Snow-tude

As I child, I loved snow. I think that’s because I grew up in New England, where the general attitude is, Okay, cool. We can deal with this for a few months. Got a sled?

Then my enthusiasm for snow waned, possibly because I’ve lived most of my adult years in and around Philadelphia, where the general attitude is, Warmth will return. Until it does, stay inside. (My college roommate was from Buffalo, and she and I were kind of snow snobs, amused by Philadelphians’ alarmist response to even slightly snowy weather forecasts.)

The past few years, I’ve had a rough time with the colder, darker months, as I blogged about earlier.

But this year⎯thankfully⎯snow seems to make the colder, darker months more bearable. Somehow, snow appeals to that part of me that loves a cave⎯a warm isolated place where I can curl up and nap. I love soaking in the tub and reading a book as snowflakes stick to the other side of the windowpane. I love logs crackling in my parents’ fireplace as white stuff piles up in the woods behind the house.

What’s your attitude toward snow? Is it a friend? An enemy? Or perhaps a frienemy? What’s the general attitude toward snow where you live, versus where you grew up?

~Alicia Bessette

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17 thoughts on “Snow-tude

  1. Snow, if there was enough of it, would mean no school! Each town had a loud siren that would blare at 7am if schools were closed. We lived right on a border, though, so we could never be sure if it was our town or the next town over that was closed, until we listened to the radio station announcements. Huddling around the radio, listening the alphabetical listings, was thrilling.

    And if school was closed, there was all this sudden free time, to do ANYTHING. Bliss!

  2. I love snow when it’s fluffy and white and pretty – but hate it when it gets brown and slushy and I sink into it while trying to get to my car! And I still get really excited about snow days, just like my kids…

  3. I have always loved a good snow storm. Not a dusting, not mixed with rain and sleet, but the kind that forces me to surrender and accept that no one is going anywhere and I don’t have to keep up! Falling snow seems to somehow cleanse and beautify the earth…just the way I like it. Of course the cost is shoveling, slush, slippery walks, piles of gear and my poor Scotty trying to figure out his place in it all…but for that first 24 hours…it is a price I will pay!

  4. Last time it snowed in C-wood the workers at the new sushi place made a snowman that was the biggest I have ever seen. Four feet wide at the bottom and maybe seven feet tall. We saw them standing on stools to create the thing. And it had California rolls for eyes! It really made me want to eat at their restaurant, and reminded me that you can bitch about the snow and how you will probably lose business, or you can build an awesome snowman. Everything is a choice. Always.

  5. Well, Michigan is shaped like a mitten and we’re practically Canada, eh?

    Most people here accept it or love it completely, especially if they love skiing. (We don’t have mountains, but some big hills. Some man-made big hills. Some sand dunes.) We also have snowmobiling, but I think those things are scary and I’ve never been on one (I’m a city girl.) I also am not a fan of cross-country skiing because shuffling along in the cold and snow does not seem fun to me.

    However, even we hardy Michiganders get weary of snow in late Feburary, March, even sometimes as it crops up in April. (My daughter was born on an April 4 and the weather that day was similar to that on her brother’s birthday, which is December 2.)

    That’s why when it hits 50 degrees for the first time we’ll go out and play frisbee in shirt sleeves. It’s all relative.

  6. Q — saw that snowman, too, and it was awesome. i’ve never seen one that huge and i hope it got that restaurant some business (they definitely had no snow on their walkway!)

    I’ve always loved snow. This years huge snowstorm was alot of fun, despite all the shoveling. But when it’s snowing and late the world is very crackly and cold and peaceful. I like to stand on my back step and listen.

    Our dog used to hate the snow, but in her old age she has discovered that jabbing her face into it is quite refreshing.

  7. Many years ago I moved away from Mammoth Lakes in the high Sierra. Every October/November I get a deep feeling of restlessness waiting for that first big dump that will open Mammoth Mountain Ski Area. The first few years away from the mountain were very difficult. In the Fall my friends would call and scream, “Get up here!” into the phone. But I knew I needed to go to college and managed to resist. Still, every October/November I feel that restlessness deep inside me. There’s only one thing that fixes it, a road trip to Mammoth. We just got back and I’m ready to go again. This morning my friend told me the mountain is unreal! AAAhhhh I want to ski!

