties. It’s quite popular for people living outside of Jerusalem to make their way to our mountain top city to celebrate the winter weather, and introduce their children to the craft of building snow men. All of which reminds us that just a little goes a long way, and that what is rare is precious.

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a village lane

Once again a reminder that in this age of ‘two for the price of one’ we are losing our appreciation for the value of things. We have too much plenty around us. We’re becoming insensitive. We’re taking more and more for granted, and focusing on short term desires; allowing commercial interests to influence our choices in life. I can’t help but feel joy at having been reduced to basics by this storm. With many layers of clothing, and wearing a jacket inside, I sit here in my usual writing spot, in the dining corner of Janne’s kitchen. It will be a challenge to post this latest edition to the blog. But as you know, I’m both conservative and methodical. I would be unhappy were I not able to keep up with my weekly post. So I have two laptops lines up on the kitchen table, and when the battery of one becomes exhausted, I plan to move on to the second one. The post itself will be sent by cellular modem. The wifi isn’t working because the electricity is off. But if it turns out that cellular communications are down as well, you will only see these efforts after the storm.

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the tree I was photographing

Janne and I got pleasantly wet and cold while taking a walk around the neighborhood yesterday. Bonnie the dog would stop from time to time to do a short rendition of the ‘twist’ in order to lighten the load of snow that continuously covered her. And both Janne and I had cameras with us and recorded familiar environment, transformed by the weather to beautiful wintry scenes. And now, as I write my blog post, she is preparing for the upcoming Sabbath by producing a hot soup, the ritual Sabbath challah bread, and an apple pie with the limited means at her disposal. Even though the local supermarket is no longer supplied because of the blockage of the intercity highway, we will be enjoying all the delights of the Sabbath. It’s almost too good to be true.

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Dancing in the Snow by Janne

While on our walk, Janne took a shot of me, enthusiastically taking a picture of a snow covered tree. She called her picture, ‘Dancing In The Snow’, and I have adopted that title for this blog post. What a pleasure to dance out our appreciation of nature. Our national public radio station concluded it’s news roundup with the advice, “Don’t go out if you don’t have to”. My answer: This is the time to go out and marvel at nature. And remember, with all of our genius, we’re just a fly sitting on an elephant’s ear. Have a beautiful weekend.

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99 responses to “dancing in the snow

  1. …. 🙂 You are so nice, you really look like dancing in the snow. I loved your and dear Janne’s photographs, I can’t believe snow and storm is there too… We lived in Istanbul just a few days ago dear Shimon, it is all the same problems as yours happened in here too. And always same questions why don’t happen all these things in northern countries… You expressed and explained so nicely. Today it is dark and very cold but the snow has gone… Thank you dear Shimon, have a nice weekend, and take care of you because of the cold weather. Love, nia

    • It does seem that people are easily frustrated and uncomfortable when their usual day to day life is interrupted, and so they blame the government of the electric company. I am glad you had a taste of the snow. Wasn’t it a beautiful sight, dear Nia? Today we had some blue skies, but the snow stayed… and this gave me another opportunity for photographs. I think it’s much more beautiful to see the snow covered fields under a blue sky. Thanks for your comment.

  2. Oh, your happy welcoming of the snow makes me smile, Shimon! It looks beautiful. I love the transformations of the landscape. I love the snow, too, for without it the winter would be very dark here. It’s makes its own light on a winter evening. Enjoy!

    Hugs to you,
    Karen

    No snowman building going on…?

    • I too love to see the familiar landscape looking so different. It reminds us of how we take for granted the beauties of nature and man so quickly… a different dress, and all of a sudden we see her anew once again. And yes, snow does bring its own type of light which is a great pleasure. Today we had a little bit of sun, and there were great shadows too, crossing large areas of white snow… and once again it was new. Thank you so much, Karen. As for snowmen, I saw a few, but none that really demanded to be remembered. Mostly very modest projects by children. I hope I’ll find an impressive one before this snow is over. But I did see a wonderful igloo. I will try to remember to post that.

  3. Beautiful photos, Shimon. I remember as a young child, moving from Wisconsin to Southern Ohio, where we lived for a few years. In Wisconsin, a few feet of snow barely impeded the daily routine; In Ohio, an inch meant no school…but, as you say, they were unprepared to handle snow, inexperienced in living with it, and, truly, the more hilly terrain made travel dangerous…

    Now (and for decades back in Wisconsin), every weather change seems to be a “news event,” and, because most people spend long hours at work and commuting back and forth and in-between, there seems to be more resentment and outraged surprise when “nature” interferes with–or, God forbid, slows–anyone’s routine.

