Still waiting to see if Mother Nature intends to dump her first significant snowfall on the Twin Cities area this evening. (To listen to the third rate news station in town, you might think that the sky is falling – no snow yet – but, dang, the sky is falling!)
When I was a kid, I loved snow. It was heavenly. The boys and I would play for hours in the frigid outdoors – creating snow forts that could withstand simultaneous attacks from rival neighborhood gangs, making plywood/snow/ice jumps that we would hurdle our nimble bodies down (one with our sled – who knew we were so Zen?), then retreating indoors to thaw for a bit while we enjoyed a hot bowl of tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich.
There is no sweeter memory than having your eyes tear up when confronted with a minus 50 degree wind chill – the water coating your lashes, then promptly freezing.
Really. No. Sweeter. Memory.
Then I grew up and the reality of adulthood seeped in… Snow is cold. Snow is messy. Snow is a bitch to deal with. Starting in junior high, the daily walk to school changed from “fun” to “a five mile walk uphill both ways through four feet of snow.” Exaggerating? Me? Prove it.
As I got older, I got softer. Clearly, there is a direct correlation to my becoming a “busser” in high school, content to lazily ride the bus to and fro school. A few years later – 3, to be exact, since I took the normal route through high school, thank-you-very-much – I found myself being both a busser AND a walker as I would walk to the bus stop, catch a #19 bus into downtown, walk a block or two, transfer to a #16 and find my way to the University of Minnesota’s West Bank. There, I would de-bus and trudge across the campus. (The evil-scheduler’s-that-be had a near perfect record of offering major coursework on alternating ends of the campus… One hour I’d be in a modern classroom on the West Bank, the next hour would find me in a musty, asbestos coated classroom in one of the original ‘halls’ on the East Bank. Then back to the West Bank again.
Winter at the U was brutal. The campus was dissected by the mighty Mississippi River and the wind would whip down her spine, rise up sharply and slap us in the face. Several times.
Memories of the winter months have been (mercifully) erased from my memory.
Maybe the brain cells just got frostbite and died off.
Either way, I graduated with a degree that never amounted to anything other than a tremendous debt that was repaid within a decade. (In hindsight, I should have taken time off until I realized what it was I really wanted to do when I grew up… Majoring in an area of study that mirrored that of my brother and best friend might not have been the smartest idea. I should have gone for the Arts, but I digress….)
Now that I’ve been a member of the working class for almost two decades, trudging back and forth to work via the same antiquated highway day in, day out, 17 miles each way (still up hill), I dread rain, sleet and snow.
Where’s this global warming everybody is whining about, anyways?