Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Oh, the Weather Outside is Frightful . . . Or Maybe Not

by Stephanie Black

For all the lyrical dreaming of a white Christmas, the sleigh bells, and Frosty the Snowman, I don’t feel the least bit deprived that I won’t have snow for Christmas. Snow makes for beautiful Clement Moore-esque imagery, but it’s a royal pain in the boots when you have to load up the family sleigh and actually go somewhere. I’ll bet Santa would retire to Hawaii if he could. Snow, like Black Friday shopping, is best experienced only in the imagination.

If I were a winter sports fan, I might feel mildly regretful about living in a place where the nearest snow is a long car ride away, but I’ve only been skiing once in my life and it was horrible. My innate athletic ability is nil, and strapping slick pieces of plastic to my feet and careening down a hill in search of trees to hit just didn’t appeal to me. But I did enjoy playing in the snow as a kid, making snowmen and having snowball fights and all that. It was especially delightful if school got canceled (which happened a lot more when we lived in Arkansas than it did when we lived in Utah. In Utah, if you can tunnel to school, school’s on).

Tubing was fun as a teenager. A youth snowmobiling trip to West Yellowstone was fun, at least until our snowmobile veered off the path and onto a steep hill and we rolled the snowmobile (no, I wasn’t driving at the time—I was the hapless passenger on the back. We didn’t get hurt, but boy was I nervous after that when my partner was driving.). Snow can be fun and certainly it's beautiful; I’m not Mr. Heat Miser. But I don’t miss driving in a snowstorm. When I was a teenager with a newly minted driver’s license, my first solo venture in the Blue Beast (a 1976 Gran Torino) was to an early morning orchestra rehearsal. While we waxed musical within, an April storm did its deeds without. When the rehearsal ended, there I was, a novice driver, faced with driving home in lots of snow. I drove home so slowly that the drivers behind me were probably chewing through their mittens in frustration.

I'm so out of practice with white Christmases that it seems perfectly normal to have the only snowflakes on the premises be those that my son cuts out of paper. Even when we lived in Boston, we didn’t usually get a white Christmas. Nothing much happened there with snow in December; we were a lot more likely to get snowstorms in March. No white Christmases for us in Ireland either; the most snow we saw there was an inch or two of accumulation when we were vacationing in Dublin over the holidays. Being used to the relatively mild winter weather, we hadn’t brought much in the way of cold weather gear along with us (for instance, one daughter just had a raincoat). We nearly got frostbite wandering around the Dublin Zoo and envying the meerkats huddled around a warming light.

And now, four years removed from snowball fights (okay, I did see a bit of snow in Yosemite and it's possible someone threw some of it at someone--but I'm not sure it counts in June) I have reached the nadir of winter wimpiness. If it’s forty degrees, it's freezing. Polar bears exposed to such a raw climate would run for cover. But we hope Santa will brave the weather here and pop down the chimney anyway.


At 12/06/2006 4:56 PM, Blogger Evil HR Lady said...


At 12/06/2006 8:09 PM, Blogger FHL said...

I don't know where you are, but I wish I was there instead of here.

Especially since the winter storm last week cost me my beloved little Ford Escort that I've been driving for the past 10 years. =(

Why DID I move here from Florida? The mind boggles. Mom tells me they're having 80 degree days and that they're shipping in 20 tons of snow so the kids can play in it. Ship 'em out here for a week!

At 12/06/2006 8:53 PM, Blogger Stephanie Black said...

I'm in California. Not quite as warm as Florida--I did stop my son from putting on shorts for school this week.

That stinks about your Ford Escort!


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