I still get excited when I see a news report showing snow in the forecast. It goes back to my school days, of course, looking forward to a day away from classes, outside playing in the snow, drying out by the fire in the basement and drinking hot chocolate.
That excitement is quickly replaced by dread as I think about the roads and driving to work and friends and family trying to get places in spite of the icy conditions. It also means shoveling the driveway and clearing the front steps. Snow on the ground doesn’t absolve me of going to work, either. That’s the downside of being an adult, I guess.
On the upside, I still have a fire in the fireplace and hot chocolate has been replaced by cappuccino from the one-cup coffeemaker.
Weather forecasting has improved dramatically since I was a kid, too. In some ways that’s good. Thirty seven years ago this month, then-Governor Jay Rockefeller warned the state about an impending snow storm that never materialized. He has never lived it down. That would most likely never happen today. Better weather knowledge also allows the state road people to treat highways and make it easier and safer for people to get to work.
In other ways, those improved forecasts give some of us too much time to worry about. I got the notice of a Winter Weather Advisory on my phone on Wednesday night before last week’s Thursday evening/Friday morning snow. I had been planning to go to the store on Thursday morning anyway. As soon as I saw that advisory, I knew I needed to go early to avoid the crowds.
Not long ago, a friend of mine observed that snow storms must make people crave French toast since everyone runs out for milk, eggs and bread. (Yes, I did get milk at the store, because we were out, but I skipped the bread and eggs.) I refer to this as the “French toast panic attack” where store shelves are stripped bare of those basics at the simplest mention of snow.
This winter has already brought some tremendous storms, although West Virginia seems to have been spared the worst of it. We’ve had cold and snow, but we haven’t had the blizzard-like conditions that the Midwest and the Northeast have endured.
If you’re fortunate enough to be able to stay home during the next snow, take a break from scraping the driveway and go sledding. Make some French toast or whatever it is you do with all those eggs, milk and bread. Enjoy the natural beauty of the state and remember what it’s like to be a kid.
That’s something we forget all too soon..