Snow White

{Wearing: Vintage maxi dress. Photographed by me.}

I haven’t seen snow in more than two decades—23 years to be exact. I left the snow in Kentucky and moved to Florida when I was 14 and I managed to avoid the cold and everything that comes with it for more than half my life. Why? After you grow up in the frozen tundra that is the Midwest, you tell yourself, well, if I never experience this again, I’m OK with it.

And then the time comes when you long for a change of environment, something so different from the beach and sand and sun and surf you see day in and day out. And you start to wonder what it would feel like to actually wear a sweater to stay warm, a place where wooly hats are donned not as fashion statements, but as a means of staying warm.

As a kid, I would pray for snow days. Literally, get on my knees and ask God to pour the white stuff and its frozen counterpart onto the streets surrounding my neighborhood. Then, I would wake early in the morning, creeping into the kitchen to turn on the radio, hopeful my school’s name would be in the round-up, thus granting me a whole day off to play in the snow. And every now and then my county’s name would come across as shut down for an entire 24. My mom would round us up, bury us in droves of winter clothes, stick us in the stuff we’d prayed for and let us have at our snow day. There would be hills, trashcan lids, laundry baskets, rolled up balls of snow transformed into sad-looking snowmen, snowball fights, runny noses and frozen toes. Those last two always brought me running inside, begging mom to let me stay in the house. You see, I hate being cold. Always have, always will. It’s why Miami is my forever home. But there is something so majestic about the white stuff that collections on the ground and transforms the world into a crisp, clean, serene wonderland. And believe it or not, after seeing it in Breckenridge, Colorado this past weekend, I think I missed it a little. There’s much to be said about the beauty of the mountains, the way the snow shines like a beacon of pristine perfection, so welcoming despite its frozen tendencies.

Because the change of background is novel for a blogger, I took full advantage and decided to create my interpretation of Snow White. Within minutes of setting up the camera and dropping my snuggly warm coat, I had a flashback to all those childhood snow days, where limbs froze and noses dripped. Let’s just say this was the fastest shoot I’ve ever done—Guinness record-setting. Afterward, I gathered my gear and climbed under my hotel comforter and stayed there until I could feel my fingers and toes again.

Cold, yes, but amazing to mentally relive those days as a kid in the icebox that is Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky. And worth every second of the new memories made. In this on-going journey of stepping outside of my comfort zone, doing something every day beyond of my sphere of norm, I realized your past doesn’t have to be locked in history. It’s beautiful when your past intertwines with your present. The mingling of memories from bygone days brushing up against new encounters can fill you with a certain warmth. And I’m thankful for not just the snow but the experience.