Where We Live: Snow — not a big fan
I think the last time I was excited to see snow was when I was still in school and was hoping for a snow day. That was longer ago than I am willing to admit.
The first time I really realized I was no longer a fan of the white stuff was my junior year of college. I used to commute between Somerset and Morristown, New Jersey, for college. I had just taken my last final before the holiday break and I was heading home when a driving snow and ice storm hit.
The 30-mile, 40-minute ride took me a harrowing two and a half hours of white-knuckled crawling down Route 287, where I literally watched tractor-trailers bounce off overpass supports.
A few years later I thought I was in fat city when I drove my husband’s four-wheel drive Silverado to work while a snowstorm was threatening. It was so bad that we were sent home early from work. I remember sitting for three hours on a side street in South Bound Brook with snow melting off the hood of the truck.
I cranked the heat up and the radio, thanked the good lord that my gas station owning husband had topped off the tank and settled in for the wait when all of a sudden I heard a big POP!
I spent the remainder of the time watching a crack slowly creeping across the windshield and trying to figure out how to explain it. Turns out he already knew there was a tiny ding in the window that was just waiting for the day I used the truck to spring into action.
Over the years it got a little better. Being the boss meant I could stay home in bad weather most of the time when the kids had snow days.
But of course as your kids mature and start to drive, now you have to add worrying about their driving in the snow. And as our parents age, we started worrying about them and so on. It’s a vicious circle.
Moving to northeast Pennsylvania has been a real eye opener. I must be honest and say that the roads seemed better cared for when I first arrived 10 years ago.
Last year was a mind-blowing experience for a lot of people I know. I need both hands and my toes to count the number of people I know who were stranded on local roads during last winter’s brutal ice and snowstorms.
And with just one storm so far this year it seems that we might be looking at the same crazy issues as last year.
Don’t get me wrong, a white Christmas is nice if you’re staying home and everyone is accounted for, but for every family tucked up in front of the fire with a cup of cocoa, there is another family motoring over the rivers and through the woods to grandmother’s house with their SUV loaded with presents and children looking forward to Santa’s arrival.
On those nights I often find myself thinking of those families and saying an extra prayer in hopes of everyone making it safely to their destination.
I think I have gotten to the point where as much as I love Christmas and holiday traditions, I would rather postpone it all until spring.
And let us not forget the shoveling and the snowblowing and the plowing. The walking of dogs on snow-covered, icy driveways and roads just as the deer run across the road, causing unnecessary excitement and clamor.
Last January, after doing a very nice job with the snowblower, I paused to take a look about the drive, surveying my handiwork, took one step, lost my footing, ending up with a fracture of my right wrist.
I am not a skier, a skater or into cross-country skiing. I appreciate those who do and I envy their willingness to brave the elements, but give me the sun and the sand over the ice, snow and winds of winter any day.
And just so you know I am not a Grinch, I want to take a second to wish everyone a healthy, happy holiday season.