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Searching for beauty while walking in a Draco wonderland

Published: Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012 12:39 p.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012 1:01 p.m. CDT

I was a mere 11 years old when the first Harry Potter movie premiered, but that didn’t stop my junior high friends and I from trekking to the theater to watch J.K Rowlings’ first novel play out on screen.

Maybe it was the slicked-back, blonde hair or the seething insults tossed at Harry and Hermione, but I instantly found myself in preteen love with the character of Draco Malfoy.

Fast forward a decade to yesterday morning.

As we’re discussing the impending snowstorm, I recalled that The Weather Channel had recently — and absurdly, in my opinion — decided to name winter storms much like they name hurricanes in order to raise public awareness of their severity.

“Does it have a name yet?” I half-jokingly asked the newsroom of the “blizzard” all the major TV networks were touting.

Our editor was quick with an answer: Draco — a name that I (perhaps rightly so) hadn’t heard in ages and, for the first time, didn’t conjure up fond memories because of its frigid implications.

See, I’m from a part of Indiana just east of Lake Michigan. This makes for awesome summers along the lake and equally terrible winters under a thick layer of something called lake-effect snow: a phenomenon that occurs when cool air moves southward from Canada, picks up moisture and then dumps it all on South Bend.

Science aside, I’m not a particular fan of the stuff and thusly was dreading last night — especially the task of grabbing a few photos as the storm rolled in.

Around 11 p.m., I finally layered on pairs of socks, begrudgingly laced up my $4 snowboots dating back to sometime in the ’80s (thanks, Goodwill!) and headed out into Sibera — er, downtown Newton.

I was surprised to find the square not entirely deserted. Folks outside a handful of bars stepped outside for a smoke and to watch the weather; one brave soul even biked past the courthouse against the wind and the wet, heavy snow.

After walking around outside for 10 minutes or so, I decided it didn’t matter that snow had accumulated on my brand-new lens or that I was blatantly parked illegally per the new snow ordinance, all I wanted was one great shot.

After snapping a few and checking them on my viewfinder, the snow seemed almost...pretty.

This thought lasted for about 10 seconds, of course, when I remembered that I’d scheduled an oil change for bright and early the next morning. Thus, while most of you are snug and warm inside your homes, I had the pleasure of walking the couple blocks to work in the midst of Draco.

Regardless, I can’t help but be a little excited. While my long haul home on I-80 tomorrow to spend Christmas with family may not be the smoothest, I have to admit that it finally feels like the holidays.

Have a merry (and white!) Christmas!

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