Monday, March 2, 2009

Welcome to Winter

Looks like my wish in a previous post (Dreaming of a Big White Blizzard) has been granted to some extent. At this point, I’m writing “Last Day of School” on a removable sticker for my calendar. It’s only our second snow day, so we’re not in the situation some other communities are in due to storm closures this year. Personally, with the change in job situations last year, adding days onto the school year doesn’t affect my schedule the way it used to.

But what does get me is the news today. The whining. The “I want winter to be over” people. The “I want to move to Florida” folks. Here’s a news flash – Florida in August isn’t a walk in the park either. It’s New England. It’s only the second day of March. Did you actually think winter was over? Did you really believe the weather we had Friday would continue, that we wouldn’t see another flake? Come on, people! If you’re really a New Englander, you know better than to put your snow shovels away before May 1st! Your snowblower stays front and center in the garage until the grass is green and six inches high. Hats and mittens don’t get put away until school lets out, when they’re replaced with swim suits and beach towels. And there is a small ice scraper that has permanent residence in my car’s glovebox (I’m also somewhat disorganized and lazy, so leaving it there beats trying to find it after the first hard frost in October).

I’m not a fan of driving in this weather. I’m not a fan of the bitter cold. But I do have a strong fascination with nor’easters. I enjoy the way the snow swirls around the yard, making drifts in the strangest places. We fill the birdfeeders outside the kitchen window and watch them gather. We examine new tracks in the snow and try to determine what animals are tromping through the yard under cover of darkness. We stay inside and snuggle and make waffles and bake cookies and play board games, and then the kids go outside to horse around for a while with half the neighborhood, returning to the warmth of the kitchen for cookies and cocoa, noses running and faces pink from the cold. These are the small things they will remember when their own kids have snow days, just as I remember such moments from my childhood.

Besides, being a true New Englander, I’m all set – I hit the grocery store yesterday for milk, bread, and eggs.

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