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Advertise on the Tentacle

February 10, 2003

Thereís Good News And Bad News About Snow

J. D. Hulse

It's funny how as adults we hate snow. I overheard someone say some just the other morning how they were tired of the snow. When I reminded them that even a few inches this winter would mean less water restrictions this summer, all I got was a look of disgust.

I know the white stuff involves more planning and earlier alarm clocks than as children, but I can't help the memories of "the big one" each time the weather channel predicts disaster.

Grade School. Growing up in Northwestern Pennsylvania, we got SNOW. You people have no idea what being a kid and having a path plowed to the barn means. Snow walls taller than your parents; almost having to dig a tunnel just to feed the dog.

College. Trudging to classes; because the weather was no excuse for missing class in the next building.

First REAL job. Driving home late at night, in a blizzard, one hand on the gear shift, knee on the steering wheel, the other hand on the broom forcing the freezing snow-slush off the windshield for 45 minutes because the wipers had already frozen solid.

Last major snow in Frederick. You remember, dumped three feet almost over night. City paralyzed !!! All I remember was two days of laughter, raiding the fridge, and empting the liquor cabinet. More candles were burned, more board games played, more mixer was used in 24 hours than in The Big Chill.

I have the most beautiful view in all of Frederick from my home. Every time it snows the street lamps illuminate the flakes clinging to the trees in the park (if you squint, it could be Paris). The one thing that sticks in the back of my mind as I look out onto the "frozen tundra" (and it is freezing) is that in all my memory I had protection from the elements. I had a warm place to go.

I wonder how many people have nowhere to go but a doorway, under Mural Bridge, or the tunnels in Baker Park. I hope their current circumstances do not overshadow their own happy memories of snow. I hope on Monday when you are reading this, after the cleanup is done, that you think about those among us (okay, most of us) who are just a few paychecks away from cuddling by the fire on a cold winterís night, hoping just to survive it to see another snow fall.

White stuff. I've begun a love-hate relationship.

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