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Front Page » January 11, 2005 » Opinion » Snow, snow, glorious snow
Published 3,487 days ago

Snow, snow, glorious snow


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By RICHARD SHAW
Sun Advocate community editor

Let the grumbling begin.

Actually I heard some of it clear back in the first part of December when the area got belted by a pretty good winter storm. But now, it's really taking shape.

You know what I mean. The complaints about winter, snow and all that goes along with it. You can hear it at work, in the checkout line in the grocery store and even at church. Some people just don't like winter.

There was a time when I hated winter too. When I was about eight. My birthday is during the winter months and when I got cool, outside kinds of things to play with, the weather would ruin everything.

One time my mom gave me an airplane that flew on the end of a cable. I tried to fly it on our clear, clean cement driveway. At first it was glorious watching the red winged aircraft flying over the snow. That was of course until I tried to land it in the space of an 8 foot wide concrete strip. It crashed into an ice heap on the left side of my dads driveway and disintegrated.

I hated winter.

But then I became an adult, and I realized how wonderful winter could be.

Sure I don't like sub-zero temperatures or driving on icy roads particularly. But I found winter to be a lot like broccoli; as I grew older I gained a taste for it, especially if I could spread cheese on it.

Two experiences changed my outlook on winter, and without them I could probably never have come to have an affinity for the white season.

First, I moved to southern California from Utah for a couple of years in the late 1980's. I looked forward to the surf, the continual sun and the high pay I was to receive. I was instead disillusioned by dirty beaches, a brutal sun that was only eclipsed once in a while by rain with winds that made palm trees lean over horizontally, and a paycheck that was 30 percent more than what I had been making in Salt Lake, but which had to cover costs that were 75 percent higher than I had experienced along the Wasatch Front.

As for winter in southern California, to observe it you could either watch the grass turn a lighter color of green or fight the traffic and go up to Big Bear and actually see snow. Of course at the same time had to share it with three million others owned the mountains you were driving through.

That was my first epithany about winter in the southland or for that matter anywhere where the seasons never really change. And I found I didn't like it. I moved back to Utah where at least two seasons exist each year, and sometimes even all four. But after I came back I got a position working national operations manager for a company and I regularly visited Minneapolis, Minn. during the winter.

I learned that in places like Minnesota, where winters are really tough and last a long time, people have found ways to enjoy the season. They have festivals built around the winter and they do all kinds of outdoor things associated with the cold and wet weather. Even snow shoveling is sport in the land of a 1000 lakes, and they do it under much tougher conditions than we have.

This year, in particular, we should be happy with what is going on. All the snow and this weekends rain is part of what we need to bust the drought wide open. I find that when I see the snow coming down, I feel lucky to be alive to see the landscape change to a beautiful white. And I don't mind shoveling it when I have to either, because to go along with that are a lot of winter activities that I now get involved in as well. Winter has now become my favorite season of the year.

Now if we could just do something about those 100 degree temperatures during the summer.


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