As winter storm Thor pummels the Mid-west and the Northeast with snow and ice, Governor Christie once again declares a state of emergency, schools close, and New Jersey faces a shortage of road salt. Such is the business of winter, but for the young and the young-at-heart, snow is a cause for celebration. What kid doesn’t relish flying down a hill on a sled or building a snowman? What kid doesn’t wish for a snow day, or at the very least, a delayed school opening? What parent doesn’t take photographs of their children bundled up in winter gear? Who doesn’t appreciate a child’s gleeful reaction to the season’s first snowfall, or doesn’t wish to recapture their own delight in childhood winter days gone by?
I remember my mom stuffing my pudgy, little legs into my snowsuit and sending me out to play in the snow with my sister. We built snowmen, threw snowballs, and simply walked around, kicking up snow. There were times the snow fell into my boots as I trudged along in significant accumulation, and my mittens were sodden after rounding out the heads of snowmen. Mom called us inside to thaw our mittens on the dining room radiator and warm our frozen fingers with a cup of warm cocoa, which I drank while watching my Frosty the Snowman through the window to ensure he remained standing. Those were good days. Very good days.
My children had equally good winter days. They built countless snowmen, made snow angels, threw snowballs, and since boys will be boys, built snow forts and igloos they crawled inside. I, too, stuffed their legs into snowsuits, pulled them on Little Tike sleds, and showed them how to increase the size of a snowman’s stomach by rolling it in snow. They gave their snowmen stick arms, outfits of old hats and scarves, and enjoyed mugs of warm cocoa with little marshmallows when they were done. Those were the best days. The very best.
Nowadays, however, I’ve shoveled my driveway so many times, and inched my way across so many patches of ice, it is difficult to appreciate winter storm Thor or his predecessors. The “been there, done that” feeling I get from the 2014/2015 winter season suggests the perfect name for the next significant weather event: winter storm Deja vu. We’ve seen it all before: the meteorologists’ varied weather predictions; the run on milk and bread at the store; school closings; icy roads; shoveling; snow plows dumping snow in my cleared driveway; more snow; more snow; more snow.
Take heart! Spring is just around the corner, and as the song says, “the sun will come out tomorrow”. Until then, I’ll hibernate, drink cocoa, warm myself with memories of the good, old winter days gone by, and thank the good Lord I do not live in Boston.
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