    I try to be empathic towards those people who truly depend upon work for money needed to food and clothe their families: many jobs no longer pay wages for “time off;” on the other hand, it feels like we’ve become such rampant consumers and so driven by the relentless need to work/buy, that we can’t slow down and just enjoy a sunrise, a bird’s flight, or an awe-inspiring snowstorm and its power. I wish we could more readily rest in the peace of the realization that we’re just, and only, a part of it all, and enjoy what comes for the gifts it brings.

    Thanks for your lovely post and ability to go with the flow…er, snow.

    • I suppose the most dangerous thing about driving in snow or on ice, is that some people look only at the maximum speed allowed, and forget all about the need to drive according to the conditions of the day. Fortunately, we’ve had so much of it rather suddenly, that there were very few accidents. The cars just couldn’t move at all. I appreciate your sympathy for those who are driven hard at work, and can’t afford to take a day off. But I regret the fact that many people consume much more than they need, and have accepted a life style that really doesn’t give them much joy. To make matters worse, when the unexpected happens, they moan and groan. We’re hearing a lot of that here now. Blame is cast on the government and the electric company, as well as some people who’re actually doing a lot of good work to minimize the discomfort. When in fact, if people would just decide that this was a good reason for a picnic, we could all be having fun. Today was truly beautiful, Kitty. There were blue skies above, and on the ground… deep snow. And we walked to the local supermarket to buy some food for our four legged friends, and found the shelves mostly empty. Just that sight alone was enough to bring a smile. We take our rich lives for granted. Thanks so much for your comment.

  4. As you have well noted, snow delivers both beauty and inconveniences. You obviously enjoyed yourself … and I love the village lane picture!!! Cheers to you and Janne for the efforts … stay warm … and I hope the electricity returns soon.

    • To tell you the truth, Frank, I look at these momentary inconveniences as a very important reminder of the many conveniences we enjoy daily. And relish the experience. Thanks for the comment. Our electricity has returned, but it’s still impossible to drive, so we’re having a great time being stuck at home, with an occasional walk that makes life still a greater pleasure.

      • I imagine snow is not very common there … let alone more than a few scant flakes. How many cm did your area receive? … and yes, great point about how inconveniences serve as a good reminder.

        • We get snow just about every winter, because Jerusalem is on a mountain. The village where I’m staying temporarily now, is on the same mountain range, so the weather is much the same. We got 50cm of snow. But now that the storm is over, we are having a serious problem with ice, which makes it difficult to walk on the sidewalks or the streets. But all of this will pass in good time.

  5. I’m glad you’re enjoying the snow, Shimon. It’s true about how various communities deal with it. Here in Colorado, we think nothing of driving to work after a significant snow storm, but where I grew up in Atlanta, Georgia, the city completely stopped with just a dusting. I think this reaction is related to the frequency of the phenomenon. In Atlanta, it might snow every two to three years, whereas in Colorado snow storms are a regular occurrence. I love the Janne’s shot of you “Dancing in the Snow!” Have a lovely weekend and a wonderful, snowy Sabbath!

    • Here it usually snows a few times each year, and we have had work stoppage and the closing down of schools, but this time it’s lasting longer than usual, and all transportation was affected in our area, which meant a limiting of supplies, and large areas were cut off from electricity. All the same, we all knew that it was only a matter of time till everything would come back to normal. So I found the experience delightful. Thanks so much for your comment. I’ve mentioned to Janne that you enjoyed her photography.

  6. It’s nice to see Jerusalem covered in snow. My facebook friends have all been posting Jerusalem snow photos today 🙂

    • Yes, that’s one of the advantages of this era, when every telephone includes a camera as well. I saw two men discussing and sharing snow pictures on the street today, and it was a pleasure witnessing their enthusiasm. Thanks for the comment, Cardinal. A pleasure hearing from you.

  7. I always love the first snow. By the 3rd, 4th, etc. and my end of Feb, I’m sort of done with it. And it’s harder as I get older because I’m afraid of falling on the ice and driving becomes more difficult. Enjoy!

