Yes, I used a “frowny” in the title of this blog entry. I know most grown folks will tell you they’re loving this extremely mild winter in southeast Michigan. They’ll tell you all about how they don’t like driving in snow, don’t like shoveling snow, and if they don’t see another flake of snow from now until April, they’ll be happy as clams . . . oh, those happy clams.
Me? I’m not happy. I like snow. I like lots and lots of snow. I like to be impressed at the power of nature, and then I like to go outside and revel in it. I like sledding. I like using my snowblower (yes, I really do). I like how pretty snow looks. I like how it makes the world a little quieter. I like when the kids have snow days and build blanket forts in the basement. I like driving as if I’m the only person who knows how to drive when it snows, and then shouting and honking at other drivers for going too slow or driving in two lanes (even if, I can admit, you can’t really see the lanes to begin with). I like being outside, and then coming in and making hot cocoa. I like having roaring fires in my fireplace, and they are more fun to build when it’s 20 degrees outside and I have to trudge through a foot of snow to gather firewood. And finally, I like to dramatically talk about the snow as its falling, or after its falling, and I don’t care that it might be the same conversation I’ve had countless times throughout my 38 years on this planet. I say things like, “it was snowing so hard, I’m not kidding, I couldn’t see my neighbors house across the street.” And I say things like, “look on Facebook, I posted pictures of the snow on my deck that I took every hour. It’s hilarious, I basically measured the depth of the snow by the height of a beer bottle.” I’ll call my brother, who lives 15 minutes away from me, just to talk about the snow that’s falling, and my Dad never tires of hearing about how I’ve made a giant pile of snow in my front yard that I’ll make into an igloo for my kids.
It’s all about the kids, really. My kids are 8, 7, and 5. And if they’re forced to skip a winter and winter-fun because there’s no snow, they can’t get that back. It’s a shame. Last year I made a snow pile 6 feet tall, and then carved an awesome snow fort into it for them. This year, I had a bigger and better plan, and now …it …might …never …happen. Who knows . . . next year, my then 9-year-old might not be so impressed anymore by a snow fort. Or maybe my then 9- and 8-year-old will prefer to build their own snow fort with their friends, and I’ll be out of a job.
Short story long, it finally snowed on Friday and put about 3 or 4 inches of snow on the ground and my kids spent almost the entire day outside yesterday doing wintry stuff. Among the activities – sledding. And for the first time ever, I broke out this old wood and metal blade sled that I took from my Grandpa’s house when he passed. Until now, my kids didn’t want to use it. It looked old fashioned and boring (compared to the brigthly colored, modern-day plastic sleds). But I told them, “this is fast . . . dangerous, like, you could lose a finger if you’re not careful, or slice open your arm, but it’s fast and you’ll go farther.”
They don’t build ’em like they used to. Forget that it meets zero modern safety standards, that old beast of a sled cooks! I don’t know how well that rickety old thing will hold up now that it might get put into heavy rotation, but my kids can’t wait to take it on even bigger hills. I can’t wait to watch ’em sled (and take ’em to E.R.) and then run inside and drink cocoa.
Let it snow.