Thursday, December 2, 2010

Without warning, winter

OK, tell the truth, now—was I the only one who woke up yesterday, looked out the window, and muttered, "What the—?!"

That was really pretty unfair of nature, to throw that at us after the three-plus inches of rain we'd received in the previous 24 hours.

It's funny how we all react to the first snowfall to actually stick. I know that even as I bit back the rest of the phrase above, I felt a little thrill in my chest. Now, I had an adversary again. I had a reason to allow some extra minutes—for starting cars, or walking in mincing fashion on what might be slippery slopes, or driving among throngs of panicked people who'd been forced by circumstances to climb behind the wheel that day. I had to consider, beyond comfort, which shoes to choose that day.

There's a briskness about, not just in the air when it snows at first, but in the manner of folks around this area. Suddenly, we all grasp in very concrete fashion that we Western Pennsylvanians must unite once again to withstand this foe; we must embrace our shared spirit of survival. We need to start checking on people again, just as we did when it was 90 degrees, but for entirely different reasons. We need to find the gloves and mittens, extract the scarves and toboggans from their out-of-sight, out-of-mind locations. We need to keep more gas in the tank, and a blanket in the trunk.

Shovels and salt will be unearthed once more. Spare kerosene (or fire wood) and toilet paper will take up more space than they have of late. Bed times might move back a tad (they will at our house, anyway). The Crock Pot will make more frequent appearances, and I'll spend many minutes each day organizing piles of boots that drip icy, dirty water (hopefully into the proper repository, the boot tray).

Here we go again: Suit up and stand firm, friends.


Anonymous said...

I know I'm in the minority, but I love snow. And I don't even ski. I love waking up that first day and seeing either a delicate dusting of white (like this year) or a soft, but heavy, blanket covering everything. So I was quite excited the other day to see the dusting. I even like shoveling snow -- I like the physical, repetitive nature of it, like weeding a garden (another favorite activity of mine). I'm strange, I know. ;-)

- Shell

Mel said...

Shell, you are definitely in the minority in my world. I am not loving the snow. Any snow. I find myself saying more and more, Why do people live here? Why don't we all have a mass migration south for 6 months each year? Of course, I am not a fan of weeding, either--at least not for extended periods of time. Nor shoveling. About 5 minutes and the evidence of a visibly cleared path are quite sufficient for my feelings of accomplishment. Then? Done. ; )