    • How right you are on both your points, Lisa. Falling on the ice can be very dangerous, and can put us out of commission for a long time. I too have a great fear of that. And fortunately, I’m able to avoid driving in such conditions. Usually, we have public transportation, and then I use that when the conditions are hard. But this time, even the public transportation was closed down. So it was an opportunity to enjoy a little quiet time, which I enjoyed very much. Thanks for the comment.

  8. Wow I can’t believe how much snow you’ve gotten. You have more then is currently in the city of Toronto although we’re supposed to get about 10cm tomorrow. Stay warm Shimon.

    • This time it’s been a little more than usual, Edith. But we do get snow just about every year here in Jerusalem, and often more than once. Thank you for your good wishes. The electricity is back on again, and we’re having a great time. Thanks.

  9. What a wonderful thing to enjoy the snow this way! And to enjoy nature in all of her glorious beauty! It seems like an adventure to get back to basics and just relax with what you have. It seems like a perfect Sabbath. Beautiful photos.

    • The Sabbath was beautiful, Angeline. And we’ve gotten the electricity back, even though the roads are still closed, and the markets are running out of wares. But I have to say that we have enough in the house to last us quite a while if the weather would go on like this. But today there were blue skies above, and the scenes were more beautiful than before. Thanks very much for your good wishes.

  10. A smile came to my face this morning when I peeked at this before heading out to work…and now my heart smiles, as well, after having read your post and understanding your joy with the weather and “inconveniences.” How very special for you, Shimon. Thank you for sharing your happiness. 🙂

    • So glad you enjoyed this post, Scott. We went for another walk this morning, to buy some cat food, and were overwhelmed by the same scenes, but this time with blue skies above. It was so beautiful. Thank you for joining me. It’s a real pleasure to have friends who can understand me.

  11. Oh, I absolutely LOVED this, every picture and every word. A treat indeed. I love the snow and like you I enjoy it when nature strips away our civilization for a few days. There is something wonderful about being self sufficient and knowing that life goes on regardless. Since having the boat, we have lots of wind up torches and lamps which work beautifully….and if we needed heat we could always sit around the chiminea. I always enjoy it here when “normality” grinds to a halt with a foot of snow, it totally transforms everything.

    The snow scenes and you “Dancing! warmed the cockles of my heart. Enjoy!!!!

    • p.s…whenever I try to enlarge one of your pic, I can’t because of flicker, which I have no idea about. Sometimes it’s nice to see the pics in more detail. Still…loved these pics and now the snowstorm is on our news. But not as personal as yours!xxx

      • Actually, the problem isn’t with flickr but with me. I like to organize my pictures as sets on Flickr, and there are many that I use for blogs that remain private. If you ever want a particular photo, I will be glad to send you a file, in a larger size… even something you could hang. Just tell me when you want something, and it will be my pleasure to send it to you. All the best, xxx

    • Your comment made me very happy, Dina. I like to be prepared for every eventuality, but the truth is that even if I had to give up a lot of the luxuries for a few days, I would do so gladly for the experience. This is so much more rewarding than a vacation to some resort, or a visit to Disneyland, for which people will pay a fortune. I love the idea of a wind up torch. I will have to look for one the next time I’m back in Jerusalem. Thanks so much. What fun to share my pleasure with you.

  12. Lovely post. A good Shabbat.

  13. You are obviously relishing every moment – wonderful! While I sympathise with your views, I hope for the sake of all housewives and househusbands that the electricity is restored soon!

    • I bow to your gracious concern for those who’re having a hard time. You’re right of course. And it’s only my selfishness that allows me to enjoy it so, without restraints. We had the good luck to have our electricity restored, but there are still 30,000 homes without, and supplies aren’t getting to the markets. People are complaining. But for me, this adventure is also a reminder of how good we have it. I feel grateful to have experienced it.

  14. absolutely charming. it’s so fun to think about you experiencing the same exact weather patterns as we have here at the same time of year… despite being on opposite sides of the earth. lovely. sending you warmth and blessings.

    • Glad you have occasion to experience such drama. It really is a pleasure for me, despite some of the inconvenience. We take so much for granted, and such a storm just reminds us of how good we have it most of the time. I’ve been meaning to write you for some time, and because of my own very special circumstances, just haven’t gotten around to it yet. Thanks very much for your comment, Michelle.

  15. I read about the snow storm in Jerusalem today … welcome to winter … smiles … thought of you a lot lately, Shimon … and this song: http://www.youtube.com/embed/2j45A3yxq3w?rel=0 … just type it into google, and it should come up … if not type in Ivan Kupala Rosy. Loe, cat.

