First Snow Fall

Published: January 5th 2011
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Fifteen minutes before heading out to a "men only" social gathering, I decided to check on my schedule for the upcoming week to be certain if I needed to reread through any powerpoints of classes I had not taught in a while. As I read through the schedule, an email from Kerry arrived stating she had a few books and dvd's she would like to donate to the "teacher's library" and that I could drop by anytime after 7:00pm. Since her apartment was in the Fiji building and I was on my way to the Earth building in fifteen minutes, I decided to drop on by to pick up the books and dvd's from here instead of putting it off until another evening.

Stepping outside the apartment I immediately noticed a few small white flakes drop off in the distance. Uncertain of the flakes, I picked up my pace rounding up past the street light sensing a chilly breeze in the air. As I began to stroll looking down the block whistling to myself, my right eye caught something fluttering just beneath the kazebo when I thought, 'Is that snow?'

Just then laughter erupted within and I began laughing because there was not another snowflake in sight. 'I must be imagining things,' I thought and kept walking towards the Fiji building. As I picked up the pace of both my feet and my whistling a warm breeze whipped around the Neptune building pushing its soft warmth against my open jacket collar. Nearing the Exhibition hall I noticed a few more snow flakes sliding past the street lights as another short blast of cold air came up from the street below. Shivering in the colder air I looked up to see the Fiji building on my left which is when out of the corner of my left eye, four thousand half penny sized snowflakes began falling out of the sky! It was finally here... South Korea snoooooow!

Walking up to Kerry's place I noticed four boxes outside her door with various things packed into them besides the books and dvd's therefore, I knocked on her door to make sure these were the items she was donating. "Hey Aaron, thanks for dropping by. Let me get you a bag to carry all those books outside in," she politely stated. "Thanks Kerry, there is a whole lot more dvd's then I was expecting. Good thing I brought a bag myself." "Did you know it's begun to snow outside. Aren't you going to miss this when you move back to South Africa?" reproachfully I asked. "No way. I am certainly not going to miss the cold winters. I've spent two years here and am happy to be leaving before January arrives," she retorted with her gentle smile.

We went into the hallway packing up the books and dvd's into the two bags. "Thank you again for the books and dvd's, it is much appreciated. Enjoy your final days here on the campus and safe travels to you," I stated as I turned with the two bursting bags to leave. Immediately after leaving Fiji, I noticed a slight increase in temperature making myself laugh as I walked the pathway past Mercury heading around the corner to the right, striding through the gently falling snow flakes and the seven centimeters of accumulation making my way to the to top of the road arriving outside of Earth.

Entering the main hallway in Earth, I saw three dark square shadows in the corner where people who are vacating usually leave their "free" and "unwanted" leftovers from their years on campus. Strolling over to take a peak, I saw a very ugly pair of leopard print boots with tassels and gold rhinestones! Immediately, I picked them up thinking these were perfect for Shauna for the winter, as long as they would fit her feet? Deciding, she should try them on, instead of just chucking them back into the hallway I walked the remaining thirty feet to Steve's door, knocking gently before picking up my rapping fist. "Come in, I'm home!"

Stepping inside I dropped my bags, hat, jacket and flipped off my shoes before Steve could say to me, "everyone else has bailed out like a bad batch of kimchi. Good thing I didn't order those eight large pizzas! But I did go to Emart over lunch and my fridge now looks like this," he stated pulling it open to reveal fourteen neatly stacked Hite Dry Finish bottles, cluttering the inside. "Let's enjoy one, since it's snowing and all," I remarked. "Snow, you are kidding right? Snow? Really? It's snowing? Oh how I miss California and the year long warmth. I was speaking with some friends the other night and they were complaining about it being 50-degrees Fahrenheit (10C) in Los Angeles. 'Fifty degrees,' I said. Do you people want to know about cold? Then come spend a winter in South Korea's countryside. Stop your complaining. That's what I told them," Steve scowled pulling back the shade revealing an iced over window.

"Steve what happened to the other seven guys?" I inquired distracting him from his rant about people in California. Walking back across the apartment he pulled open the fridge pulling out two 500-ml bottles cracking them open and setting one down in front of me as he pulled out the other chair at the table sitting himself down. "Well, I received an email from the first bailer out guy around 6:15pm. Then I decided to hold off ordering pizza's because no one actually responded to the email. After I returned from Salt, there were three more messages stating they were bailing out due to woman issues." "Not surprised," I prompted seeking more information. "So, I called Devin, but he said he was already off campus. I tried Ryno, but he wouldn't answer, so I went by his place and he wasn't there since I was on my way to Salt. Next I called Andrew since he suggested doing this on a Sunday and he said, 'sorry something came up with the old lady,' which means he was out too. I wasn't sure about you since you didn't email me from today's email," interrupting Steve I stated, "Friday. I sent you my reply on Friday stating I'd be here. And here I am. I'm even on time... not that that counts with no one else here to witness this?" "You sure are. So let's drink beer. Then we can go by Salt and you can try my blueberry muffins. They are the first ones I have ever made!" Oh great... I thought. Free beer but you must pay the price by being Steve's guinea pig and trying blueberry muffins! And I LOVE blueberry muffins! Those warm soft flake batters mixing with the tender softness of fresh blueberries all heated up rising in the oven at three-hundred and thirty degrees for thirty minutes! Perfect with a tall glass of milk! But then again, these were cooking in ovens which don't properly heat up nor do they cook all the way across the entire oven! This could be really, really bad for this guinea pig but at least there is free-beer!

