When I tell people that I’m from Buffalo, NY I get two inaccurate responses: “that’s cool!” and “it’s cold there.” These people have never lived in Buffalo because it is neither cool nor cold. Let’s clarify: it’s economically depressed and snowy. In fact, if you knew anything about weather patterns you would know Buffalo does not get cold enough and that’s why it gets annual snow dumpings. Here’s a brief lesson: Buffalo sits on Lake Erie. Wind blows across the lake creating our infamous ‘lake effect’ blizzards. If temperatures dropped low enough to freeze the Great Lake none of this could happen.
Compared to Buffalo, Philadelphia has mild winters. Normally, it never snows. At least not for realz. Sometimes a light sprinkling will dust Locust Walk putting a slide in your step. Or a few inches of accumulation will cause snowball fight mayhem. But I’m accustomed to daily snowfall and four snow- filled months.
Now, I would like to make something clear: I’m not complaining. I don’t need slush and snow banks to make my walk to Van Pelt even less pleasant. But there is something special about snowstorms that I’ve missed.
At least until this year. This season Philly experienced real snow. And now I bet you get it.
Snow is inconvenient, cold and messy. But once you get past its issues, it both isolates and unites. Since the blockaded sidewalks impede your travel capabilities, you get a day of forced ‘me time.’ But it’s even better than other days at home, because the snowfall creates the coziest, curl-up-under-your-Snuggie atmosphere.
Yet, while you sit in awe of the accumulation, the snow piles beckon you outdoors. It's frigid and wet, but you just have to go out. You probably don't know your neighbors, but you join them anyway. You help shovel the walk. Or wipe off car windshields.
And then it happens: snow fight.
You ignore the cold and embrace the powder, throwing snow in all directions. After a bit, you're exhausted and satisfied and remember your Snuggie. You head back inside, make some hot chocolate and resume ‘me time’.
So this week, as you trudge through the slush and slip on black ice, just remember the glories of the storm. Yes, the aftermath sucks, but the best snow day ever makes it all worthwhile.