    • Thank you very much for the beautiful song, by the equally beautiful singer, cat. It’s always a pleasure hearing from you. Winter is usually quite cold here, and we often have some snow, but this time it really stopped everything, and that’s more than we’re used to. And the snow came much earlier than usual too. So we were surprised.

  16. Wishing you also a beautiful weekend Shimon. Enjoy your snow… and the perspective it brings and you so kindly share.

    • Thank you so much, Chris. There’s been much to enjoy here. And now the storm seems to be over and we’re picking up the pieces, and trying to pull things back together.

  17. Have a wonderful weekend… 🙂

    Absolutly charming photo – not dancing in the rain but in the snow… 🙂

  18. How lovely Shimon. Rest assured the UK pretty much grinds to a halt when it snows. As you so rightly pointed out, if we had snow all the time it would be different. We don’t get snow storms like we did when I was a child so local authorities rightly divert resources to other more pressing needs. There is no point maintaining a fleet of snowplows and gritters if they sit idle year after year until the one day in a blue moon that they are needed.
    I enjoyed your photos very much and I secretly hope for some snow and inconvenience this year too. Enjoy the week ahead!

    • It’s funny, Chillbrook. I had written just recently about not getting any inspiration in the rain. And then this snow storm hit. And everywhere I looked, I saw something beautiful. Now I’m wondering if it might be my attitude. I suppose when it rains, I’m in too much of a hurry to get out of the wet. Maybe I should just take an umbrella and sit on a park bench for a while, and watch it rain, and I might get some inspiration after all. I think I’ll have to try that. Thanks for your comment, and I hope you too get some snow soon.

  19. Oh I love this post, Shimon. It brings so many menories back with a glorious rush of sheer joy. I grew up in Montreal, where snow regularly consumes our roads, piles up on our roofs and threatens to topple electricity poles. As you pointed out, we are prepared for these storms as a normal concomitant of the winter months. Snowblowers regularly clear the roads and banks of snow are often six to ten feet high leaving a narrow tunnel through which the cars inch their way along.
    But one winter, we had an enormous storm which shut the entire city of Montreal down for four days. it was stupendous. Drifts crept halfway up our living room window, power was out, heating impossible and water frozen in the pipes … but I remember enjoying it all so much … with just that sense of adventure and joy you convey so beautifully in your post. We heated water on logs in our fireplace … which up until that point, had largely been ornamental. We hundled in blankets near that focal warm spot, making a party of it. We played cards with mittens on and all insisted that melted snow made the best drinking water,

    You have such an awareness and joy in little details … making a celebration out of what so many would grumble over. And that final photo of you dancing in the snow, is just perfect.

    Thanks SO much for this lovely post … and the memories it has brought back … I’m sitting at my computer ( electrically powered) and I have a huge smile on my face. I’m actually an MISSING that snow …

    • I’m happy that the post brought back some good memories, Nikki. I loved hearing about that great storm in Montreal. What it tells me is that no matter how well we’re prepared, there’s always that one super storm that we’re not prepared for. Thank you very much for your comment. It’s always good hearing from you. And I love the thought that I brought a smile to your face. We’ve got blue skies today, but a lot of snow still around. And last night everything froze. This morning, you could see people walking very carefully. It’s a learning experience for young and old.

  20. A wonderful post….and dare I say that you look like a young man in this photograph….obviously this move has been very good for you:)
    I love it when Mother Nature wins out…..we have all become so smug thinking that we run things…when in fact, as you say in your last paragraph…we are but a fly sitting on an elephant’s ear. Enjoy the storm and your food.

    • Thanks so much, Janet. And you’re right. This recent experience of having my life shaken up a bit, has opened me up to new possibilities, and given me new zest. The storm seems to have run its course, and there are blue skies above now. But I’m an old dog that still learning new tricks, and I love it. Always very good hearing from you. xxx

  21. Shimon, this is wonderful. Here in our area we’re just ‘digging out’ of ice and snow. Because of the thick ice most everything is shut down…it is treacherous. But it has been awesome; families have spent quality time together, things have been tranquilly quiet and beautiful. One of our sons and his family were without heat/electricity for three days…while chilly to colder they survived. Bless you for a lovely piece during this time of ‘change’. Our Lord is an awesome one.

