I grew up in the mountains where winter meant school would be punctuated by snow vacations. We went to bed on some nights when snow was predicted almost as excited as on Christmas Eve. And when dawn broke on a frozen white world, we couldn’t wait to get outside, sledding and snowball fighting and snowman-building. One of my favorite things to do actually came a few days after when the snow had formed a thick crust on top. Since we usually got several inches at a time, it was fun to try to walk on top of the snow. We’d compete to see who could take the most steps before falling through. As I was quite light back in those days, I was pretty good at this game. That probably wouldn’t be the case now.
Of course, now I don’t actually live in a place where you’d expect a lot of snow. For snow to fall in Eastern North Carolina, the humidity must be just right, the temperature must fall to freezing during a front, the heat miser must make a deal with the cold miser and everyone in town must leave their freezer doors open at the same time. Well, it seems that way, anyway. If we’re lucky, we see half an inch of snow maybe once a year.
I miss those snow days. The last snow day I really remember was in 2000 when I lived in Hillsborough and was six months pregnant with my first child. My husband and I were literally snowed in for several days by two storms. The snow was so deep we didn’t have a prayer of getting out of our driveway, and I would not be kept inside, although my husband worried about me falling on an icy patch. To this day I’m so glad I didn’t stay inside. I’m glad I got out and enjoyed that snow, even though we had to eat macaroni and cheese for several days because we couldn’t get to the store and the power went out and we had to burn a lot of firewood to keep warm.
If it snows near you, get out in it. Let the snow insulate you from the rest of the world for a day or two. Enjoy the sensation of not having to be somewhere, of having more time. Make a snowball. Build a snowman. Get wet and cold and then go inside and peel your soaked jeans off and put new ones on. That’s one of the most wonderful sensations ever! Then make yourself a cup of hot chocolate and sit by a fire, if you have a fireplace. If not, try sitting close to the heat register of your furnace. Breathe.
There’s something about being cold that makes us appreciate the heat more.