Tag Archives: snow

Snow Reminders

In southwestern Ohio, December has been pretty mild so far.  But, as they say, all good things must come to an end and it appears that winter is starting to make its presence known.  Today started dreary and cool  Early evening has brought lower temperatures and the snow began falling and no doubt has brought life as we know it to an end.  

I am reminded of several things that we should know but somehow we forget annually between the thaw of spring and the first snow.  I have a theory that for many people there is a part of the brain that hibernates or perhaps freezes during the winter so that any knowledge that is gained during the winter months is lost when the brain thaws or awakes from hibernation in the spring.  Whatever the case, here are a few things that the vast majority of people somehow manage to forget and therefore must be reminded of each year when snow comes.

First, 83% of adults forget that bridges freeze before roadways.  Even though a sign attesting to this fact is posted on the majority of the bridges north of the equator year round,  we need news anchors, meteorologists and traffic reporters to remind us with excited amazement one might expect of an announcement for a cure for heart disease that we need to be careful on bridges and overpasses because they freeze first!

Second, 87% of people are unable to recall what a snow plow is used for or what a salt dome looks like.  The first snow is an occasion which requires every field reporter to show up with a cameraman at the salt dome to show us a live picture of snow plows being loaded with salt to head out to treat the roads.  These same people need to be reminded that salt is, in fact, used to melt ice on the roads.

Third, despite the reminders that the roads can be hazardous when it snows, 97% of drivers have completely forgotten how to drive when it snows.  The concepts of “slow-down” and “assured clear distance” are comprehended by the masses to the same degree that classical Greek is understood.

Lastly, 99% of the people,  having zero recollection of one or more of the items above feel some sort of unexplained compulsion to get in their cars and drive to the grocery store to purchase sufficient quantities of milk, bread and eggs to make enough French Toast to feed everyone in China.  These people refuse to accept that deliveries will be made to stores when there is an inch of snow on the ground.

Perhaps you should print this out and put it is a safe place where you can pull it out next year and we can all get off to a smoother start the first time it snows.

© 2019 LeonardsLines.com

Recalling the Wonder of Snow

It is not quite mid-November yet and here in Southwestern Ohio we have had out first measurable snow of the season.  I realize that I do not live in Alaska or Minnesota or Buffalo or Chicago where snow is on the ground and will stay on the ground for months.  However, the 3.2 inches recorded at the Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky Airport is a new record here for this date.   So, of course, people are in a panic.  Many have run to the grocery to buy milk, bread and eggs certain that they will not be able to get outside of the house for several weeks (apparently there is an undeniable urge to eat french toast when in snows). 

I understand that accumulating snow does complicate things, that we should drive a bit slower and walk more carefully.  I realize that cold is a real hazard to one’s well-being.  Yet, I would encourage you, for at least a moment, to reflect back to when you were a child.  Remember how excited you were when it snowed?  To look out the window at night and see the snow falling gently and slowly transforming the brown, lifeless ground into a winter wonderland.  To get up in the morning and see a bright and glistening world just beckoning you to come out and play.  

if you were really lucky there was enough snow so that school was canceled which meant the entire day lay ahead for sledding, for snow ball fights, for building snow forts, for making snow angels, for building snowmen.  The activities and the fun were only limited by the imagination.  Then when you got so cold you couldn’t stand it anymore you would come in for hot chocolate, hot soup and grilled cheese sandwiches.  Then once warmed up, head back out again.

Many people hate shoveling the driveway.  To be honest, I do not mind (OK, to an extent I do not mind, there can be too much of a good thing).  These days I do not have the time or the energy to play in the snow, so I as I shovel the drive I look at the beauty of the snow and remember when snow, instead of something that was dreaded, was something that was looked forward to with much anticipation.

Snowmaggedon or Snow Paradise?

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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.”