Becca Anderson blathers about...stuff. Or something.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Let It Snow...?

Here I am, on the eve of the first snow of this winter, and...meh. I don't care. I won't have to leave my house until late morning/early afternoon tomorrow, and the snow will probably be melted by then. If it amounts to anything at all, which seems unlikely.

Man, remember being a kid, and actually getting excited about snow? I grew up in Los Alamos, New Mexico, in the mountains, and we got some serious snow. I remember one year, I must have been 5 or 6, and it snowed something like 5 feet in one storm.

[Note: for years I have been telling this story with "5 feet of snow," but it occurs to me that as I was a tiny child prone to exaggeration, I may have made that figure up. Let's go with it.]

So it snowed 5 feet in one storm. After it stopped, my brother and I were out in the backyard playing Smurfs (how...?) while my mom shoveled the snow off the roof of our aluminum porch awning so it wouldn't collapse. Man, good times.

There were also some great sledding hills. Pretty much any hill would have enough snow on it to sled, which is awesome. At this one park, that starts with a B (Bennett? Baker? No, Baker is in Frederick, MD. I don't know), there was a pretty big hill that went down, then evened out, and then went down some more, and it was ok. Very family-friendly and crowded. But right down the street at Mountain Elementary School, there was the granddaddy of all sledding hills.

In non-snow months, the hill behind Mountain was steep and rocky and really freaking dangerous. But drop a couple of feet of snow on that baby and it was a steep sledding dream. Less crowded, too, probably because it was more dangerous. Of course we went there with my mom and her boyfriend Jim and some family friends and a big pile of kids, inntertubes, toboggans, sleds, trays...

The hike to the top of the hill took for-EVER, and was accompanied by much whining, of course. Once at the top of the hill, Mom got the big black innertube situated, and sat down with me and my friend Lori Stein in front of her, and we all held on tight...WHOOSH!

A little push from someone nearby sent us FLYING down the hill, until someone fell off or we got to the bottom -- whichever got us off course first. It was like a rollercoaster, y'all. When the terror subsided and the wayward boots and mittens were gathered and put back on, we caught our breath and trudged back up to do it again.

Sledding, snow angels, the ever-present quest to build an igloo (the warm-weather counterpart quest was, of course, digging a hole to China), snowball fights, and the requisite post-play hot chocolate were the most exciting parts of the year. Oh, and snow days! We always learned about our school closings via radio...did they have them on TV in the 80s?

Now I would just as soon skip straight to the hot chocolate portion of the festivities. Ooh, or the beer. There's nothing better during a snowstorm than a bar with a fireplace, some friends, and some cheap beer. Cozy in a whole different way than the couch, TV, and hot chocolate, which also has its merits.

Snow is just less fun as a grownup. There are no snow days. We either have to walk and take the el, or drive around in the muck. We have to shovel the walk (or the porch awning -- thanks, Mom!). It's cold and damp and windy and gross. There are no moon boots, or any boots that are both cute and very warm. There are no snowsuits. It is more difficult to get baggies on your feet for additional protection from the wet. Hard times. And now I'm grouchy about what a grouch I've become.

Maybe making a snow angel would help me feel better.


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