    • Glad you enjoyed the post, Vasca. And glad to hear that you enjoyed the tranquility and peace when nature took the reins. Yes, I share your attitude, and think we enjoy life much more when we try to find ways to enjoy what is offered us, instead of complaining. There is a lot of good in this world. Thank you very much for your comment.

  22. A fly on an elephant’s ear dancing in the snow. Genius. I love the image of you looking so happy and doing what Shimon does. I am smiling. And I am happy when I think of two old kids having an adventure in the snow! 🙂

    • It’s very sweet to have you join us in our light hearted celebration of nature, George. The truth is that I’ve begun to feel the challenge of the situation. Though snow still covers the area, now that the storm is over, the intense cold has brought ice. And even walking around has become dangerous. All the outside stairs are slippery. We don’t have snow tires, and so driving is not always possible. My children can’t visit. And it’s hard to get supplies. But fortunately, there is every reason to believe that these problems will soon pass, and so I still see this as a welcome adventure. Our electricity has returned, so it’s not so cold, and just looking out the window is sheer pleasure. Thanks for the comment.

  23. I’m happy for you – the glee shines through – and I know exactly the feeling of expanding horizons, rather than constricting ones, that can come with such “adversity.” Best to you!

    • Thank you very much, bluebrightly. The way you’ve described it… expanding horizons, is exactly the way I see it. And it’s a wonderful opportunity. Thanks so much for your comment.

  24. Such a thoughtful and beautiful post, Shimon. Janne’s photos are lovely, especially the one of you dancing in the snow. I’m so glad that the stranded people are being cared for. Well done on getting your post sent. Your tenacity is commendable. 🙂

    • Very glad you enjoyed the post and pictures, anotherday2paradise. There’s no question that a storm like this brings a certain amount of hardship. Especially for the people who were caught outside. And now that the storm is over, and we have blue skies, the ice is a serious danger. But such an event really demonstrates how important the mood or the state of mind is, when dealing with a challenge. It is tempting to loose heart when our plans are frustrated. And so important to make the best of what we have to deal with. Thanks for your comment.

  25. I live in the Pacific Northwest of the US and adore the times each year when our power goes out. There is nothing nicer than being reminded of the power of nature, of having to resort to candlelight and extra blankets, and feeling the rush of time edge to a crawl. We do not need most of what we have, and sometimes being gently reminded of this is a very nice thing to have happen. Enjoy the snow and keep warm!

    • When I was a young man, Shoes, electrical outages were a regular part of winter, and we used to have oil lamps hanging from the walls, and candles ready, because it happened all the time. Often there was something romantic about such events. But we also had oil heaters, and many hand tools. Now it seems that we are completely dependent on electricity, and when there’s an outage, everything stops. We’ve even had problems with telephones here. So it’s a new type of challenge. Still, there’s beauty in having such an absolute break in the routine. I believe we’re all richer for the experience. Thanks for your comment.

  26. Hope you’ve now got electricity. We were lucky not to have any power cuts but even with the heating, it was still freezing.
    I loved the picture of you taking photos in the snow. It looks as if you are waltzing with your camera 🙂 I think I’d be scared to try, for fear of slipping and breaking a leg!

    • Yes, fortunately, the electricity has returned and life is much easier, but as you say, it’s still very cold. And though I was brave when the snow was coming down, we now have ice everywhere, and I’m very careful. It is truly scary. Glad you enjoyed the pictures. I send my love to our beloved city Jerusalem. It’s hard to be away when there’s such a moving experience in our city. But good to know you’re covering the scene for all of us, Shimona. Thanks for coming by.

  27. Austin (Texas) gets the reciprocal of what you cite for Jerusalem, a bit of snow only once every several years on average, and it usually melts within hours. When that snow does come, I’m happy to go around and see familiar places looking different (and of course, given my bent, to photograph those transformed places). None of the snowfalls I’ve experienced have come with a loss of electricity, but I can tell you that I wouldn’t enjoy staying in a cold and electricity-less house. You seem to be enduring that with equanimity, so I say: more power to you.

    • Thank you very much, Steve. As a young man, I spent many a winter evening reading to the light of oil lamps and candles. It was a regular part of our existence in those days. But over the years, it’s become rare. And we’ve become much more dependent on electricity. Almost all our tools are electrical. And when there’s a breakdown, we don’t have any alternatives. Even our gas heater seems to be controlled by an electrical computer control system. So such an event is much more dramatic. But at the same time, there’s something delightful about the reminder that nature rules. Thanks for your comment, and I thoroughly enjoyed your pun in conclusion.

