For Whom the Snow Falls

March 10, 2012 at 9:53 am | Posted in Me, Transylvania | 10 Comments
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Spring is in the Romanian air.

The temperature is still tap-dancing around freezing. The kids still laugh hysterically when they see their breath in the car. And I’m still wearing my beloved YakTrax. But spring? It’s here.

Ahhhhh, spring.

How do I know? Last week, I had an animated discussion about the pile of snow clinging to the roof with the old man who takes care of our building. He spoke some fast Romanian. He gestured a lot and stomped his feet. He made kapow! noises.

I nodded knowingly.

Even though I’ve never seen snow like this in my life. Let alone three months of snow about to fall off a roof. My roof.

We concluded that the deluge would happen in the next day or so … then ricochet off the covered front porch … and then explode right into the spot on the street where I had carefully spent 15 minutes parallel parking.


I moved the car. And seriously considered buying us all helmets. Just in case.

The next morning, there it was. Right where he said it would. In the empty parking spot everyone else had had the sense to avoid.

Mărţişoare, like this handmade one, are given to women on March 1 to celebrate their awesomeness. Oh, and the arrival of spring.

As I stared at the smashed snow-pie in the road, it hit me. (Figuratively, of course.) I’m a rookie. Winter — real, cold, and brutal — is new to me.

But so is this life, this expat life filled with roundabouts and rolled r’s and purple money.

With spicy ketchup and cherry moonshine.

With holidays like last week’s Mărţişor, which celebrates the women, spring, and the exile of long underwear.

I can let this life — equal parts amazing and exasperating — frustrate me. Exhaust me. Grate my very last nerve into shreds thinner than the carrots in Romanian cole slaw.

Or I can open my arms and embrace whatever falls into my path.

Right after I put my helmet on.


Fluffy Bunnies in Romania:
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See the photos.



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  1. I can only imagine how beautiful the spring will be there! The snow will soon be a distant memory, and you can fill your camera with images of green and blue and yellow and red…hang in there!

  2. That sounds like the best kind of holiday, ever.

  3. It is so amazing to me that you can be a grown up and have so little experience with snow. Shows MY lack of experience, right? This trading of lives and stories is the BEST for enriching me.

    And I’m loving the stomping old man and the roof of snow.

    This winter (in Colorado we have days of snow followed by days of heat, so rooftops fall regularly) I got to stand right there while the snow came whooshing down. It was one of the most thrilling moments of January. I think because it’s typically the moment that doesn’t get seen.

  4. Hooray for celebrating women and spring!
    And for neighbors who are animated enough to get you to move the car!
    And for being new. We’re all new at this world. Even if we think we know what to expect. Though a hard winter would turn me upside down.

  5. I left a snow filled existence almost 30 years ago and I’ve never looked back. I shivered just reading your post today and it was about impending spring. You are my hero.;) So glad you’re starting to thaw. Welcome Spring!

  6. I wondered if the fact you could see what color the cars are designated spring. 🙂

  7. That sounds like an awesome holiday…and I feel bad b/c we had such a calm, quiet winter here in Ohio!!!

  8. What a great holiday! We should find a way to bring that celebration over here.

    And yes, let’s embrace the unexpected together…sometimes opening doors to welcome whatever it is that’s out there -good or bad – is the only way we can open our eyes to new things right? My door is opening in two weeks. I can’t wait!

  9. Expat life is so hard that way, isn’t it? a constant negotiating of those 2 struggles…but it’s okay to let yourself get frustrated…and be open and happy, even at the same time.

    I do see less snow there in your pictures. Fingers crossed for a quick spring…and it will do wonders for your spirit!

  10. Hey – when are you coming to Paris?

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