Thursday, February 6, 2014

Why all this snow isn't so bad

Here in fabulous Indianapolis, we’ve received 50+” of snow in less than two months.  “Suck it up,” our friends from Michigan say.  “It is winter after all,” the native Minnesotans laugh.  “What’s the big deal?”  Plain and simple—we’re spoiled.  We’ve gotten used to mild winters.  While they say it takes twenty one days to start a good habit, trust me when I say it only takes one mild winter to set new expectations.  And that’s exactly the problem, we had two mild winters in a row before Snowmaggedon hit.  I’m talking don’t stock up on ice melt and replace the broken snow shovel mild.  You get the point.  And while I’m guilty of complaining, driving through yet another drift this morning, it dawned on me I might be looking at this all wrong.  That being said, here are several reasons why all this snow isn’t really all that bad:

1.  Never again will I have to endure my child praying for a snow day.  Yep—we’ve shoveled that prayer right out of him.  Now the words snow day equal hard work so miracle of miracle, he’s cured!

2.  Snow forces me to slow down.  Although I spend part of my day at a desk, as a stay-at-home mom, I also spend hours each day on the go.  As a result, I often find myself participating in many of those not so healthy habits like driving through for fast food and eating in my car or driving a bit too fast in an effort not to be late to my next stop.  There have been several days this winter we’ve been stuck at home and I’ve actually cooked a full meal!  And when we have gotten out, caution has prevailed over swiftness as it pertains to getting where I’m going safely. 

3.  Packed snow lessens the harshness of the speed bumps in the school parking lot.  I drive through that lot numerous times a day.  While it might sound petty, to my way of thinking this is a real perk.

4.  Snow lets me embrace my OCD in a new way.  50” of snow has proven my need to have the perfect driveway.  Or what my husband laughing calls a work of art.  At our house, we each take the side our car is on.  We each have a shovel we prefer over the others.  Mine’s blue with a metal edge.  At the end of the task, it never fails.  My side looks like ice sculptors came through and carved out the driveway while my husband’s side looks like a guy in a hurry came through and hit the high spots.  Then there’s the matter of the end of drive, that pesky section where the city has plowed leaving double the depth and mini glaciers.  I dig that out and use a floor scraper to clear away the hard pack while hubby’s side looks like a skating rink.  It’s true--I’m on my fifth bag of environmentally friendly ice melt this season.

5.  Snow gave us a reason to find new nicknames for each of our dogs.  Instead of Beamer, Bentley, Blazer and Bristol (I’ll let that soak in a second.  Yeah, they all start with B and they’re all named for cars) we now have Wuss Boy, Scaredy Cat, Ms. Over It and Snow Plow.

6.  It allows me the awesome opportunity to be in the trenches with my son.  Yes, we own a snow blower.  A nice one in fact.  One that shows little wear given those mild winters of the past we were so used to.  But snow blowers come with pros and cons of their own and I know in the early years, my son will be more invested in buying big screen televisions and projection systems than he will a snow blower so I decided to go old school this winter as a means of teaching him the value of knowing how to do a job correctly with just the basic tools.  And it’s this that has truly made all the difference in the world for our family this winter.  There’s my son, as tall as me and far stronger, taking on his dad’s side, trying to push a whole row of 6+ inches a full shovel width, going nowhere fast in the middle of the drive while I’m working my plan on my side, cutting a quarter shovel full row by row without issue.  I’m almost done (even with the mini glaciers) and if I do say so myself, my side looks terrific, and while he’s huffed and puffed quite a bit, the kiddo hasn’t even hit the quarter mark yet. But it’s then I hear the question I’ve been secretly praying to hear.  “I don’t know how you did that so fast but since you’re done already, will you help me?”  “No,” I respond, to which he scowls.  “But I will teach you my secret.”  He smiles at me and it was at that exact moment the Heaven’s opened and all this stupid snow truly became a blessing.

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