Friday, February 25, 2011

I'm becoming one of those East Coast people who constantly talks about snow.

When I lived in San Francisco, part of my job involved meeting with PR people to get briefed on their latest, greatest new product. The idea was that I'd run back to my desk and write a cover story about them. It took me a good year to get up to speed on what they were saying - and that first year was filled with terror and dread that someone, anyone really, would notice I didn't know what I was doing.

Gradually I got up to speed and stopped fearing those meetings so much. I started making lists of buzzwords ("architect" and "rearchitect" were just beginning their forays into verbland) and trying to memorize entire sentences for some script I've yet to write. But I also remember being astonished at how pasty and colorless the people from the East Coast were. They'd always exclaim - like jailbirds reaching the free side of the river - just how awful it was back home. "We're expected to get 18 inches over the weekend," one would say. "I told my husband he'd better shovel out the car before I get back," another would say. They'd all nod knowingly and I'd join in, pretending I knew what they were talking about. I was living in a place that had two seasons, brown and green. Their complaints became my sign that the seasons had changed.

Well, 12 years into this, another foot of snow falls outside and I'm realizing that I've become one of those snow-complainers. I suspect East Coasters talk incessantly about snow because, unlike rain or fog that come and go by themselves, snow is like the neighbor with the 12 inoperable cars in his driveway. Snow arrives, unpacks, settles in, and it won't move unless you move it - and it's a heavy adversary. Snow turns roads into skating rinks. Cars slide. People fall down. Branches get heavy and snap, taking out wires that bring us important things like electricity and the interwebs.

Mind you it's beautiful. Nothing else transforms the landscape as completely as snow. It muffles sound and softens angles, it enchants children and thrills puppies and compacts perfectly into little balls that like to be thrown. And I'll certainly miss it in May when the black flies arrive.

But today, as yet another foot of snow makes itself at home outside, I am a pasty person yammering on and on about the snow. If anyone has an island hideaway in Fiji they aren't using, could I borrow the keys for a few weeks?


Melissa Morgan-Oakes said...

I think we talk about it because there is nothing else to talk about. It stops everything cold - no pun intended. Bored and exhausted from relentless white, falling and shoveling, what is there to say but "We got 5 inches today, and then a bunch of sleet and rain on top of it."

And it is to a certain extent a big of bragging - "We got 18, what did you get?" Competitive Yankee Snow Totals, as if he who gets the most snow wins - although what I do not know. Bragging rights today and an agony of achy joints and pulled muscles tomorrow?

Maire said...

As a former Ontarian, I often miss a lot of the seasonal shifts that the eastern part of North America affords. I remember maple leaves turning all kinds of colours in the fall, and springs so warm you could almost go swimming in the river...and snow. Lots and lots of snow.

Alberta has three seasons. Hot, cold, and rainy. It's my tradeoff for less humidity and milder arthritic attacks. I just wish I could have both the pretty *and* the comfy! :)

woolyjooly said...

I'm with you totally, Clara (the Fiji getaway opportunity). As a lifelong Minnesotan, I can totally relate. WE GOT 19" OF SNOW IN THE TWIN CITIES LAST WEEKEND. It is snowing again NOW (1-2" already). And this started on November 12 here(continual snow cover). But it IS beautiful and I'm so glad I'm a knitter. Oh, and the auto body shops have never had better business--helps one part of our struggling economy, right?

akabini said...

Clara: insider tip.
Halfway between SF and OhMyGodMaine lies... the Pacific Northwest. A place where it snows - a little bit. Sometimes.
Come visit. We'll show you how low-may it is.
When it snows, all things stop, and you don't need to shovel anything. No driving, no shoveling, all systems stop to enjoy the whiteness.
Oh, and we're two hours from Madrona.
See Steph's latest post for confirmation of same.

scifiknitter said...
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scifiknitter said...

We haven't had this much snow in northern NY in several winters. Thank goodness we bought the 45" snowblower this past fall, with a quarter mile driveway back into the woods to clear!

It's hard to believe right now that in just two months time we'll be prepping our sailboat for launch, but spring WILL come, and it will be glorious.