Expectations of a snow day

Relishing a familiar reminder of my childhood

I have no great fondness for the cold. I don’t like when the air pricks my nose. I don’t like when my toes start to numb inside my shoes. I don’t like when my fingers turn bright red, even if they are tucked inside the folds of my pockets. Being from upstate New York, this aversion is ironic and a bit ill-placed, but still there. Now — there is one exception to this otherwise rock-hard philosophy: snow.

I have loved snow for as long as I can remember, whether it be flurries or even chaotic blizzards. As a child, snow meant a break from school, snowball fights with neighborhood kids and my mother’s “snow scones” — pastries she only made while snow was falling. It’s no wonder I grew to love that white weather so much; after all, I associated these good memories with the weather.

Nethertheless to say, this past winter was more than disappointing for me. In December, January and February, there were no great accumulations, only hints. An embarrassing amount of my free-time was directed to the weather application on my iPhone — tracking any snowflake icons until they inevitably vanished into a puddle.

“Just one snowfall,” I used to tell my classmates. “I just want one snowfall, then a lot of warm weather.”

Instead of that one snowfall, the weather skipped a beat and became uncharacteristically hot for the month of February — shout out to climate change! For about a week straight, I wore shorts and a t-shirt and sunbathed at Lambeth Field. At that point, I had given up hope that we would ever see snow.

Then, after spring break, students around Grounds started whispering about a big blizzard, an impending one that was set to hit the East Coast. My Monday night class professor sent emails, informing us to keep an ear out for school cancellations and to stay safe. In my stupor of irrational excitement, I stocked-up on hot chocolate and cookie dough — not scones, admittedly, but it was the best I could do on such short notice.

After my sloshy evening class, I perched myself by the window of my apartment and waited. All I saw were a few flurries, but I loved every second of the dusted winds. I tried to stay awake, since the actual snow was meant to come, give-or-take, at three in the morning, but that hope was short lived. At midnight, my head hit the pillow and images of snowball fights swam through my head.

Those snowball fights did not happen. We had a light dusting that melted within the first few hours of the sunrise. It was disappointing, sure, but part of me knew to expect it.

Sadly, it seems that snow days are a thing of the past, a thing of my childhood. While part of me is disappointed, I am also excited for a future beyond snow-day-detection. A future that I am so dedicated to and enthused by that I will dread the possibility of inclement weather. It is important to keep this in mind as we look forward — a disinterest in snow days, just maybe, is an indication that we’re doing what we love.

To me, snow will always be a familiar reminder of my childhood, regardless of if I experience it in-person; while this is a safety-line to a time of comfort, it is important to let go of expectations and live in the future.

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