Well, maybe it can’t in all honesty be called first snow. It did snow about a week ago, but it didn’t stick at all, and was melted by the time I got to work in the morning. But this is the first snow, the kind that makes it so you can’t see on the highway and you get snowed in in a matter of hours.
Some say it’s glorious, beautiful, good luck… all sorts of things are said. But when I look out at that glittery white goodness covering everything as far as the eye can see, I see my life flash before my eyes. I will either freeze to death or die in a snowy icy car accident. I’m sure of it.
I grew up (until I was about 13 if I remember accurately) in far northern New York state, in the middle of the Adirondack mountains. Winters were something ferocious. Sometimes we’d open the front door and only be able to see the slightest crack of sunlight coming in from over five feet of snow. At the time, that was magnificent. That meant being able to tunnel out into the yard, building caves and mansions and underground kingdoms wherever we went.
Today that snow means something completely different.
It means that it takes 20 minutes to drive a distance that usually takes about 5 minutes. It means that in less than half a day we’ve gotten over a foot of wet, heavy snow. It means it takes ten minutes to ‘brush’ the snow off the car, and another ten for the heat to turn on enough to defrost the windows. It means it takes a full minute to back out of my parking spot, and three minutes to get out of the tiny car park. It means I have to stop wearing my canvas shoes and my suede shoes and start hunting for a pair of boots that doesn’t kill me. It means scarves and hats and mittens and gloves.
Tonight I couldn’t even get out of my driveway because my car wouldn’t pull forward. Then I skidded half a block down un-plowed roads because my brakes don’t do a damned thing. This is what snow and winter means to me. It means staring my mortality in the face.
And worst of all it means standing outside in feet of snow for an hour per day while a bunch of bratty little second graders get as wet and snowy and mean as humanly possible during recess, only to come in and complain about it afterwards.
So right now what I’m most grateful for is having four days off of work before having to go back and face the little buttheads.