Okay, I’ll admit it: I’m not a huge fan of snow.
Look, snow is pretty. It’s fun for stuff like sledding or snowball fights or whatever. And I don’t really mind the cold all that much. Plus, Christmas has started to feel even more like Christmas with holiday snow around to help set the mood.
But after living for more than eight years up in Flagstaff, I think snow is starting to wear on me a bit. Yes, it’s partially my fault for still living here, and no, I still don’t hate snow or anything. What I think I’ve realized is that the initial snow is great, but the aftermath is where things start to fall apart.
When I first came to college up here, it was a bit of a rude awakening. As the kid from Phoenix, I was blissfully unaware of subzero temperatures and white stuff that fell from the sky. I was more used to 115-degree summer days and warm monsoon rain storms than any of that. But the learning curve was steep, and the process quick.
The first three weeks of my opening semester, we saw the sun twice during a prolonged cool front that brought rain on a daily basis. And in November, productivity went out the window when the first snow fell. This wasn’t a light dusting, either — it was more than 18 inches of snow overnight, which was a bit of a shock to the system. Classes were canceled, roads were nigh impossible to drive on, and all the freshman went out to make snowmen and snowpenises (because college students are mature).
Those were the fun days. Because the initial experience was neat, we tended to ignore the aftermath: the mountains of dirty black snow pushed to the side of the road, the treacherous ice hiding on sidewalks at night, the increased heating bill (luckily, the dorms covered that).
Fast forward a few years, and the novelty has worn off. Yes, snow is still pretty and all, but as a tall guy with a balky back, I’m learning to dislike the cold weather and the risk of slipping while simply walking. One slight spill and I may not walk right for a week.
So I’m starting to look for a happy medium. The other night, we got 2-3 inches of snow and it was perfect. Everything got a light coating, there was just enough for kids to play in, and the aftermath was minimal — the sun came out the next day and temperatures in the upper 40s pretty much wiped out anything on the roads. And that’s exactly the kind of snow I can get behind.
A foot at once? A weeklong snowstorm that drops 30-36 inches? A winter where Flagstaff has the second most snow of any city in the United States (which happened two years ago)? No thanks. But a manageable amount here and there, keeping the city easy to travel and dropping enough up on the mountains for the skiers and snowboarders to enjoy? Absolutely. Bring it on.
So let’s go, winter. I’m ready for you — 2-3 inches at a time.