Monday, December 14, 2015


by Barbara Early

Big weather news coming out of Buffalo, NY: It seems we have no snow. Haven’t had any measurable snowfall yet this year, and this is the latest ever, shattering a record held for over 100 years. And whether you blame El Niño or global warming, there’s no snow in the immediate forecast, either.

I have to admit, I’m not shedding any tears. It’s nice to be able to throw on a light jacket when leaving the house, and not having to clean off cars and shovel driveways. I’ve noticed a few of my local Facebook friends missing the snow. (Although some of them are teachers, and it might be that they are missing snow days.) And the skiers and snowmobilers are anxious for some of the white stuff. I guess it’s a point-of-view thing.

I think most kids who are brought up in Northern climes start with positive feelings about snow. I recall being in a classroom, when someone looked out the window and announced, “It’s snowing!” We all ran to peer out at the magical white flakes. When you’re a kid, snow is a wondrous thing. It’s like toys falling free from the sky: you can catch the falling flakes on your tongue, fall into in and make snow angels, compact it into balls, form snowmen, even sled on it.

Songwriters seem to echo this positive sentiment. They dream of a “White Christmas,” talk about walking in a “Winter Wonderland,” bring “Frosty the Snowman” to life, and even plan on washing their hair with “Snow.” Which never really seemed like such a fun idea to me. Only a few buck the trend, starting with “In the Bleak Midwinter” or one of my favorites, “Little Jack Frost, Get Lost.”

As a writer, one challenge of writing a snowy scene is not only describing the weather, but filtering that description through the point-of-view character. Do they love snow, hate it? Or maybe they’ve just had too much of it.

But maybe the key to surviving a long Northern winter is recapturing that childhood point of view. Rolling with the punches. Appreciating the weather cards we’re dealt. After all, I’m sure snow will come eventually. I’m going to do my best to face the season with less grumbling and more awe…inside while wearing warm slippers and sipping a steaming mug of hot chocolate.


  1. Fun post! I've never had a white Christmas. White Thanksgiving, yes, but my Christmases have always been spent in snow-free zones. I must admit that shoveling, salting, scraping, etc ice and snow gets old fast. But sitting by the window watching it snow outside is something I truly miss.

    1. Come and visit us some Christmas. We won't make you shovel the stuff, but you can drive our tractor. :D

  2. Snow is pretty - from a long distance. I get ferocious headaches when it snows. Plus I'm petrified to drive in it.

  3. Basically, I'm trapped in the house if it's snowing because I hate to drive in it so much. (First car was a Jeep CJ-5 with too much power. It was known to do donuts in the middle of a flat street while going less than 15 miles an hour, for no reason whatsoever... caused PTSD).
    We're a little lower than normal right now, but if it keeps snowing like it has been today and over the weekend, we're going to catch up fast.

  4. I love snow!

    But that's probably because we get a measurable amount only once every two or three years and it goes away quickly.

    Driving in what we get isn't usually bad. But we sometimes get horrible ice storms, and then everything shuts down till the ice is mostly gone. Sometimes that can take a week or more, and I don't like that.

    I couldn't imagine being snow and/or ice bound for months at a time.

    But that's why I live in Texas. :D

  5. I keep looking out the window at the fading green grass and thinking... A white Christmas? Bring it on!

    Well, until Friday when it snowed, and now there's a blanket of white. But it's only about an inch--an inch and a half max--and the temp is sitting at only a couple degrees below freezing, so I'm happy. :)

    I don't like driving on snow-covered paved roads, but as much as I complain about driving on the gravel roads in the other 3 seasons, I really appreciate the traction I get when the everyone else is slipping on paved roads.


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