Monday, February 13, 2006


Snow, As Seen at Different Ages

We got a boatload of snow this weekend (for my Canadian readers, that’s roughly a metric boatload), and I still haven’t bought a snowblower, so I had plenty of time to reflect on snow as I dug us out.

Snow, as seen at different ages:

Childhood: Cool! Snow forts! Snowmen! Snowball fights!

Teens: whatever.

Twenties: whatever.

Thirties: #*#(@*%&*@*$@)$@($*%

To add insult to injury, the snow fell Saturday-into-Sunday, meaning we don’t even get a snow day out of it.

We had planned to attend a baptism on Sunday (what The Boy called a ‘bathtism,’ which is actually a pretty good description, if you think about it), but had to cancel. We had planned to go to a major sports event on Saturday night, but had to cancel. So we had a very wound-up boy, a somewhat wound-up girl, a disappointed mom, and a disappointed and increasingly achy dad.


Times like these I regret having been born without the ski gene. The ski gene allows otherwise-normal people to actually celebrate snow, since it brings with it the opportunity to pay lots of money to go careening down mountains at high speeds, surrounded by other people doing the same. I don’t have that gene, and neither does The Wife. If there’s anything to natural selection, I assume that the ski gene will gradually die out, as its bearers do Sonny Bono’s into the next world. Until then, we just have to humor them.

(I’ve noticed that many of the same people afflicted with the ski gene also have the camping gene. These people pile astonishing amounts of Gore-Tex and Fleece into their SUV’s to get back to nature. Don’t ask me...)

The one winter sport I’ll admit enjoying is the luge. I’ve never actually tried it, but it looks insanely fun on tv. It’s the ultimate suburban dad sport: lie down, go fast, win medals. Sign me up! That German ‘sausage’ dude is secretly laughing at us.

Every year at this time I resolve to buy a snowblower. Maybe that’s for the forties...

So we move to SE Michigan (mild) from south central PA (blizzardy and tornadic) a few years ago, and all our MidAtlantic friends say, "Hyuck hyuck, Michigan, eh? You better pack yer snowshoes, huh?"

This season, there have been three weeks, total, containing days when I cannot wear my traditional Tevas to work. Hyuck indeed.

Just sayin'.

Snowblowers: We have two. Neither works, because they sit so long between uses. Just sayin'.

But from the more practiced perspective of my 40s, I will tell you what works better than any snowblower, any fancy curvy shovel, any other method whatsoever: Pay some dude with a truck to come when it snows. $30, $40, even $50 seems reasonable, laying in bed listening to him drive up at 4am, make a few whizz-bang-scrape noises, and drive off within five minutes.

Leave that stuff to the pros. Take it from me, a confirmed amateur. Worth every penny.
Oh, honey, you ain't kidding. That's what the pros are for! Somewhere as your life becomes more sedentary and you start plummeting into the 50's and beyond, that 'nice bit of exercise' converts into 'chest pain'. Count me out.
being ski gene minus myself i totally sympathize with your plight. i used to cry as a little kid when mom wrapped me up and "let me" go play in the snow. i dreaded the inevitable bitlet of snow that would work its way into my my snow suit and Freeze Me to Death. torture, the pure kind.

i hope you are surviving. i just moved out the west coast where it's only considered cold if you feel uncomfortable in flip-flops.

ironically, everyone here is ski plus and so on the weekends they all rush off to the mountains to, uh, be cold i guess. i don't get it.
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