Wednesday, December 28, 2011

FSO: your best memory: Snow fell in Auckland

This is snow in New Zealand at Mt Raupehu, not the one in Auckland this August.


These are simulated photos, I went to my freezer and snapped icicles growing in it.

I broke the icicles and imagined the day when I was with Grandpa, holding the hail stone in my palm.

December 30 - End. The end of another year. What is your best memory from this year? or How do you celebrate the end of a year.

On August 16, Auckland experienced the coldest day ever with the temperature rising to just 8.1C - colder than the previous record of 8.7C in July 1996 at the airport.

Excited Aucklanders left their offices yesterday to see the rare sight of snow falling across the CBD. The weather was part of a polar blast hitting the whole country and something the MetService described as a one in 50-year event. Snow fell.

But so did something else - the word graupel has now entered our vocabulary. It is a soft hail-like frozen pellet, and it fell in the city.

Hail stones have an intriguing effect on me.

My Grandpa left China about 100 years ago to Tropical Borneo when he was 20. When he was 80s, and I was 18, there was a freak hail storm.

Our house was on stilts. "Snow! Snow!" we yelled and we all rushed downstairs.

Grandpa in his 80s, and all of six of us aged 3 to 18. ( The Chinese believe that you should not go out in the rain or you will catch a cold.) We laughed and picked the hail, the marble size hail. We twirled and danced and laughed in the slushy rain. Grandpa cried, he had left his temperate China, never returned and thought he would never, ever see this natural phenomenon again. Sixty years had past, and God sent few minutes of ecstasy. We told Grandpa, "You can die now."

My big sis Rose stared out of the window, and thought we had gone mad. When Grandpa died 3 years later, I was in Canada experiencing the coldest winter Canada ever had, minus 28 degrees. I looked out of my window, at the falling snow and whispered, Grandpa, you are now be back at your homeland China. Go and play with the snow, real snow, not hail.

Whenever we have hail, I want to go outside and relive that incredible time again. My grandpa, my siblings and me.

This Christmas Day in the summer in Melbourne, Australia, hailstones as big as tennis ball pelted down. I thought of my cousins Kim and Abbie who live in Melbourne. I dedicate this posr to them and to all my other cousins whom I found in Facebook this year. Most of these cousins I have not even seen because I had left Borneo before they were born. May this episode give them a warm fuzzy feeling of a grandpa they never knew as he had died before they were born.

*This story is perhaps dramatic only to children growing in a tropical climate*


Jo said...

What a poignant memory, Ann. Thanks for sharing this special story. My best memory for 2011? Mmm, I'll have to choose one. There are so many. But the best is when we heard the news that we were coming to Kenya! Have a wonderful New Year my dear friend. Blessings. Jo

SandyCarlson said...

I love your stories, Ann. The visit to the freezer had my imagination going, too.

Ann, Chen Jie Xue 陈洁雪 said...

I read the part about Grandpa
I remembered he told us that you lost your baggage when you arrived in Canada. You cried in the airport. He imitated how you cried because he was actually relating the incident to Henry and Helen. I was with them too holidaying at your parents' place.


Marilyn said...

Hi Ann.. These are wonderful great features.. I LOVE It. I wanted to stop in and say THANKS for being a great bloggy bff this year. Wishing you the HAPPIEST of NEW Year's.. Cheers to more creativity, fun and success.. HAPPY NEW YEAR.. BIG HUGS.. xoxo.. Marilyn..

Suburban Girl said...

This weeks linky is on the main page of FMTSO. Recently, you may have noticed Sarah has had technical difficulties getting the linky page up. We apologize for the inconvenience. We are planning on migrating the linky page to our main blog in the future, that way any of the authors can help post the linky when needed.

Jama said...

The first time I've seen and touch snow was in New Zealand, the south island, years ago. We all got excited but I really can't stand the howling cold wind, no matter how many layer of clothing I wear!