Forget the ice, gimme some snow

Brian Golden

Well, it certainly didn’t feel or look like December 1 when I got up and about this morning. In fact, I can’t quite remember any December in recent years that kicked off with temperatures this high and, remarkably, a flood warning in effect. And no, for those of you who know me I’m not going to go into some global warming/climate change spiel (although I think you know my position on the subject).

Instead, I wanted to rant a little bit about the fact that, lately, we haven’t really seemed to have a chance to enjoy a good, old-fashioned snow-filled holiday season.

All I seem to remember of the last two winters, as it pertains to the weather, was the ice. Lots and lots of it. Some of this can be attributed to the constant complaining I’ve overheard from local snowmobile enthusiasts on the horrible conditions or, to put it simply, the lack of snow. Whatever happened to those typical Chenango County winters where we would find ourselves buried neck-deep (or at least waist-high) in the fluffy white stuff?

One of my favorite nearly-buried-alive snow stories goes back to the days when my father had recently married my step-mother – which in turn provided me with a pair of older step-brothers and a step-sister, a novel concept for an only child like myself – and a return trip home that ended with a big surprise, especially for a six-year-old to whom three or four feet of snow seemed truly mountainous. When we pulled up to the driveway on Pratt Road, we discovered our valley home had been bombarded by snowfall, completely blocking our entrance, knocking out the power and the clearing of which proved to be quite hard on the old man and my elder siblings.

No, it seems we simply don’t get that kind of snowfall these days, blame it on what you will. I vividly remember the snow storms of the late 1990’s and, let me tell you, if you weren’t around for those you don’t know what you missed out on. Just absolutely massive amounts of snow in that short a time span is impressive, awe-inspiring and way too much fun to play around in. And that’s what I miss the most about our lack of snow in recent years – the sledding, snowball fights, the building of snow forts (for you kids out there, a patient parent with access to a snow blower can make for a very large snow fort) and, of course, the beloved snow day.

Now I realize we’ve had our share of those blessed, free-from-school events in the past couple of years, yet they’ve been due primarily to ice, and not snow. And that’s just no fun at all. Half of the fun on a snow day was, well, playing in the snow. Try attempting that on ice and you end up with a broken collarbone, or worse. Trust me, I know from experience.

So I suppose I was happy, and a little relieved, when I returned to work from lunch today (it was that lovely mix of sleet, ice and freezing rain no less) and checked up on the weather for the rest of the week. I understand that we’ve yet to perfect weather prediction, but gladly, the forecast is calling for snow. Not ice, just snow.