February 19, 2021 – Snow Daze

I’m not sure about you, but I feel like I’ve been transported to Siberia. The snow just keeps coming, even when the sun comes out. It makes no sense at all! I am beginning to understand why people become ‘Snow Birds’. If I had the money, I would, too. Speaking of birds, I think my 3 amigos (hummingbirds) are really beginning to question their decision to stick around here instead of heading to Mexico or Central America for the winter. Just as I did, they must have thought we were going to have a mild winter but have learned otherwise (the hard way). I don’t know how they’re managing to stay alive, but so far, so good. I just keep rotating out their syrup and ensuring it doesn’t freeze so they don’t starve to death. Anyway, when I see snow, I see work coupled with annoyance! It’s not like when I was a kid and snow meant no school + loads of fun.

Oh, to be a kid again! I couldn’t wait for those flakes to fall. We lived in an area that rarely got snow, so when it happened, it was really magical. At the first sign of a ‘flake’, school would be cancelled, and the day would be ours to do whatever we wanted. Even though we really didn’t have the appropriate cold weather gear to spend much time in 30 degree weather, we made do. Anything we could do in or with the snow, we did (aside from peeing in it, we left that up to the dogs and cats and other assorted critters in the neighborhood). The first thing that we checked off the list was making a snowman. After grabbing a carrot out of the refrigerator and several buttons out of mom’s sewing basket, we headed for the front yard. In under 30 minutes, a ‘basic’ snowman would be assembled. On occasion, we strayed from the ‘basic’ snowman formula and made something more along the lines of a sculpture.

Following the snowman, there were so many opportunities for ‘creativity’ or just good, clean ‘fun’. Finding a virgin patch of snow that no one had yet spoiled, it was not uncommon to stand and simply fall back until the snow ‘caught you’ and cradled your body, at which time you would raise and lower your arms while simultaneously extending your legs out to either side and back towards the center (like doing jumping jacks). Yes, it wasn’t a proper snow day until everyone had a chance to create their own, individual snow angel. From there, usually a snowball fight took place. If everyone was still feeling industrious at the conclusion of the snowball fight, an igloo would be built. They were a lot of work and they took some doing but once complete, they were fun to crawl inside of and let your imagination soar. Igloos also served as a great hiding place or a means to spy on your neighbors without detection.

We haven’t yet touched on all of the other activities associated with snow. There’s sledding and tubing and riding a toboggan down a steep hill. When I was in grade school, there was an unfortunate incident when someone thought it was a good idea to tie one end of a rope to their bumper and the other end to an innertube and pull their friend down the street. I don’t want to depress you by sharing the details, but the situation didn’t end well for the person on the innertube. Anytime someone attaches a rope to their bumper and pulls a friend behind their vehicle, whether that person is on an innertube, skateboard, roller skates, or a bicycle, it’s a recipe for trouble. I wouldn’t recommend it. I generally stuck to areas where there wasn’t traffic to contend with. When cars come into contact with people, the cars usually win (for obvious reasons). I didn’t want to end up like the kid on the innertube, so I stayed off the streets.

Now that I’m older, I don’t get excited when I see the clouds roll in and the flakes appear. It bums me out. If I loved to ski or snowboard or snowshoe or do anything in the snow for that matter, maybe I’d get more excited about it; however, I don’t like to be cold. When I get cold, it takes forever to thaw out and until that happens, I’m not much fun to be around. My husband isn’t terribly helpful when I am on the brink of frostbite. I’ll reach out my hands for warmth and he usually draws back in horror and demands that I remove my ‘ice mittens’ from his person. I wish I were one of those people that enjoyed ‘exercising’ in the snow, but it doesn’t interest me in the least. You want me to attach two slippery sticks onto my feet (aka skiing) and make my way down a mountain on a very steep incline, with injury or death as a possible outcome? No, thank you. I’m going to sit in the lodge next to the fire, and sip on a mug of hot cocoa.

The other thing that snow is good for, aside from providing necessary moisture and preventing drought? I cannot think of anything. Snow means getting suited up and shoveling snow until I’m covered in sweat and my back aches. It means going to the closet, grabbing a warm coat, putting it on, zipping it up, and thrusting my stocking feet into a pair of boots (instead of sliding on a pair of slippers) in order to hang the feeders outside (in the morning) or bring them inside (in the evening). When walking a dog, snow is less than ideal. The sidewalks are usually covered so you’re often required to walk in the street (which is plowed) and dodge traffic. Once it starts to melt, you have to continually watch for vehicles approaching so you can move far enough away to avoid getting sprayed with slush as they pass. It can also become quite slippery and treacherous to walk on, and if you don’t end up on your back with the wind knocked out of you, consider yourself lucky.

Don’t even get me started about driving in a town where few are accustomed to snow! That’s worse than shoveling + walking the dog put together. I am not sure what the deal is in the community where I live but the minority actually drive the speed limit. Most people drive under the speed limit. The roads can be completely clear, the sun out, the sky blue, and people act like they’re driving through a school zone or out on a leisurely Sunday drive. Imagine what it’s like when there’s snow! Holy crap! I can almost walk faster than most cars that are out and about. It’s frustrating because I’ve lived in areas where there’s a lot of snow (North Germany, upstate New York) and I’ve learned how to navigate it. Not the folks that live here! If their speedometers reach 15 mph, that’s doing well. I get so flustered when I need to go somewhere and I get ‘stuck’ behind someone like that. I don’t tend to swear, but on days like that, I could probably fill a swear jar.

Spring, where are you? Does anybody know what Punxsutawney Phil predicted this year? Six more weeks of winter? Are you kidding me??!! If I knew where to find that groundhog, I’d go there straightaway and throttle him. I’ve had enough of this ‘white stuff’. I’m not young anymore, it’s no longer fun. All I get out of winter is a sore back and road rage. Can we fast forward to spring, please? Enough already with the cold and the snow! I’m so over it!! Thank you so much for stopping by. For the folks that are ‘following’ me, I am grateful for you and the continued interest you have in reading my blog. I’m no poet laureate or anyone with significant credentials to speak of but I do enjoy the opportunity to share things about my life and family or to just make simple random observations. I love to write and I try to infuse humor into everything I do. If all goes well and I haven’t run you off, I trust you will return tomorrow as will I.

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