As se sat chatting about various topics such as North Korea, Politics, Living in South Korea and Teaching. All of these concluded into a conversation about motorcycles and the silly one Steve and David S. had bought from David M before he returned to jolly old England. This is when I noticed him looking at his watch. "Steve, is it your bed time or are you hinting for me to leave by looking at your watch?"

"Oh sorry. No. I just keep thinking about those blueberry muffins cooking and if they are ready for me to pull them out of the oven? Let's get out of here and I'll give you a few of them to take with you home," Steve stated politely. Draining our beers, we picked up our jackets and hats, pulling them on and then stepping into the hallway to put on our shoes. "Thanks for the beer Steve," I thanked him as I picked up the two bags of books and dvd's with the ugly boots grasped under one arm. "Those were Lauren's boots, you know?" "Oh I know. And Shauna is looking for something just this ugly to keep her feet warm. Free and ugly are better then paid for and ugly!" I rebuked. "Agreed," was his reply.

Walking out of Earth we moved quickly through the snow to the top entrance into Mars, heading over to the top flight of stairs passing by the telescope on its tripod. Moving down the twenty-five steps we exited the front doors of Mars, turning left through the snow Steve shuffled next to me as we batted back and forth the topic of American Football and the latest scores of our latest Fantasy players. Never keeping up with the statistics very well the subject flopped in front of Jupiter as we stepped down between Neptune and the Primus Kids Elementary school turning to our right heading over the the Creation Station building. Up the nine steep steps we climbed almost slipping back down to the ground below. The secret garden was filling up with millions of snow flakes covering up the half naked statues. Entering into the building we shaked off the snow accumulation on our shoes and jackets. Turning the corner, Steve slipped on the floor catching his balance before running full steam into a bookcase.

Down the hallway we went sliding across the tiles on our wet shoes following the scent of blueberry muffins. Entering into the room; Salt, the enter kitchen was filled with pans sitting on top of three different counter spaces. There were cranberry and walnut muffins resting on the counter attached to their baking papers. Moving over to the ovens, Steve pulled open the first door checking on his creations when the door opened up and in entered Harold. "Have you see the cinnamon jar, I left on that counter over there?" He stated to no one in particular. "Sorry, Harold, we just came into the room and I haven't made it passed here," I said. "Sorry, I too haven't seen anything Harold but maybe its over there in that bowl with all those other things," Steve pointed to the obvious place on the fourth counter down.

"Well, Aaron, how do they taste?" Steve inquired handing me a fresh baked blueberry muffin. Pulling it out of the pan, I blew onto it, three times then took a nice little bit. The hot fresh batter touching my tongue scorching my taste buds as I chewed quickly breathing in and out rapidly to cool down the bite I had taken. Swallowing the chewed upon morsel I cried out turning on the faucet and stuffing my face down under the cold water to drip off my tongue as the room erupted into laughter out of the other two. "Not bad but those blueberries are scorching hot!" I stated. "Here, have a couple more of the blueberry ones. And bring these two cranberry ones to Shauna because I'm going to have forty or fifty by the time I am done. I'm just going to give them away tomorrow morning in the teacher's room, so take what you like," Steve said to me. "Thanks Steve. I'll let you know what Shauna thinks of the cranberry and walnut ones tomorrow," I stated as I picked up my two bags and the ugly boots heading for the door.

Practically sprinting out the same doors we came in fifteen minutes ago I swung a right off the steps onto the snow covered high road walking quickly up the inclined slope heading back past Primus, then Neptune, Pluto and around the corner behind Creative Kids Workshop slipping between the hedge and the clock tower down the short slope in front of EV Mart over to our steps up the four flights of slippery steps ducking under the street lamp pulling open the door finally entering into the Morocco building I bound up the double set of stairs reaching our door within ten minutes of leaving Salt. Shivering, I pulled open the door as I flung my shoes into the corner of the room setting down the two bags and the ugly boots. "Aaron, is that you?" came the question from the bedroom. "Yep. I have a surprise for you, so come out here and try these things on," I replied as I sat down in front of the television to go through the bag of dvd's. "Wow, you made out like a bandit. Look at all those dvd's and books! Were those all of Kerry's donation?" She asked when the door finally opened. "Yep. We have to go through all these dvd's to make sure they work. And there are three different tv series here too; Lost, Heroes and Arrested Development. Just what we need to get us through the winter months!" I stated as Shauna picked up the ugly boots trying them on.

"Well, what says you about those ugly boots? Will they work for the couple of winter months here, 'er what?"


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