Snow, Glorious Snow: Why I'm a Fan of the Flakes
The snow is here! The snow is here!
Shut the schools! Storm the Giant! Gather the firewood!
And I mean it. I'm not being facetious, sarcastic or tongue-in-cheek. I'm glad the snow is finally here and I'm ready to embrace it in all its snowiness. Our winter so far has been a perversion, a twist on Narnia. In that mythical land it was always winter but never Christmas. Here's it's been perpetual winter without winter's one saving grace: snow.
This isn't the exact snowfall I wanted, but it'll do for now. What I wanted was a blizzard, 12 inches or more, enough to paralyze the city and silence those critics who moan whenever a school system decides not to open in the face of a few flakes.
Montgomery County is supposedly the worst offender, a victim of its varied geography -- from urban Silver Spring in the east to rural Boyds in the west. MoCo can't shut half the schools, given that students are bused every which way. (Thank the magnet schools for that.)
I see the logic. I took my daughter to a party out in Damascus a few weeks ago. That was a grim enough drive in the dry daylight -- twisting and turning along a riverbed, up and down a hill -- that I shudder to think what it's like today. I suppose those kids could just stay home, though their absences would be unexcused. (My prediction: All the school systems that opened on time today will close early, wishing they hadn't opened at all.)
I know that a lot of people are inconvenienced by snow, but today I happen not to be one of them. My kids -- if they ever get out of bed -- can take care of themselves. I don't need to arrange daycare. I have one appointment today, at noon. I'll leave early, drive carefully and hope I-270 is clear.
I'll revel in a landscape transformed: snow, nature's Wite-Out, obscuring temporarily the ugliness of our exurban sprawl. I'll walk the dog, delighting in his frolicking. (Black dogs seem to love the snow, appreciating the juxtaposition of colors.) I'll try to channel from my children that feeling I dimly remember from my own youth: a gift, a free day dropped quite literally from the heavens.
I'll start a fire and warm walrus blubber that I've scraped from a hide with my whalebone knife. (Um, actually, I won't do that.) I'll watch My Lovely Wife shovel the walk. (I will do that -- watch, I mean.)
We have so few things that jolt us from the mundane predictability of our days. A snowfall does that. Yes, it was predicted -- and the joy of a total surprise blizzard is pretty much lost to us -- but I'll take these four inches, tilting back my head and letting the flakes melt on my tongue. Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.
But what do you think?
January 27, 2009; 9:51 AM ET
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