Haaa! HooHaaa! YaaYaaYaa!.Just bringing in the wood
It snowed last night! At my house in country, it was about 1 to 2 inches. Naturally, traffic came to a stop, businesses were shut down, schools were closed, and there was panic in the streets.
Personally, I do the dance of joy when we have a snow day, not just because I’m a teacher. I’m also sick of the bias against snow on TV: “Well, it’s been nice and warm recently, but I’m afraid old man winter is coming,” and the other news folks get all sad-faced and shake their heads, and we’re left with one clear lesson: heat-good, snow-bad. I’m sick of it, I tell you! Snow is beautiful! Snow is our friend! It’s winter! Let it snow, let it snow, let it freakin’ snow!
(I understand the ice thing. It’s not that fun to wake up with a pine tree in your bed. It’s costly to repair the roof, the bedroom, and your body – although, if you live through it, you’ll always have that lovely, fresh pine scent about you – so, nobody wants ice.)
But, when forecasters predict snow, I’m as excited as the kids. I get out boots, scarves, cocoa, marshmallows and sled. I take the wagon to the back yard, find a 10-foot stick, and beat on the woodpile while screaming “Haaa…hoohaaa…yaaayaaa!” really loud (so any snowed-in snakes under there will die from laughing) before I lift the tarp. Then, I fill my wagon with logs to replenish my cozy fire, and settle in to watch the entire last season of “Downton Abbey”.
Then, usually, it doesn’t snow. I don’t mean it doesn’t snow much, I mean it doesn’t snow at all. Not a flake. Sure, we’ve had decent snowfalls around here, and I appreciate the effort, but they normally come when forecasters haven’t said a word about snow. Therefore, with all due respect (translation: I have no respect for you whatsoever) the least weathermen could do is to sprinkle their predictions with the words: maybe, might, could, perhaps and who friggin’ knows!
However, this time they were right -- woohoo! And, evidently, the first HINT of bad weather induces an overwhelming compulsion in a Southerner to stockpile bread, milk, batteries, butter and beer, leaving them no choice but to leap into their cars and race for the nearest bridge, where they slam on the brakes and sail sideways right into the sign that says “Bridge Ices Before Road”.
On TV today, instead of regularly scheduled programs, we see grim-faced weather reporters, who are all-serious-business as they do “Live Coverage of the Major Winter Weather Event All Day Long, On and On, Ad Infinitum,” and which will contain absolutely nothing new after 9 a.m. Interspersed with these serious “updates” – and it is hard to come up with “updates” that say exactly the same thing in different words – you’ll see the “fun” reporters, who are actually out in the snow, telling everyone else to “STAY INSIDE OR YOU WILL FACE CERTAIN DEATH!” while they gaily throw snowballs at each other.
(This morning, there was one reporter-ette who was out in the snow in her tennis shoes. Giggling into the camera she said, “Oh, my cameraman, Steve, is teasing me about not wearing my boots out here instead of sneakers, but I just trust my sneakers in any weather, ha ha – aaahhh!” and she disappeared from view...presumably to the ground ... betrayed by her trusty sneakers. I’m telling you, snow coverage can be hilarious!)
Then, besides the dire warnings about driving in the snow and ice, I actually heard one reporter advise us to beware of even walking in the snow, and I was truly stunned. I mean, are we ordinary folks actually so brain dead that we can’t even be trusted to WALK in the snow without killing ourselves?
Because, when I was growing up in Ohio and it snowed – and our snow was measured in FEET from October to March – our parents used to wrap the five of us up like Eskimos until only our eyes were showing, and then throw us out the door with a saucer, a sled and orders to have fun, which we proceeded to do until almost dinnertime.
We lived on an oval street around a grass park. When Dad got home from work, he and a couple other fathers would get out the big toboggan, tie it to the back of the car, put about eight kids on it, and pull us around the circle for hours. If you were really lucky, you got to be on the saucer tied to the end of the toboggan, and every time we got to each end of the oval, the car would turn, the toboggan would turn, and your saucer would whip around that curve like a shot, slamming right into the Mr. Mantoe’s mailbox ... (sigh) … good times.
Vicki Wentz is a local writer, teacher and speaker. Readers may contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by visiting her website at www.vickiwentz.com.