Don’t let it snow, don’t let it snow, don’t let it snow

It just stopped snowing outside. It will probably start up again soon. In the past 24 hours, most of northern Illinois has become a winter wonderland… again.

Frankly, I’m tired of it; snow evokes a visceral reaction in me (as I’m sure it does in a number of people). It’s interesting, however, to remember that this wasn’t always how I felt when flurries tumbled from the sky.

Enter Woodstock High School, circa January 2002. It’s 6 a.m. when I’m rousted from my bed by my mother. I’m expecting her to tell me to take a shower and get ready for my early morning jazz band rehearsal. Instead, she bestows upon me the news, sweet with possibility, that a blizzard occurred overnight.

My attitude perks up and I almost forget that I’m awake at such a ghastly hour. Going downstairs, we turn on the radio in the family room and listen to the local station. School district after school district is listed as closed due to the snow. Since my town is not high on the alphabetical order, I wait impatiently through the Fs, Gs, Hs….Ms, Ns, Os…and finally, the Ts, Us, Vs. My hopes for the day hang on this announcement, my wishes either granted or dashed. At last, I hear Woodstock has called a snow day. I pump my fist, head back to my bed to start the day several hours later.

When I was attending public school, lots of snow was great because I had the whole day to relax, catch up on some reading, or go make frozen igloos with my friends. It was great how my world could be so affected by precipitation.

But now, only a few years later, my attitude towards the ground-bound fluff has drastically changed. I’ll wake up in the morning, see it’s snowing outside my window, and utter a word that can’t be printed in a family newspaper. Nothing changes around Lake Forest College when six to eight inches land, except the pathways to the buildings, which are unidentifiable. Granted, some professors cancel their classes because they can’t get to campus, but in four years I’ve never had that happen. Now, instead of presenting a joyful break from school, it represents an obstacle to plow through (pun intended).

On days when it’s blizzarding, such as today, I’ll put on several layers of clothes, a scarf and earmuffs, emerge from my dorm only to be smacked in the face by Old Man Winter. Typically, the school tries to find the paths and clear them quickly, but when snow is rapidly accumulating I have to trudge through piles of it to get to class. Not having a car, the walk to the train station in the morning is even more arduous.

I’ve taken some measures to make snow fun once again. One is thinking about participating in winter activities like sledding and snowman building. The key word here is “thinking,” because once I go outside and realize how cold it is, those ambitions are frozen solid. The notion that the extra energy I burn by simply keeping warm and moving around resulting in more cardiovascular exercise brings some consolation. But, when I get down to it, the only way I can really change my attitude about snow nowadays is to think ahead to the upcoming, warm spring months.

Then I won’t have to worry about snow anymore, only avoiding all those puddles.

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