Why Snow and I are Frienemies

I’ve mentioned before that snow falling can be magical and an automatic mood lifter.

My opinion of snow that has accumulated on the ground, however, has changed dramatically over the years.

I remember waking up when I was younger and looking out the window to see blankets of white covering the streets outside my bedroom windows. Cars half-buried, rooftops sparkling, trees looking like they were paintings.  The process of bundling up was the annoying part.  My brother and I would be itching to get outside to play, but first we had to put on layers and layers of clothes. Bulky snowsuits and annoying hats and earmuffs.  Big heavy boots over two or three pairs of socks.  By the time we were ready to go out, we were sweltering and could barely bend our arms or legs.

Our house sat on the corner of a main street and a dead-end.  Somewhere along the way, the dead-end came to be called The Court.  It sloped steeply down from the main street to a fence at the bottom – perfect for sledding.  Especially since the Court seemed to be the last street in the city to be plowed or shoveled in any way.

If the Court had already been plowed, we would often play in the front yard. Throwing snowballs, making snow angels (that usually ended up looking more like snow monsters…I never did master the art of the snow angel), or just trying to run as fast as you could in knee-deep snow, always ending up flat on your face laughing hysterically.  Once I had my little brother stand in an empty barrel and packed him in with snow so that only his head was showing.  We always found some way to amuse ourselves.

Once, it had snowed so much that we couldn’t even see the fence in the backyard.  We walked out the back stairs and the snow was packed so tight, we could walk on top of it, making us almost as tall as the one-story house behind ours.  Occasionally we’d find a soft spot and a leg would disappear for a moment.  We were digging and building a snowman or snow fort of some sort in the backyard when suddenly I felt something hard beneath me. I called my brother over and we began digging furiously.  What we found was big, flat, shiny and black.  After a moment, it clicked.

“DADDY!!!”

My father poked his head over the railing and looked down at us.

“What?”

“Look what we found!!”

“What is it?”

“I think it’s your car!!”

Sure enough, it had snowed so much that we had been walking and playing on top of my father’s car the entire time and didn’t even realize it.  This was more snow than our little minds ever could have imagined possible.

We would eventually get cold or tired and come inside for some hot cocoa and tell our parents all about our adventures.

Now that I’m older, I would be lying if I said I didn’t occasionally get the urge to dive into a huge pile of snow when I walk by.  In fact, last year when my office went on a ski trip, it was quite exciting to have the ability to do just that.

However, in New York, the accumulated snow is actually kind of annoying.  The snow piles that are as tall as I am have a thin layer of grey from the pollution or the traffic or some other disgusting thing.   Black slush can be found on every corner, patches of yellow can be found in any snow bank.

Suddenly the urge to play in the snow has disappeared.

Now the piles of snow are in the way, leaving only small pathways.  People in New York have a hard enough time maneuvering sidewalks without getting in everybody’s way, now with spaces barely two people wide to pass through, frustrations abound.  Luckily I have awesome new rain boots, so I can scoot pass the slow-pokes who are walking tentatively, afraid of slipping on the over-abundant rock-salt.

So as not to give snow a bad name, I shall leave you with a snow story from my childhood.

I’m about 10 years old, my cousin is 14.  We’re with her brothers, 9 and 12, and we’re about to go tubing.  The hill in the park we chose is dotted with kids who had the same idea we had.  We watch her brothers go down a few times, laughing at their wipe outs, applauding them for good moves.

So we decided to give it a go.  Seconds after we let ourselves go at the top of the hill, we realized we were going way too fast for our own good. We were screaming at the top of our lungs and clawing at the snow in a panic, trying everything we could to slow down.  The boys had been halfway down the hill and saw [or heard] our panic and each jumped in front of us to try to slow our tube down.  We knocked them over like bowling pins and continued to gain speed down the mountain.  Ahead of us, just before the fence of the baseball field, I saw a small mound fast approaching.  I was relieved, assuming the hill would slow us down.

My relief was short-lived.

The speed we were going and the size of the hill did not slow us down, but instead propelled us into the air, only to be stopped by smashing directly into the fence.

I walked away with a sore wrist, a mild fear of sledding and tubing, a hilarious vision of my cousins flying through the air as we plowed right over them and a great family story to tell.

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~ by Valerie Anne on 12/31/2010.

2 Responses to “Why Snow and I are Frienemies”

  1. Ok I love reading about snow because I love snow. But right now I also hate reading about snow because it rubs in my face the fact that I don’t have any here. So I guess this blog post and I are frienemies.

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