A Love-Hate Relationship with Snow


Every warm climate-originating expat that I’ve ever known recounts their first snow experience with much excitement (usually involves dashing outside to make snowmen or snow angels.) Everyone, except yours truly. I was in bed, sick as a dog in my freshman dorm room. Looking out the window to see the landscape washed in an icy white only made my teeth chatter all the more as I pulled blankets over my head. Fast forward to post-college days, I’d loathe the mornings after a night of heavy snowfall, shoveling knee or waist high snow out of the way and chipping layers of ice off my car windscreen.

Over the weekend, I was reminded of that first white landscape when Maryland had its first proper snow fall this winter. But for the first time since moving to the states, I actually appreciated the beauty of snow. Once enough of the stuff had gathered on the ground, they twinkled brightly in the daylight. Wind gusts that came breezing through lifted the snow crystals, and they twirled merrily over the ground’s surface. (The Inuits call this type of snow “pukak.”) While it’s not the right kind to build snowmen, it’s perfect for a spot of sledding fun, which is exactly what many of the neighbourhood kids did. My cat Schubert seemed to enjoy the snow too. Those are his little paw prints that he left while sniffing about in the backyard. (Everyone say it together: 1, 2,3…D’awwww…)

His prints are now gone, splattered away by rain. Warmer temps of 10 – 20 C (50 – 70 F) are presiding over the region at the moment, much to the bemusement of everyone. While I enjoyed the short spell of prettiness, there’ve been too many close shaves with neck breaking during the winters to convert me into a fan. Like Carl Reiner once said: “A lot of people like snow. I find it to be an unnecessary freezing of water.”

Hopefully there won’t be any more. Spring, get here soon!

Update, Feb 1, 2013: The cold is back! Rats!

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