If that sounds like relief, bliss, accommodation, you’re mistaken. I like snow, but I also dread it in myriad ways. I think you know what I mean. Snow is pretty, all those crystalline scenes and twinkling tableaus. It facilitates novel outdoor activities — skiing, sledding, snowball fights, snow angels, murderous avalanches.
But it’s also drudgery: shoveling and scraping, slush and brown blech. I once, as a full-grown adult, slipped on my ass into a giant snow bluff. I was carrying groceries. And I’m still so goddam mad about it, I could punch a snowman.
It’s the last day of February and the planet chooses now to fart out four piddling inches of icy powder in our East Coast parts. It arrives all coy and cutesy after a stubbornly snow-free winter that I will blame on dystopian climate change. Better theories? Fire away.
You gotta walk in this crap. And drive in it. Both are treacherous outings. Somehow I lost my crummy winter boots — Frankenstein would’ve loved them — so taking the limping dog out for a walk in my sneakers felt like a high-wire act. I kept thinking: If I fall on my ass again, I’m cashing it all in. I’m just going to lie there and melt away with the snow.
But Cubby was digging it. He made so much yellow snow, it looked like neon graffiti sprayed across the endless white canvass. I think he wrote his name. (Another snowy pastime. Those were the days!)
The snow fell overnight. You go to sleep with black streets, gray sidewalks, bare trees, visible cars. And you wake up stuffed inside a marshmallow. Branches bowed with white, cars buried, streets streaked by road-ripping plows. It’s a winter wonderland. For about half a day.
Then, unless more layers fall, it’s ice and mush and puddles and mud. So we got lucky, spared the drippy drama of multiple winter snows. Right now the stuff is melting fast. Tinkles of water from rooftops drop like rain. The sidewalks are clearing for safe strolling.
People walk their dogs, wearing hats and muffs and gloves, sartorially overcompensating. It’s not that cold. But let them believe. Who knows when, or if, we’ll get blanketed in the white stuff again. Next month. Next year. Never.