We weather wimps in western Washington finally have a taste of what much of the rest of the country has seen too much of this winter—widespread snow. Yes, we woke up to precipitation in the form of agglomerated ice crystals coating every unprotected surface. (Agglomerated. Love that word.) While millions of Americans east of Snoqualmie Pass are exhausted by one-right-after-the-other crippling snow storms this winter, folks around here are oohing and aahing, delighted by the novelty of a winter weather condition that isn’t rain.
My inner curmudgeon cries bah, humbug when folks around me are exhilarated by the prospect of snow in the weather forecast. My first reaction to the threat of snow is to consider it a threat: dangerous, icy roads that transform a thirty-minute commute into a scary four-hour marathon; power outages that force us to trash the contents of our refrigerator and fire up the grill on the deck to heat a can of beans; and frozen pipes that cause us to leave every faucet in the house constantly dripping . . . all . . . night . . . long. Although in winters gone by these threats have become a reality, it’s a hint of claustrophobia that underlies my trepidation. Dental work, snorkel masks, MRIs, and the center seat on a United flight bring on this same feeling of being trapped. Only when the snow begins to disappear in the storm drain do the muscles in my neck begin to relax, and I actually look forward to precipitation in the form of regular old water.
However, if my five-year-old grandson were here, I would take back every negative thing I just said about that wonderful fluffiness that lovingly embraces the front lawn. If Colin were here, we would suit up and head outside. There would be snow down our necks, snow angels on the ground, and a quirky little snowman with twiggy arms standing guard when we came in from the cold. The smothering snow blanket would become a playground. Thank God for five-year-olds.
“You’re never too old to do goofy stuff.” ~Ward Cleaver, Leave it to Beaver