  8. I was raised in the deserts of California and Arizona and now live 3 degrees south of the Equator. In between I lived in the foothills of the Cascades in Oregon for 10 years and we usually had a couple weeks of snow every winter. I had to park my truck a quarter mile from the house down by our gate since we had a very steep, north-facing, over-hung by trees, paved driveway that would freeze in a heartbeat and become a bobsled run. I do not like snow. I do not think snow is pretty. I do not like being cold. I don’t even like to watch movies that take place in snow.

  9. Thanks folks! I loved reading your comments this week. Actually, I love reading them every week. (I love reading them every day, come to think of it ….)

  10. The best things about winter: no school + chocolate chip cookies, shoveling the driveway, then ” licking it clean”, snow angels, whiteouts [from the inside only], and the blizzard of ’78!

  11. A, Here is my first post!

    Three years ago my grumpy, reclusive, anti-social, kid hating, neighbor was diagnosed with cancer. Let’s just say kids would leave baseballs in his yard to go to baseball heaven, instead of risking life, limb, humiliation trying to retrieve them. It was much like the movie the Sandlot. But the dog wasn’t the scariest part!

    During snowstorms I began to shovel his driveway and walks. Soon, a simple kind gesture became an avenue for the neighborhood to become, well, neighbors. I was now doing driveways every storm wether it was for the elderly couple next door, the wife of a soldier serving in Iraq across the street, my own two houses, or for a friendly or sick neighbor. It seemed to bring out the best communal behavior in not only myself but all of us.

    Most importantly it was the key to unlocking a mysterious person who was sick. Over the next year I witnessed one of the most amazing transformations. The not so nice neighbor was evolving. First, it was a simple gesture. A thank you. Next it was, an hello and maybe a small conversation That summer I noticed him in my driveway. I caught him sneaking back to his house but he left a case of beer on my doorstep.

    As the months went by and he slowly improved the new Ron appeared. Conversations were longer and there was a hello every time we saw each other. The transformation was complete when a conversation about health, family, and the preciousness of life ended up in tears and hugs in the middle of my driveway.

    Snowstorms are also keys for opening friendships. For now he is cancer free and has returned to his old physical self but with a new appreciation for life and neighbors.

  12. Monkeyman – What a wonderful and touching story. Goes to show what a small act of kindness can lead to. This may be your first post, but I hope it is not your last.

  13. Monkeyman, thank you so much for making your very first appearance at the Ball. “Soon, a simple kind gesture became an avenue for the neighborhood to become, well, neighbors.” Aahhhh. This single sentence encapsulates the major themes in my work and in Matt’s, too. Delicious.

  14. I don’t like to be cold but as far as it isn’t too much I like snow.
    Of course I don’t like it when I have to drive to work and the streets are dangerous(as they were during the last weeks here) but I really apriciate a nice walk in the white nature, best with a little sunshine and no wind. We took wonderful photos this year. When we come home we put some logs in our fireplace and enjoy a glass of mulled wine.
    And I always remember the time when I was a child. Then, I think, winters here in Thuringia were much colder than today and I went skiing and sledging with my parent sometimes until it was dark outside and our fingers, nose and toes were frozen. What a wonderful feeling when they slowly got warm again 😉
    So, for me snow is a frienemy!!

  15. So you leave the house
    on a January, February day,
    whatever, one of those dead months,
    and it’s snowing, snowing AGAIN, for Christ’s sake,
    great big fluffy clumps,
    and you trudge to the car and hope it starts,
    and say a grudging prayer of thanks when it does,
    and then you get out with the scraper to get the damn stuff off so you can see,
    and it’s blowing into your eyes
    and you think,
    “Why do I live here?
    Why don’t I move to southern New Mexico or something?
    Why does ANYONE live here?”
    and you finish scraping
    and you’re about to get into the car and hope it’s warmed up
    and one of the clumps lands on your glove and separates
    and there it is: the answer to the question you haven’t asked,
    which is “Why is there winter at all?”
    Because somewhere up in the atmosphere
    a combination of forces I’ll never understand
    created this miniature like a fourth-grader’s cutout with glitter glued on
    and
    It.
    Is.
    Perfect.

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