Opinion: As winter approaches, I ask, ‘What are your snow memories?’
This is an editorial piece. An editorial, like a news article, is based on fact but also shares opinions. The opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and are not associated with our newsroom.
SALT LAKE CITY — Where does watching the snow take you? It seems this regular weather occurrence has a unique power to transport us through time and space. As I watch the snow from my office window, staring at the flakes fall first heavy and wet, then light and fluffy, my snow memories take me to a few specific places.
I am eight years old and standing at the top of the hill at the Berwick Golf Course in Berwick, Pennsylvania. The image is of a puffy, too-tall-for-her-age girl holding a purple, plastic sled with brake handles on both sides.
(I never pulled those handles, by the way.)
My mother would drive us to the hill, tell us to be careful, then watch my brother, sister and I go whipping down the hill, yelling and occasionally trying to wreck into each other.
Prep school snow puddles
Fast forward five years. I am living in Exeter, New Hampshire, and attending a prep school called Phillips Exeter Academy. The snow in that part of the country will freeze your nose hairs. We would trudge across campus in snow blowing sideways, come into classrooms to sit at what the Academy called “Harkness” tables, and puddles of melted snow would appear all around the table.
These tables were really just large conference tables. If the students turned their chairs to the right a wooden board would pull out of the desk. We would take our tests facing the back of the person to our right.
(That made it harder to cheat.)
A young adult in snow
Fast forward five years. I am a student at the University of Utah, my first experience with the greatest snow on earth. I drove an old Mazda at the time, with a stick shift. And I learned trying to go east at the light at 100 South to enter campus was a challenge on dry roads and terrifying in snow.
I remember driving to campus to hand in a paper for an English class on author Norman Mailer in snow so deep, there were no cars in the parking lot. It was only after I got to campus that I realized classes had been canceled for the day.
(I was too young and dumb to listen to KSL … yet.)
Fast forward somewhere around 10 years, and my snow memories take me to Christmas Day. It was a rare year when I didn’t go back to Pennsylvania to be with my parents. I wanted to spend the holiday with my boyfriend at the time, one I luckily did not marry. It snowed so deep that we shoveled for hours before going to his family’s house, and hours before we left to come home, and hours after we got home. I know I worked off any number of Christmas cookies I might have consumed that day.
Future snow memories?
Now, snow is all about my children. First, it was how cute they looked in their little snowsuits, making angels in the yard. Now, I worry about them driving in the snow, hoping they go slow and get home safely.
Life is made up of moments, isn’t it? Not resentments or judgments or opinions. Just moments.
So, I say, let it snow!
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