For The Hopeless Snow Romantics

Paul-Blizzard of 93-1 Here's a recreation of the stream-of-consciousness that seven-year-old me would have had when asked about snow:

SNOW!! My favorite! No school! Where are my gloves? We're going to go sledding! No. We're going to make snow tunnels! No. We're going to make an igloo. We're going to make tunnels to an igloo. I like eating snow. Did you know that you can pretend big icicles are ice bazookas and you can kill abodibble snowmen with it?! Is it going to snow? IS IT GOING TO SNOW??

Many of my best memories as a kid were in the snow. I can still remember how excited I got when a blizzard would roll through. I remember the hours on end we'd spend outside building forts, building ramps, extending our sledding route deep into the woods to build maximum speed. When we got too cold, we'd come inside, throw our clothes in the dryer, make some hot chocolate, play Nintendo, and then go right back to work.

Loved the snow.

My dad, though, hated it. He hated the shoveling, the cold, everything associated with it. He dreamed of warmer weather, of Florida, of lush, green lawns untainted by the filthy white stuff. My dad would tell me things like, "Once you grow up, you won't love the snow anymore."

That seemed like a ridiculous statement to me. There was no way I couldn't love snow. I was snow--the only form of precipitation that comes down as silken happiness.

Yet, as the years have gone by, a part of me has waited, has dreaded the inevitable day when I would become a real grown up, go to work, pay my bills, cook my meals, and hate snow. I'm twenty-eight years old, though, and I have to say:

I still love the freakin' snow.

I love the calm, quiet way a snow storm rolls in. No gusting wind, no pelting the roof or window--just the soft, light falling of feathers.

I love walking outside early the morning after it snows and seeing everything blanketed with a perfect layer of white, and listening to the strange silence that comes with all the neighbors sleeping in and barricading themselves from the cold.

I love the moment that snow first starts to fall--there's nothing closer to the magic of a fairy tale or some epic story than snow dancing down from the clouds.

And get this...I even love the work and inconvenience that comes with it. I love the sweat of shoveling my way out of the driveway. I love when the wind blows snow back in my face as I'm clearing off the car. I love slipping and sliding around and almost losing my balance (almost, because I never actually's an Asian balance thing) on some ice on the sidewalk. I love getting snow in my shoes when I'm trudging through six inches of snow in my Chucks. I love the delays. I love the traffic. I love losing traction with my car as I drive.

I...maybe misspoke a bit there. It's not that I love those typical drawbacks of snow (though last night, I lost control of my car, and by my laughing and "WOOOOOOO"s, it was hard to tell if I loved it or not). It's that I genuinely love snow so much, I understand what comes with it, and I accept all of it because snow is so worth it to me.

Maybe you just don't love snow that much. Or at all. I get why you'd hate it, then--the drawbacks are too much. Snow's not worth the delays and inconvenience, the scraping and shoveling, the slush and salt.

But for those of us who are crazy enough, the hassle of snow will never outweigh the value of snow itself. We love it that much.

We can all understand this, because we all have something in our lives we care about that much, that moves us enough to say, "To hell with the cons; it's worth it."paulwillsnow

There are so many times I'm tempted to think I'm being naive about different aspects of life, that I've become too idealistic, too romantic. Snow, believe it or not, has shown me I'm not wrong. I can still be wide-eyed when it comes to snow. I can still look forward to it with anticipation. I can still smile, throw my head back, and let the flakes fall on my face. I can still hum the tune of "Let It Snow" even though Christmas is gone. I can still write about it like I'm high on ecstasy, and I can do all of this without feeling guilty for being a hack because I've put in the gritty, unromantic work that comes with the snow.

I can do that because I worked for a year shoveling the snow off the sidewalks and driveway of a huge estate after multiple blizzards. I can do that because it took me three hours to drive home a few weeks ago when it would normally take me thirty minutes. I can do that because I was outside for an hour this morning simultaneously sweating and freezing as I shoveled and cleared off cars. And I'm still smiling. I still love the snow.

I get the crappy part. I do. And I still love it. So let me be that guy that is annoyingly in love with snow, okay?

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