romancing the snow

St. Patrick's Day Storm of 2014
St. Patrick’s Day Storm of 2014

I’ve had a thing for snow since I was a little kid. I was excited as an eleven-year old to move from California to Maine where I’d get to experience white Christmases, hot chocolate by the fire and days off from school. Except living in Maine, we rarely had “snow days.” Instead I made the trek through the field in front of my house to my friend Debbie’s house and then together we walked the remaining hundred feet or so to our high school. We rarely got rides (poor us) and at some point, I realized no one else was wearing snow pants BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT COOL when you’re a teenager so we often arrived with wet jeans and feet, but youth is immune to a certain level of discomfort.

Fast forward to adulthood, living in the MidAtlantic is frustrating for a snow lover. We’re caught in snowstorm purgatory; dramatic weather forecasts and wild variability often turn a six-to-nine inch snow prediction into an inch of slushiness. We’ve come to expect the letdown (and the accompanying mind boggling school delays) but it doesn’t make busted snow totals easier to accept.

The most recent storm to ravage the northeast is a prime example of how my heart got set up for disappointment. While my sister in New Hampshire was frolicking in two feet of snow, we got a dusting, nowhere near the two-to-four inches we expected.

I fully admit I’ve romanticized the idea of snow the same way I have vote-a-rama nights in the Senate when staff stay until the wee hours and members take stacked votes one after the other. That is to say, I don’t really want to go back to the Hill, I just miss the camaraderie. I don’t want to lose power, be evacuated from my home because of storm surge, or get stranded without eggs, bread and milk. I do want to have enough snow to legitimately shut down the city, but not lose electricity in the process, and have my friends with four wheel drive over for a roaring fire and delicious wine. I long for the bonding of snowmaggedon without the inconveniences my New England loved ones faced this week. I want the St. Patrick’s Day snow storm of last year, when we huddled over the fire pit, Guinness kept cold in a snow bank.

While the upper Atlantic regions dig out, I have my eyes glued to the snowflakes sprinkled over the Weather Channel’s Sunday forecast. If only this time, we are the ones who get ravaged.