musings on travel, international living, development aid, politics, turkey (the country more than the meat) and anything else that comes to mind...

Thursday, December 6, 2007


So maybe Texas was the wrong place for me, at least meteorologically speaking. I love the snow, the biting cold on your nose, the beauty of freshly fallen flakes on a tree. Snow makes home feel all that much better. If at all possible, fires in the fireplace are much more cozy during a soft snow shower. Hot chocolate becomes tastier, salt takes on a new role in life, and for once (although only for a little while) the city looks clean. Don't get me wrong, I don't want to live in a place where it snows 8 months out of the year (i.e. Canada), but I love the fact that DC gets cold enough to allow the snow to stick around for a while.

I know my love is not shared, particularly by my southern brethren, but also not by those less fortunate than I. My views on the homeless are a confusing mixture of contempt, pity, and apathy on any given day; that all changes when it snows. Why? Because it's cold, plain and simple. I am fortunate enough to have waterproof boots, a warm jacket, gloves, scarves, etc. What about the guy with bags over his shoes who used to say TJ looked like Steve Blake? The business in front of which he plants himself every afternoon gave him a shoe shine kit for Christmas last year in hopes that he could "earn" a living. I have seen the kit out three times in the past year. As frustrating as this is, I hope he has somewhere warm to call home when it snows.

What spawned this random snow post turned paradoxical discussion on the homeless? In short: West Wing, Season 1, "In Excelsis Deo." If you haven't seen it, drop what you are doing and find it. I found it on iTunes as part of building my iPod Christmas video collection. The other thing is this: every day that passes with me working in the defense sector is another day I long to be far away from it. As I so often surmise, I would much rather give an Iraqi a market to trade his goods than a gun with which to attack his enemy (not that I am doing the latter at all, but you get the idea). Oversimplified... I know, but the thought haunts me every time I see someone in need.

I started out by talking about how much I love snow and ended by bitching about the defense sector... I need a new job.