Count snow among things that should be taken in moderation.
Have you ever considered the beauty of a single snow flake?
Not long ago my son, Jacob, sent me an Internet link to some amazing photos that were taken by a photographer in Russia. He had used some fairly average camera equipment and set it up in such a way that he was able to capture some breath-taking close-up images that show the intricacies of individual snowflakes.
I suggested he likely had plenty of time to perfect his technique, considering all the snow they receive in Russia.
Little did I know all the snow, and consecutive days of snow, we would be receiving here in river city. I really hadn’t given it a great deal of thought until Saturday when I was detailing our recent winter weather in an e-mail.
Consider that over a 10-day period, extending from Feb 21 through this past Saturday, we received close to 20 inches of snow, give or take a flake or two. Obviously, everyone remembers the nearly 10 inches we received on Feb. 21 and the 8 inches that followed last Tuesday. But in the snowy days of Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and early Saturday of last week, we were treated to an additional inch here and half inch there, that helped boost February’s snow total.
Particularly impressive to me was the extended period of time in which snow fell. After last Tuesday’s heavy snow had wrapped up by 7:30 a.m., periods of light snow would begin to fall later that day. Every time I looked out a window Wednesday it was snowing to some degree or another. That was followed by periodic snowfall on Thursday, Friday and into the early hours of Saturday. I must confess, I was impressed by Mother Nature’s persistence.
Typically it seems that after a big snow the sky clears and humanity is left to deal with what has been left behind. Last week I lost track of how many times I shoved the front walk and steps. I finally reached the point where I vowed I was finally going to wise up and wait for Ma Nature to get it all out of her system before I touched a shovel again.
I definitely would have enjoyed the period of extended snow when I was younger.
As a pup, I used to get so excited when the possibility of snow was mentioned. While I would grin, my father, a salesman whose income was dependent on his ability to travel about in his car, would groan. While he never threatened to whack his youngest son (me) with a snow shovel, I’m sure it crossed his mind a time or two when he would hear me pleading for snow.
As I reached school age the significance of a good snow increased, since it likely would mean the difference between a day filled doing readin’, writin’ and arithmetic in a classroom, and being on a hillside covered in white, sledding with neighborhood chums.
I was not surprised last week to see my teen-age daughter, Anna, smiling broadly when she learned that classes at Hannibal-LaGrange University had been cancelled a couple of times because of the snow.
My appreciation of snow has waned since none of my employers over the past 35 years or so had the term “snow day” in their vocabulary. Consequently, that meant digging out and navigating snow-packed streets to work.
I must admit, however, that unlike some other professions, which also don’t get snow days off, I still periodically get to have some fun when it snows. Last week I enjoyed going out and talking to shovelers and taking a number of winter-weather photos.
Do I hate snow? Nah. I just wish it would come in moderation.