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Of Snowflakes And Almond Blossoms
Marg-Ins 03-01-23

It was just a few weeks back that co-worker and friend Kim Van Meter and I chuckled about seeing the ‘snow flurries’ indication on the Oakdale weather page.

That day, it was not true, but amazingly enough, all we needed to do was wait.

I was babysitting my granddaughter on the day the snow flurries came down in Oakdale. We had been out in the back yard; I was pushing her in her swing (which she absolutely loves and giggles the whole time she is in it) and tossing the ball for the dog when it got suddenly dark and very windy. So windy, in fact, that I thought we’d better head inside and after hustling to get Lorelei out of her swing and Sonny the Corgi into the back door, we made it just in time. I got her settled for a snack but then looked out the kitchen window and thought it was raining. Then I thought, no that looks more like hail and I opened the back door and discovered it was snow. Hail bounces, snow sticks. This was falling and sticking, albeit melting quite quickly. I was doing a video for my daughter when I got an urgent text from her while she was on a work break – “It’s snowing! Go outside and show Lorelei! Take her onto the porch!”

The exclamation points gave it away; she may as well have put the text in ALL CAPS – she was excited and wanted me to share the wonder of falling snow with my granddaughter.

So, I whisked her up and out we went to the front porch where Lorelei promptly looked up, saw snow falling from the sky, opened her mouth to catch the flakes and laughed. It got it in her hair, the falling flakes got my phone screen wet but I was able to record the moment.

Fast forward a few days and everybody was getting snow; the Altamont looked like a winter wonderland, there were road closures because of snow and fallen tree limbs, Los Gatos got snow they measured in inches and not a dusting … it truly seemed like everything just turned upside down. Places that never have snow got snow.

I have given up trying to figure out the why of everything and have decided to just go with whatever the day brings. I will, however, keep gloves, boots, an umbrella, even a spare blanket in my car for the rest of the winter season, just to be on the safe side.

Touched base with my dad as well, since his area outside Albany in upstate New York was getting quite a bit of snow. My brother had already been there with the snowblower to clean out the driveway and shoveled the front walk, getting several inches of accumulation cleared away. Ironically, they had just gone through a stretch of warm weather and all the snow had melted, with some of the ice on the lakes and ponds also breaking up before this latest round of winter for them. Fifty degrees and partly cloudy skies at this time of year in upstate New York is pretty much T-shirt weather; almost time to break out the shorts.

Most of the time, their daytime high right now is lower than our overnight low and they rejoice when the temperature hits 50.

Oh yes, I also woke up the other day with the worst headache I have had in quite some time. My eyes hurt, my throat hurt, my head hurt … I was very concerned that I might have come down with the flu or a late winter cold. But as I happened to be driving that day from Oakdale to Escalon, the culprit was clear. Seems the almond blossoms virtually burst forth overnight; hence my issues.

Again, I will take that as it comes; I love the sight of the blossoms and I love almonds so you know, I can put up with the headache.

Just don’t want to worry about putting snow tires on my car anytime soon.


Marg Jackson is editor of The Oakdale Leader, The Escalon Times and The Riverbank News. She may be reached at or by calling 209-847-3021.