It seems that many of us are caught in the relentless grip of Old Man Winter. Those in New England have suffered winter storm upon winter storm dumping snow upon more snow. In Ohio, February has brought record cold followed by snow followed by record cold followed by more snow followed by record cold. We find hope and encouragement noting that the official start of spring is less than a month away, surely it will start to warm up soon!. Yes the snow and cold is a pain, yes it makes travel treacherous, and yes it can make downright dangerous.
However, I want to ask you to pause for just a few moments in your lament of winter. Pause and remember how you once thought of snow. Think about what a few inches of snow meant to you before you had to worry about the commute to work, before you had to make trips to the grocery, before there were deadlines to deal with and bills to pay.
If you are like me, perhaps you can remember when snow brought excitement to the seemingly endless dreariness of winter. There was a time when I looked out the window early in the morning with anticipation, wishing and hoping to see the ground covered with snow and the more snow the better. There was a time when snow, instead of meaning closures, meant the opening of a whole realm of possibilities. Snow meant fun not worry.
I lived on a residential street that had a little bit of a hill and not a lot of traffic. I still recall those rare and wonderful occasions when the fates allowed the confluence of several inches of snow, the cancellation of school and a window of several hours of daylight before a snow plow was seen. That meant walking up to the top of the hill, riding the sled as far as you could down the street then repeating the process again and again and again. Inevitably the snow plow would find our street and that part of the fun would be done. So, we would move on to making snow men, building snow forts and having epic snow ball battles. We would stay out as long as we could stand it then go inside to warm up for a bit, have some hot chocolate and then bundle up and head outside again.
A child is disappointed to look outside in the morning and see snow, a child is only disappointed that it did not snow enough. As we grow up our attitude changes about many things and it should. As adults we are responsible for things and we have places to go and people to see and the arrival of snow makes those things more difficult. But next time you are ready to grumble and mumble about the snow just pause and remember there was a time when you found snow exciting and wonderful. Better yet, the next time it snows overnight find a small child and look at his face when he looks out and sees the snow.
Before long spring will be here, the snow will be gone and there will be flowers to plant, mulch to spread and grass to cut. The days will be longer and warmer and there will be lots of fun things to do outside again. But, for now, try to enjoy the snow that bring the glimmer of noonday to the dark days and winter. But don’t fret when the snow is all gone for as Frosty reminded us he will “be back again some day.”
I grew up in the Huffer-Durden Addition of Lancaster, OH, and, as was the case with many new neighborhoods of the post-WWII Baby Boom, it was a child’s paradise – very similar to living in a metaphorical Mayberry.
We had a couple of hills in our development, and the City actually blocked off the hills so that the children could enjoy an afternoon of sledding without fear of cars.
Most of my youth I lived in places where there were hills to climb and slide down without the interference of a snow plow. They also used grit on roads, not salt. I’m not too sure it wasn’t a way better time than we see now. I wonder what all this salt is doing to our ground water. Ah me getting old has its downside. Thanks for the memory Leonard.
Another good one!