  28. Like a little kid with a favourite toy, in wonderment at how it works; that’s you, shimon — I see it in that final pic of you, happy like a bear about to eat some berries! And, you had someone to share it with. What more could you want! 😀

    Am listening to Sarah Brightman, ‘Closer’, the final track on her CD “Dream Chaser”…..”I’m ready for love for the first time. Ready for love and I know I’m coming home to the stars. My heart is in flight. My dreams are alive I can feel it.” and so on….drums and mystically wonderful music….goes right through me, I love it. You will too. See if you can find it on YouTube.

    • Yes, Janina, life has been very good to me. I’m the sort of guy who cringes at surprises. So it’s a challenge for me when all plans are cancelled. But this has been a very beautiful interlude. I listened to the song you mentioned by Sarah Brightman, and though the lyrics are appealing, I have to admit that this isn’t the sort of music I usually choose to listen to. I love jazz, and that’s what I listen to mostly, with an occasional bit of classical too. Thank you very much though, for sharing. And my very best wishes to you.

      • Music…yes, taste is a very personal thing. Here’s one you may like, being light classical: Debussy Piano Works Volume 4 Preludes Books I and II, the pianist being François-Joël Thiollier, a CD of 24 tunes. Enjoy! 😀

        I too like jazz, but in small doses as it’s very ‘in-the-head’ for me, whereas I like feely music and particularly the kind that gets me moving. My tastes are very eclectic, borne of a lifetime of being surrounded by music — at parental home, at school, listening to others’ tastes in music, concerts, musical theatre, my own singing in secondary school (a mix of operettas and contemporary musicals, me being, then, an alto-soprano, now almost basso profundo….LOL…I am getting older!). My fave singers are Luciano Pavarotti, Barbra Streisand, Celine Dion, Sarah Brightman, Sting, Paul Simon, Enya. This is starting to sound like a personals video for a date…..ha ha ha! 😉

        Now, as to surprises….well, I like only the nice ones too! ‘Tho I can handle the other kind if I’m not too stressed out at the time.
        Keep well, shimon!

        • Well, it seems we do have very different tastes, Janina, though I enjoy learning a bit about you… it’s the differences between people that are often the most interesting. I could hear a bit of Pavarotti, but that’s about the only one on your list that I could bare to listen to at all… and though there have been a few surprises in my life that brought me joy, on the whole, I don’t like surprises whether they are ‘good’ or ‘bad’. In fact, what others think are good surprises are often bad in my eyes. I was educated and learned to read and write and play classical music. And I still listen to Bach quite a bit… but more than fifty years ago I encountered Jazz, and fell in love with it… and have a very specific taste in that field. I have had readers send me some of the jazz they liked, and it usually was quite different from my taste. I know that I’m more than a bit limited… but still, music is very important to me, and provides me with much inspiration. Thank you for sharing with me.

  29. I was looking forward to reading what you had to say about the snow, and I can feel the excitement through your words! I, too, don’t mind it when our modern conveniences bend and break under nature. It forces me to do more and think more, which I enjoy. I remember a time when it was in Autumn, and I still lived with my family. There was a blackout, and my sister and I resorted to playing guitar for ages. We felt very tired after a while, as it was pitch black when all of the lights were out, so we prepared to go to bed. Before we went, however, the power came back on and we discovered it wasn’t even 9pm! While sometimes things like this have been really frustrating because I need electricity to do things (like finish typing assignments or making sure I get up at the time I need to in order to make it to work on time), for the most part I don’t mind at all. It’s a break whether we like it or not. Enjoy the weather 🙂

    • It’s so true, Jess… the evening hours seem much longer by candlelight. We’ve gotten used to many artificial aids in this life, and going back to nature can be a bit of work at times. Right now we are even having trouble with our cell phones, because many of the transmission towers have been knocked down in the storm. And after the storm, there’s been ice, which is worse than the snow in many ways. But still, the break in the routine is an important lesson. Thanks for your comment.

  30. We heard that snowstorms were sweeping through the region. We are hearing particularly about the crisis the weather is inflicting on the huge numbers of Syrian refugees in the Gaza strip. The UK struggles with an inch or two of snow too – we are always unprepared. You are right in what you way – countries like Switzerland are geared up for it. Countries where disruption is a rare event will not invest in the necessary equipment.

