Jeffrey Miller

A Writer's Life

Tag: Winter

A Snowy New Year’s Day in Daejeon

January 1 2013 001The New Year has picked up where the old year left off: more snow.

By far, this the most snow at one time in the past three attempts by Mother Nature to blanket Daejeon with the white stuff. I’m guessing around 4-5 inches, maybe more.

January 1 2013 002


It’s not going to last. By noon, the sun had come out and all that wonderful snow had started to melt. Guess these two folks shouldn’t have been so quick with their brooms. All that work for naught.

January 1 2013 003

Winter Scenes, 2012

December 28, 2012 002Of all the Decembers I have been in Korea, December 2012 has been the snowiest and the coldest. It all started back on the night of December 5th when Daejeon had its first major snowfall of the year, followed by another one on the 7th, and most recently on the 28th. I’m a sucker for nostalgia, and even though this December has been an extremely bittersweet one for me being away from my family, I know I will be looking back on this December nostalgically in the future when I think about all these snowy days.

December 28, 2012 004


Inasmuch as all this snow has made me homesick it has also made these long days and nights a little more bearable.

December 7, 2012 Night 001

 December 7th

December 28, 2012 003

 December 28th

December 5 2012 001

December 5th

Steady as she goes

The Lespo Standard.

Your all-weather bicycle.

And why do we say, “steady as she goes?” Why not, “steady as it goes?”

Either way, this gentleman was not about to be dissuaded by snow and ice. Look closely, you’ll also see his cane and an industrial-strength chain to make sure no one steals his Lespo.

Deep-Freeze Daejeon

It’s been wicked cold in Daejeon for the past three days; the coldest December that I can remember in a long time. Most of the streets in my neighborhood are still sheets of corrugated ice and snow. There won’t be any city department crews sprinkling salt on these streets.

Some folks have taken to spreading crushed yontan (charcoal briquettes used for heating and cooking) on the streets for traction. Last night, I saw a guy using a blow torch to melt the ice on one patch of ice on a side street near my apartment so he could move his car.

This deep freeze is supposed to last until the middle of next week.

It’s a good time to curl up with a good book.

How about Ice Cream Headache?

Or, Waking Up in the Land of the Morning Calm?

The loneliness of a winter day

A photograph is worth a thousand words.

And then some.

For as long as I have lived in Korea, now starting my 23rd year, I have never seen this much snow in early December. And I’m lovin’ every minute of it!

Snowy Night in Daejeon

Went out with a group of my mentees for dinner at the Solpine Restaurant on the Woosong Campus. It was a nice way to end the semester as well as, on a personal level, to celebrate my 22nd year in Korea. It had been snowing on and off all day, and as we were having dinner, the snow started coming down again. From the 13th floor of the restaurant, you get a very good view of the area.

In years to come, I will be most assuredly wax nostalgic about this night.

Waking Up in the Land of the Morning Calm — Tumuli Park, 1991

Before we journeyed to Pusan, my friend and colleague Ken wanted to spend a day or two in Kyongju, the ancient capital of Korea’s Shilla Kingdom (noted for its arts and the spread of Buddhism).

Located in the center of town were these small hills, which were actually burial mounds. You see these mounds all across Korea, but in Kyongju there is a large cluster of them in Tumuli Park.

Waking Up in the Land of the Morning Calm

Stopping by a Palace on a Snowy Day

Stopping by a Palace on a Snowy Day.

Believe it or not, in the 19 years that I have lived in South Korea (as of December 9th) it has only really snowed heavily four or five times in Seoul and Daejeon (where I live now).

This was one of those times in March 2004. It might have only been a few weeks before Spring, but Seoul had been transformed into a winter wonderland; especially at Kyongbok Palace in downtown Seoul, one of the county’s most famous palaces.

Snowy day in Daejeon

Snowy day in Daejeon

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow. 

Those snow flurries we had here yesterday actually amounted to something this morning. 

Well, not exactly a winter wonderland here in Daejeon but it snowed enough over night to sufficiently blanket the city and still remain by midday.  

And for a few hours this morning it really looked pretty outside with all the snow that had fallen over night. It’s too bad that it didn’t snow more and too bad that it wasn’t a little colder this morning for the snow to stay a little longer.

Snowy day in Daejeon

Well, it did get colder by afternoon. By then most of the snow had already melted. Nice to see some of the white stuff here although it had snowed before but mostly in the mountains and hills surrounding Daejeon. 

Today’s snow while not that much reminded me of this snowfall back in Seoul back in 2004. One thing is for certain, when it snows a lot the snow sure makes things look pretty for a while here in Korea.

Of course my best friend Bob Patelli back in LaSalle, Illinois wouldn’t think so.

He works for the IDOT (Illinois Department of Transportation) and come winter he is out there in a snowplow clearing the highways. He’s been doing that (working for the state) ever since we graduated from LaSalle-Peru Township High School in 1976. 

Snowy day in Daejeon

Snow or no snow, it’s another lazy day for me today.

Don’t have to teach today. I’ll go to the gym and then on my way home stop at this small Korean restaurant for some kimchi-fried rice. You know, when I stop there at night, the woman doing the cooking is more generous with the amount of fried rice she gives me than the woman cooking in the afternoon.  

Snowy day at Kyongbok Palace

Snowy day at Kyongbok Palace

One of my favorite winter photos is this one that I took on a snowy day in March 2004. It had started to snow during the middle of the night and when I went to teach that morning at FLI it was still snowing. As soon as my class was over, I raced back to the Muak Dormitory (race as best I could with all the snow that had fallen), grabbed my camera and then headed down to Kyongbok Palace. Surprisingly there was not much traffic that Friday morning and I got to the palace rather quickly; beating most of the other photo hounds that morning wanting to get a good shot of this pavilion at the back of the palace grounds. Sure enough, not long after I took this photo the area was swarming with photographers and office workers playing a little office hooky that morning.

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