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The Suburbanite
  • Gary Brown: Where, oh where has all the snow gone?

  • At the risk of sounding like an old fogy who believes nothing is as good as the old days, the snow seemed better when I was growing up.

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  • At the risk of sounding like an old fogy who believes nothing is as good as the old days, the snow seemed better when I was growing up.
    At least it seemed to snow more. Drifts were higher. Our steps sunk deeper. We shoveled more often. Snowball fights were more frequent. The daring — and almost all of us were in those days — rode sleds down hills many more afternoons after school. The artistic among us found more places we could make snow angels. And the engineers — my older brother was our foreman — were able to construct massive tunnel systems because snow drifts were above our heads, for heaven’s sake.
    Of course, curbs seemed higher then, too, I suppose.
    A COMPARISON
    I looked outside as I was writing this and saw pavement. And I got more than a glimpse of ground. Is it spring? Did we all miss something?
    I’m a skier, so perhaps I’m a little cranky about the general lack of snow — not just this winter, but last winter as well. Still, I go about life with a philosophy about the weather: If you’re going to live in an area of the country where they have seasons because you like the seasons, it helps if you have seasons.
    We’re in winter now in the North. I’m only mentioning it because it’s been difficult to tell.
    Oh, we had sort of a white Christmas. It was a mixture of snow and rain. So it also was a little bit of a clear Christmas, too, and nobody writes a song about that. You don’t have to shovel an icy drizzle. And few people paint a merely wet winter setting. It shines too much. What’s scenic about a salted driveway?
    Our driveway always was snow-filled in winter. We were shoveling all the time. A family full of school-aged snow throwers each had his own shovel. We didn’t have names on them but they were sort of designated. A guy knew which one to grab when the crew was called.
    I remember one time when Dad got us out of bed on a Saturday morning to shovel the car out of the garage so he could get going on an emergency trip to the hardware store. The snow had drifted above the door. Then we shoveled the drive. When he chugged down the road all we could see was exhaust fumes floating above the car-top high piles of snow that the plow had piled on both sides of the road.
    OLD DAYS
    I know it sounds as though I’m exaggerating but I’m not. I can remember walking on the head-high drifts of snow in our backyard, a thick layer of snow that was crusted over so I didn’t sink in. Admittedly, my head was lower in those days and my weight was lighter.
    Page 2 of 2 - Also, I lived in western New York at the time, tucked between lakes Erie and Ontario, just north of a whole row of the Finger Lakes. It wasn’t so much a snow belt as it was a snow blanket.
    Still, I’ve called my sister and brother in the years I’ve lived in Ohio and they don’t sound stranded. Neither of them yells, “Send soup!” into the phone.
    Besides, I’ve seen old photographs of where I live now. There was snow. A lot of it. I just looked outside. I suppose I could go outside and play. But I’d have to make a mudman.
    I know, I know, snow is coming. It’s always on its way. So before you say it, let me write it.
    Be careful what you wish for because you might get it.