Snow, beauty, depend on the eye of the beholder
There are things about childhood that seemed to be the best moments ever. A new toy. Ice cream for dessert. Going to the movies. Snow days.
They were simple pleasures. Inexpensive. Not too time consuming. As kids, it was the little things in life that could please us most sometimes.
Like snow days. I remember hoping and praying for white, fluffy flakes to fall from the sky. I wanted them to cover the ground with a thick blanket of white. My excitement would rise as I noticed trees, rooftops and bushes being dusted with the powdery stuff.
I knew that if just enough of the stuff could lay, school would be canceled or delayed, at least. Mom, being a teacher, waited anxiously for those phone calls, too. I loved hearing the phone ring as the snow came down outside. I knew chances were good we would have a two-hour delay or, better yet, we would be out the entire day.
We lived on a crazy hill with a gravel driveway so if the snow did fall, there was a good chance we wouldn’t be making it out anyway. Those days were spent sleeping in, watching movies, playing games and other lazy-day things. And they were wonderful.
If the power went out, though, we had to make other arrangements. Luckily, my grandparents lived just down the road and had oil heat. Since they were in seriously close walking distance, we could head down there pretty quickly. As long as we could get down the hill. I have less-than-pleasant memories of walking down that hill. And if you had to walk down, there was always the walk back up, which seemed even less pleasant. There was a time or two where I simply laid down in the snow, proclaiming I couldn’t make it anymore. Mom helped when I was little. But when I was older and just whiny, she was a little less forgiving.
These days, I don’t welcome snowstorms so freely. It’s still beautiful to watch the trees and grass covered with a white coat. But once it starts laying, snow doesn’t discriminate against its landings. Roads are just as likely to be attacked as anything else.
Thursday, we prepared for Winter Storm “Iago” and watched the rain and the temperatures both fall. The drops seemed to change to sleet to snow in a blink of an eye. With trepidation, I watched the roads, thoughts of my car and its many ailments in my head. No defroster. No heat. Motorists that drive 10 miles per hour down Alcoa Highway. I knew I was in for an adventure.
It normally takes me about 15 minutes to get home from work. It’s always been one of the perks of my location as I know some coworkers have to drive farther. Thursday, though, wasn’t a quick trip. In fact, it was about an hour before I finally pulled (or slid) into my parking space.
It was an outright blizzard for those who rarely see snow. As I struggled to get home, I thought back to my childhood days. I might have looked forward to the snow, but for those who had to drive in it, it probably wasn’t as welcome.
And Friday, many enjoyed their day off. School kids got to live out that lazy day I so loved when I was their age. The staff enjoyed it, too, as I got a text from a friend who couldn’t make it to work and was just so “upset” about it.
I suppose everything has its pros and cons. The snow might be beautiful and, for some, provide a lovely vacation from work. But a treacherous drive along Alcoa Highway will stick with me, and I’ll eye the weather forecasts a little more wearily. Just as Shakespeare’s Iago wreaked havoc on the life of Othello, our version made things hairy here as well.
Amanda Greever is assistant managing editor at The Daily Times. She writes a weekly column in the Sunday Life section. She can be reached at 981-1161 or (email@example.com) Follow her on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com _editor.