Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Snowed In

by Sariah S. Wilson

I like being snowed in.

It doesn't happen very often. Oh, we get school cancelled on a constant basis. My poor kids have so many snow days to make up at the end of the year because here in Ohio if we get even half an inch, school is cancelled or severely delayed.

This seems strange to me, despite how long I've lived here. I grew up in the desert of Southern California. I remember that it snowed once. It was like some sort of TV-special grade miracle. The snow fell, and there we were, standing outside in our shorts (because up until that day it hadn't really been that cold) as the snow drifted down and then it actually STUCK TO THE GROUND. Oh, there was such rejoicing in the Salisbury household. We had never seen such a thing before.

We put on our best approximation of winter clothing and ran outside to build snowmen and throw snowballs and do all those things you see in movies or read in books but have never done. We went sledding (since our subdivision had lots of hills), but we( obviously) didn't own a sled so we all appropriated our mom's cookie sheets as makeshift sleds (which I would do again a few years later at BYU with my friends by "borrowing" a food tray from my dorm's cafeteria so that we could sled. Taking a tray like that is not as easy as you would think).

The next day the snow was gone, and it was like it hadn't ever happened. It warmed up immediately, and it never snowed again for the rest of the time I lived there.

So you can imagine my shock my first winter at BYU. It was like, really cold and there was like, a lot of snow. And BYU didn't cancel classes for ANYTHING. A blizzard stirred up by the Snow Miser himself wouldn't get classes cancelled. I remember walking to school in snow that literally came up to my knees, and everyone acted like this was normal.

What I did love about Provo was their ability to actually clear their streets. We do not have that ability where I live in Ohio. The entire civil works department seems totally mystified by the white fluffiness that seems to flit down from the sky and makes the ground slippery. Our roads are atrocious, and it makes driving scary. Like Julie I was in a snow-related accident once (I was driving home from BYU and went through an area where it was snowing despite the fact that it was April and I lost control and slammed into a guard rail. I was in a lime green Pinto a year older than I was, and I couldn't get the car to start up again (and again I was in shorts as it had been nice and warm at school). There I was freezing, shivering, no cell phones back then (at least not for us poor people. Only cool kids like Zack Morris had cell phones that were the same size/weight as two soda cans strapped together) and I suddenly remembered that Pintos had a button in the engine for when you got in an accident because I heard they had a tendency to blow up when they hit things, so they had a cutoff mechanism that stopped them from doing that. First, I was happy that I hadn't blown up, and second, I was so glad that I remembered that because after I pushed the button and secured the battery with a length of rope, the car started up again. For some reason I haven't liked driving in the snow since then. Nor have I had any great affection for Pintos since then, either).

I thought of good old BYU today as we got all these frantic warnings here in Ohio that we were going to get SIX INCHES. That apparently means life as we know it will end. I waited in line at the grocery store last night for 45 minutes (with all lanes open) because preparing for the end of the world is in order with six inches coming! We also got the whole wintery mix, which means we got sleet/freezing rain. If there had been school today, it would have been cancelled for the next month just on principle alone. All the frenzied weather people got upset for nothing - we barely had any snow and it immediately rained, melting what little snow we got. Six inches did not come.

And I'm sad because I like the idea of being snowed in, of being tucked away nice and cozy with my family. Alas and alack, the roads are drivable (and does it endanger my immortal soul if I admit that a teeny part of me was hoping that church would get cancelled tomorrow on account of snow? I logically know it wouldn't ever happen because my ward seems to have the same policy on snow that BYU did. Snow emergencies have been declared here and we still had church, slipping and sliding on the road the whole way. Craziness). I think I would have liked the blizzard of 1977. That's how Nora Roberts/J.D. Robb (and if you haven't heard of her, she's the most famous romance author living today and routinely pulls in about $30 million A YEAR) got her start. She was stuck in her house with her two small boys and becoming totally stir-crazy, she locked herself in a room and started writing her first book (instructing the boys that unless it was on fire or bleeding profusely, they were not to interrupt).

Has anyone ever been snowed in before? Did you like it or hate it?


At 12/16/2007 1:08 AM, Anonymous marlene said...

Being raised in the mountains of Montana, then moving to Massachusetts, I've have lots of experiences being snowed in. Whether the experience is good or bad always depends on whether we are all safely at home or if I'm out shoveling the driveway so someone can get a car in it. I do love the feelings of serenity and the beauty of fresh snow--makes me think of the earth all cleaned and refreshed by nature.

At 12/16/2007 8:53 AM, Anonymous Proud Daughter of Eve said...

Admittedly, most of my memories of being snowed in are from the perspective of the child. There was a huge blizzard in '85 that killed power and canceled everything. The snow was hugely deep -- then again, I was also really short, so who knows -- we built a huge snowfort/tunnel in the snowbank on the side of the driveway, we all slept in the family room and Mom cooked on the wood stove. All in all, I thought it was awesome. Mom, who was either very pregnant or dealing with a less-than-a-year old baby plus taking care of my grandmother on top of everything else, may have a different opinion.

I do miss being snowed in, though. I understand that here in Toronto, there's no point closing every time they get 2 inches, but these crazies don't seem to stop for anything.

Well, almost anything. We've got the worst storm in ten years going on right now and I just got the call that church has been canceled.

Time for Hot Cocoa and a movie -- maybe I'll pop in "Testaments." "The Gods Must Be Crazy" is more traditional in my family but this is still Sunday. I should still do SOMEthing spiritual. :)

At 12/16/2007 11:29 AM, Blogger Karlene said...

I grew up in KY and well remember how little snow it took to shut down the entire town. In fact, during my senior year, school was closed for over two weeks because we had massive snow.

So imagine my surprise after moving to Utah and waking up to find 6 inches on the ground and school was still in session! Weird.

At 12/16/2007 11:30 AM, Blogger Karlene said...

And by "massive" I mean MUCH LESS than what we get here in UT on a typical snow day.

At 12/16/2007 3:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Our ward/ stake canceled church today for snow. Over two days we've had about 10 inches and a good layer of ice.

At 12/17/2007 10:24 AM, Blogger Evil HR Lady said...

Our ward was canceled yesterday. Ice storm and no power. When we got the phone call, I did feel slightly evil when I said, "Excellent."

For the record, my Sunday School lesson was already prepared.

At 12/17/2007 12:34 PM, Blogger Marsha Ward said...

I was snowed in last year in March with 24 inches of snow. In fact, the weekend included my birthday. Church was cancelled and I curled up and kept warm and had a good time all by myself. It was the best birthday ever.

At 12/20/2007 5:11 PM, Anonymous Ashlee said...

I know this has nothing to do with your post but I just wanted to let you know that I just read your book Desire of our hearts.. I loved it! Keep up the good work.. I am going to get your other book tonight! I can't wait to read it!


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