    • Hi there Andy. It could be you’re hearing more of the real news than I am. Because when I turn on the radio, the only thing that interests me are messages on the road conditions and where supplies are getting through. Now that the storm is over, we’re having serious problems with ice, and getting supplies. Especially the little villages where we don’t get as much attention as in the city. But I still find it a fascinating adventure.

  31. I read about the dump of snow in your neck of the woods … smiles … can imagine the chaos as well … greetings from winter land … smiles …

    • Thanks for the greetings, Cat. So good to hear from you. You know, I’m enjoying myself, but I do worry about the many cats that live out on the streets… I hope they are finding refuge. All the best to you.

  32. Well, my last comment has disappeared, so we’ll see what happens this time. I do find snow-covered Jerusalem to be a beautiful sight and we got below freezing in my desert, but clear skies so no snow (not sure if it’s ever truly snowed here). Back home, it was a little exciting to get a random snow storm every couple of years as like you said, no one knows what to do, but luckily most homes had word-burning fireplaces to keep a bit warm thanks to the pine forests of Washington State. I like the photo of you dancing in the snow–you must have been thoroughly enjoying yourself.
    Leah x

    • So sorry to hear that you had a comment disappear, Leah. I looked to see if it had been moved to the spam folder by accident. But didn’t find it there. Now we’re getting clear skies here, together with the snow that’s already fallen, and that makes for ice which is more dangerous than the snow. And yes, I’ve been enjoying myself, and find much to photograph. I visited Washington state many years ago, and remember being very impressed by its natural beauty. Thanks so much for your comment. Always good to hear from you. xxx

      • No worries! It was on the Chinese proverb and I am the teeth for sure (of course I am). Be careful with the ice as that can be very dangerous. My car slid right into a big bush years ago. I had no idea you’d been to my home state before! Seattle is known as the Emerald City due to all the greenery, so the area is good for outdoors-y people (who like the rain). Lots of hippies in my youth if you were there in those years.
        xx

        • I didn’t know that Seattle was known as the Emerald City, and I was there a very long time ago… before you were born. My two strongest memories are gathering berries in a field… it seemed they were just growing wild… it was in the rain… and then watching the fishermen coming in with their catch of Salmon/ Both of those memories connected to food, as it happens… But it was also very nice driving for hours in the rain with lush forests on both sides of the road. It’s a beautiful state.

          • Berries, salmon, and rain–sounds like Seattle, or any part of Western Washington. All three are wild you could say, although that’s a funny thing to say about rain. The east side of the state is totally different–rural/agricultural and different weather–due to the Cascade Mountains that divide the state in two. Every time I’ve gone back to Seattle, the city looks like it’s being overtaken by foliage as I’m coming from the desert. I’m glad you visited, even if I wasn’t alive–it was a better place back then.

  33. I really like Janne’s photographs – especially the one of you dancing in the snow. It’s great to have an opportunity to step outside our normal way of doing things, I think, and test ourselves without our gadgets. I also get a slightly guilty pleasure from the rhythms of daily life being disrupted by something bigger than ourselves.

    • Yes, it was a very blessed experience all around. And I think that Janne caught me at my best, so it was a pleasure to reveal myself through her eyes. Thanks for you comment, Richard.

  34. LadyBlueRose's Thoughts Into Words

    I love the snow, but San Antonio is not know for it…
    we have one snow truck to clean ( I never know if thats a joke or reality)
    the ice away…the city flips out and shuts down too…
    we have had some extra cold days here,…I even had to take out an olde coat…
    your photos are wonderful!…and yes I think you are dancing, Janne captured your energy beautifully!….
    Thank you for sharing your world with us…I always enjoy it very much….
    Take Care…You Matter…
    )0(
    maryrose

    • I think it’s easier for us to love any environment or weather condition if we’re not inundated with it. Snow is really beautiful to look at it, but after a while it becomes a bit of a problem. Thank you for your kind words on the photograph. I liked that portrait of myself too. And it’s a pleasure to share our different perspectives, as we do on the internet. I often feel as if I’m living in a science fiction story. Thanks so much for your comment, Maryrose.

  35. These emergencies always give us a new perspective. We have to be creative to meet our basic needs, and they make us very grateful for all of the good things in our lives. We’ve had quite a bit of snow here in northeastern Wisconsin and this morning we just had to take a short drive to see how the roads were doing. 🙂

    • Yes, I do believe that among our worst enemies are routine and habit. We often cling to them for security. But they make us less sensitive, and less aware… and when left to riot they rob us of all our senses. So when nature or human malevolence turn the world upside down, it usually isn’t as bad as we’re tempted to judge at first. Thanks so much for your comment, yearstricken. It is always such a pleasure to hear from you.

