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A defense of snow

I’m staring out of my window now, at very little snow.

Yes, yes, another post about snow, I’m sure you’re sick to death of them. Especially because I don’t actually have any snow to speak of, up here in the north. But I love snow, everything about it: most people seem to love snow days as a kid and then grow out of it once they have to drive, but not me. Getting stuck in my driveway is an experience, a departure from the norm, much like snow days were a forced interruption in my schedule as a kid. Everyone understands that things will take a little longer in a snowstorm. The tensions of responsibilities are relaxed.

"You lie!", I shout at meteorologists

“You lie!”, I shout at meteorologists

Snow brings us together, showing why we call ourselves the City of Good Neighbors. Like worms after a rain, one by one we emerge from our houses and begin the work of clearing our driveways and sidewalks. It will take as long as it takes: no deadlines, no expectations. We nod to each other, wave, maybe lend a helping hand. The neighbors to my left and across the street both have snowblowers, and sometimes my shoveling gets sped along with their help. I bought a snowblower myself this year, finally giving in, and so I’ll join the ranks of helpers this year.

Everyone knows the Jimmy Griffin quote from the Blizzard of 85: “Go home, buy a six pack of beer, and watch a good football game.” I think I like beer for many of the same reasons I like snow. I know, I write about beer and this is a blatant “beer + (current event) = web content” strategy, but hear me out.

You slow down with beer too. Not just because it’s a depressant, but the act of having a beer with friends includes almost by necessity a slow evening. Nobody chugs a beer, at least not in the context I’m describing. You spend time with your friends, relaxing. Even if you have somewhere else to go you’ve still carved out a chunk of time to just be, to enjoy the company of people and forget about whatever else you have to do. You may call it escapism but I see it as mindfulness. Live in the present, pint in hand, friend or friend-you-haven’t-met next to you.

So, yes. Grab a six pack, or perhaps a growler (“open til 5!” he says, remembering he is ostensibly writing about his business and not exploring his anxieties in public). Shovel, or snowblow, or maybe just toss a little salt down if you’re as snowfree as I am. Say hi to your neighbors. Enjoy life, as cold and blustery as it may be.