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(Don’t) Let it Snow

December 8, 2011

I’m a fan of found conversations and this morning I heard two guys talking about snow. It seems one of fellows enjoys snowmobiling and he’s upset at the lack of snow so far this season. His comment led me to think about snow. I don’t like snow and I don’t think I ever have.



When I was a child my parents would take me sledding, and while the rush of flying downhill was fun, the walk back up the hill wasn’t. It may have been at that point in my childhood where I first began to understand the concept of effort vs. reward. I fly down the hill at the speed of light, going airborne over bumps, snowdrifts exploding in my face, having the time of my life for thirty seconds and then, when I catch my breath at the bottom of the hill, I have to climb and crawl back up that same hill for five minutes to get my thirty seconds of fun again. Something wasn’t right; way too much work and far too little reward. I soon lost interest in sledding.

My second childhood experience with snow came on an early Sunday morning when I was sitting in the passenger seat of a turquoise ’64 Chevy Malibu. I was leaning against the passenger door talking to my dad as we were riding home from the delicatessen with good stuff to go along with mom’s scrambled eggs – fresh bagels and chocolate covered Long Johns – and when he took the left turn on to our street, the passenger door popped open and I went flying out of the car right into a huge snowbank. It wasn’t as bad as it sounds, and it wasn’t as bad as marching up a snowy hill just to slide down it again, but it wasn’t what I’d call a lot of fun.

As a teenager, my experiences with snow got worse because they involved removing snow. In other words: work. For some reason that I never really found out, other than I was suddenly old enough, shoveling the steps, the sidewalk and the garage apron became my responsibility. This was before snowblowers and for me, this was a nightmare. It wasn’t long until the snow rake followed. The snow rake was a solid piece of thin metal about 2 feet long and about a foot high and that blade was attached to a pole approximately 15 feet long. The long pole would allow the raker – me – to reach about two to three feet up the roof above the gutters and pull the snow down to the ground. It didn’t take very long until I grew to hate snow.

Here I am an adult and I might have less love of, or interest in, snow than I did when I was younger. Most of my interaction with snow nowadays involves trying to avoid it altogether and, failing that, trying as best as I can to walk carefully on, or around, the stuff.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. CELT permalink
    December 8, 2011 12:22 pm

    Michael I can truly agree with you on pretty much EVERYTHING you’ve said about snow considering I’ve spent virtually all my life (minus 1 adventurous year in California) living in Manitoba which, as you know, is equally as snowy as Minnesota BUT, having said that, those observations are from the perspective of an adult (or a child who was mature enough to see the drudgery and inconvenient side of snow and all it brings…

    I can still remember being a kid and all the fun stuff about snow…

    – Making snowmen when the snow was just that right shade of sticky and of course we can’t forget the great snowballs that same sticky snow allowed us to make which led to the inevitable snowball “fights” which were fun as long as those snowballs were made from the soft stuff and not hand selected chunks of ice like SOME kids (bullies?) used to think were “fun” (?!)

    – Snow forts! Two varieties. When you had a BIG dump of snow with drifts you could tunnel down into those drifts and hollow out a fine network that let to a central cozy chamber. Yes it COULD be dangerous so this was best done with groups of kids and it was never a good idea to ALL be in there at once (so SOMEONE would be outside in case of collapse to either dig us out or get help FAST!). OR there was the ever popular igloo style snow fort created when the upper crust of the snow was hard enough to cut out snow blocks and stack them in ever highter, ever slanting inward concentric circles, capping the top with one perfectly cut block. Chink the gaps with snow and you had a durable, wind defeating fort to enjoy.

    – Remember the wonder of looking up into the sky when those big wet flakes of snow fell from the sky with almost no wind to disturb their silent fall. Time stood still. You lifted your face to the heavens and maybe stuck out your tongue to catch a flake or two. The world was still and white. I used to call that kind of snow Christmas Eve snow because 9 times out of 10, we got that kind of snow on December 24 as we were going from relative’s houses to more relative’s houses, making the rounds. I loved to stare through the front windshield and up and beyond to see the snow endlessly coming down to meet the glass to be swept away by the wipers if it didn’t melt first as it hit the warmed from within glass barrier.

    – Snow angels. ‘Nuff said.

    – Playing marbles on top of hard packed snow in the school playground in which we poked little holes and tried to flick our marble into them.

    – Snowy backyards got tranformed by my Dad into skating rinks by clearing out a patch and flooding it with water and he used to also carve out toboggan runs for us and then coat them with ice so our sleds and tobaggans ran swift over the length of the yard (and it was a big one back then). Or if you were MORE adventurous, St. Vital Park had the big wooden City provided toboggan runs, suitably iced so they ran long and straight for what felt like MILES to us kids until they dumped us out on the frozen Red River where we faced a long hike back but somehow we didn’t care because we were still high on adrenaline, laughing, red-cheeked, and content, knowing that in a little while we’d go home to hot chocolate with little marshmallows.

    – Remember sitting inside, safe and warm, daydreaming while watching out the window those soft flakes of snow fall, hoping for a “snow day” but even if that didn’t happen, knowing that more of that white stuff meant more fun.

    I prefer to remember snow with my child’s eye as I fill up my birdfeeders, clear the snow off the driveway, and hope we won’t we snowed in when we absolutely, positively HAVE to “be out there”, as I dream of spring when all this damned snow will finally melt!


  2. December 8, 2011 2:34 pm

    I love snow.

    You know I had to do this…………


  3. Anonymous permalink
    December 9, 2011 11:25 am

    i remember in the PWA you were part of a snow job….
    Didn’t Playboy Bobby Hart get backstabbed by Al Snow?


  4. December 10, 2011 1:00 pm

    I like that it’s pretty…when I’m not out in it. Otherwise, I usually find myself resenting it. In Colorado though, we get snowed on and, typically, it’s melted off within 48 hours.


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