Four seasons through the window

Published 6:49 pm Saturday, January 23, 2016

I often think I’d like to live somewhere that the temperature reliably stays above 75 degrees and where snow is something that used to happen on the television screen when the rabbit ears were not well adjusted.

And then we have a day like Saturday.

Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, the Suffolk News-Herald’s newsroom was scattered across Hampton Roads on Saturday, with all of us working from our homes and connecting with one another to put the newspaper together via the Internet. When I saw ice pellets beginning to turn our deck white over breakfast, I called around to tell folks to work from home for the day to avoid unnecessary travel on the region’s roads.

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My work station at home gives me a nice view of our Suffolk backyard through sliding glass doors, and as I edited stories and took care of my various other Saturday duties for the paper, I watched the ice turn to snow, blanketing the yard.

There’s something special about a snow day that one can enjoy from the comfort of one’s home. For those of us charged with sharing the news, such things are pretty rare.

I watched Saturday during a lull in the meteorological activity as a flock of birds took the opportunity to descend on the yard, looking for food. As they hopped around on the remnants of Friday’s snow and ice, they turned the yard into a great black-and-white polka-dotted expanse.

And then, just as suddenly as they had arrived, the birds were gone. I suppose they were headed to someone else’s yard to see if the pickings were better elsewhere. I can’t imagine what they hoped to find, but I was glad they’d briefly stopped to look for it in my yard.

As the snow continued to fall throughout the day on Saturday, I watched the News-Herald’s Facebook feed for photos of people enjoying the weather. We had a few intrepid folks who sent photos from the road to show that conditions were reasonable, though I was glad not to have to go out and test their representations myself. But for the most part, at least judging by social media, folks seemed to be enjoying this particular snowstorm from inside, just like me.

Tomorrow I’ll be back to wishing it were 75 degrees and sunny outside, but today, I’m appreciating the fact that Virginia gets all four seasons — and that I got to experience the latest manifestation of a Hampton Roads winter from the warm comfort of home.