  36. I would dance in the snow too Shimon. In fact we’re hoping to be in the French alps soon for a snow fix. Nothing beats that joy of watching snow fall nor the pleasure of exploration on a blue sky day. Keep dancing my friend!

    • I imagine that by now you’ve gotten a full serving of snow, Claire. I’m a little slow in reading my comments after a bout of the flu, and an intensive period in my life. Thanks very much for your comment. Always good to hear from you, and enjoy yourself in the alps!

  37. Hi Shimon. I’ve been without my computer since 12/11 and am finally trying to catch up on e-mail. Love your blog as always and I too like the pic of you dancing in the snow. I’m also curious as to the tracks in the snow between you and the wall. What made them?

    • Sorry to hear that you had to deal with computer problems, Bob. As you can see, I too got bogged down because of the flu, and the intensity of my life recently. Glad you enjoyed this post. I think the tracks in the snow were made by Bonnie, the first dog I’ve ever really learned to love. And that too, has been a very interesting and new experience. Thanks for the comment.

  38. I absolutely love this photo of you “dancing in the snow”, it is wonderful… as are you, and it has been a pleasure to share a corner of your life this year on your blog! Wishing you good health and much happiness in the year to come!

    • Thank you so much, Josie. Please forgive me for my slow reply to your beautiful comment. I’ve been suffering from a bout with the flu… and some intensive changes in my life. But appreciate your comment very much, and send you my best wishes for a very happy new year.

  39. here in Jordan, we also had the same blizzard, Alexa. It was unbelievable; there’s still snow on mountains and high areas. I took many unforgettable pictures and walked for around 2 hours under the heavy snow. I posted some pictures on my blog, day 69 if my memory serves me. I hope you enjoyed the snow as much as I did (I doubt it because I didn’t sleep for days trying to have more and more fun LOL)

    Happy New Year 🙂

    • Forgive me for taking a while to respond to your comment, Ahmed. I was down for a while with the flu. But have checked out your blog and liked it. And I’m very happy that you too enjoyed the natural wonders of the snow. Wishing you good weather, and many wonderful adventures throughout the year.

  40. In Ohio in the US we have had snow on the ground for about three months this year. Right now, not only is there snow but it is also bitter cold with temperatures at -10 F in the evenings. I have been fortunate to have electricity, heat, and water but that is not the case with everyone. The view outside is beautiful IF you are well bundled up…or looking through your window.

    • Yes, the images of snow are often much more appealing than dealing with the reality itself. After the snow, we got a lot of ice… and that was less photogenic, but caused a lot of misery… a lot of people got hurt; a lot of accidents. But these unexpected experiences in nature are part of what life is all about, and a valuable reminder to us that we’re not really in control. Thanks for your comment, Bev.

  41. Love the pictures of snow.
    One of the things I miss when here in Oman, although I do get to see snow once in a while, on the top of Jebel Shams (10,000 ft)
    Ice & Rain, now that I hate… (being a Brit I suppose it is expected of me 🙂 ) but the children here love it ! they all come out and splash in the puddles.
    One of the things we have in our house in UK is open fires, so if the electricity and central heating go off, out come the sticks and logs.
    Ho and you are not alone with things coming to a halt at the slightest change in the weather; in resent years UK just about closes down ! those rather long in years look on in bewilderment.

    David.

    • It’s strange… the things we miss. From time to time, we have a winter without snow. And then I always miss it, even though it usually causes a bit of trouble. Not as much though, as it caused this year. That only happens about once in twenty years. Right now we’re having the normal winter rain, and everyone around seems a bit surprised. We had this early spring… and people thought, ‘that’s it. Winter’s over’. Now the winter weather returned, and people are caught without a heavy coat or an umbrella. All in all, it’s good to remember that nature is far more powerful than we are. Glad you liked the pictures, David.

    • Almost forgot… I do wish we had open fires here in Jerusalem. We used to have a lot of different stoves for warming ourselves. We used natural gas, and benzene, as well as oil. But little by little, everyone went to electricity. And now, if there is an electrical outage, the home gets cold very quickly. It’s amazing.

  42. Lovely photos and lovely blog… Greetings from NYC!

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