Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Snowy Day...ish...

I'm looking out over my backyard, which is currently adorned with a light dusting of fluffy white powder. Just enough to obscure the brown blades of dormant grass, probably not a sufficient amount to allow a sled to glide over it...much less build a snowman. Altogether this constitutes an extremely minor Weather Event, hardly worth why pay homage to the first Barely-Snowfall of 2013? Because the kids' schools delayed their start time 2 hours today. Because that was the first time they've missed any class time for Winter precipitation in the past two years around here. (Cancellation due to hurricane conditions: check. For frozen stuff: nope!) Needless to say, the boys were excited...and a bit wistful at the paltry amount bestowed upon us by the ungenerous Snow Gods.

However, we've developed a heaping dose of healthy...let's call it Meteorological recent years. You see, the local Weather People tend to work themselves into quite a tizzy about the possibility--no matter how slight--of the so-called Wintry Mix we tend to receive around these parts (a dee-lightful concoction of sleet, snow, and freezing rain that is often more treacherous than fun). They intone in their deepest, gravest voices about the impending arrival of a potential storm, while waving their arms dramatically at the map and throwing around terms like "Canadian air mass" (always bad...with no disrespect to our friendly neighbors to the, "areas of low pressure" (mostly bad), and "jet stream behavior" (relatively neutral, but they excel at making it sound like something out of a sub-arctic horror movie).

And we used to take the forecast seriously, we really did. But then got wise. We began listening more closely to the actual nuts and bolts of the report, underneath the flashy showmanship, and this is what became apparent: the prevailing weather patterns have just as much chance of scurrying right around us, as they do of sweeping directly over us and dumping their cloudfuls of Winter treasure. This translates into the fact that in the immediate D.C. area, we often hear of significant snowfall in Virginia, or Western Maryland, or Pennsylvania, while we peer out the window and see...a whole lotta nuthin'. The forecasters have even conceded to this point, and begun referring to  it obliquely in their broadcasts as the Rain/Snow Line (but I like to envision it as some kind of Super-Stealthy Invisible Frost Beast, myself...stomping toward our state, deciding which path to take and where to unleash his formidable icy powers...or something like that...)

Anyway...maybe it's an inevitable by-product of life in the Washington-Metro Region. Everything is reported in a big, bold way: Politics! Scandal! Global Unrest! Atmospheric Disturbance! (Because it's also a town that seems to looove its jargon, so the term "weather" is just comparison.) So the kids, with their youthful idealism and enthusiasm, used to go through all the rituals--Snow Dance, wearing their pjs inside out, placing spoons under their pillows (how these are supposed to conjure the white stuff, I have no idea). But after one too many mornings of dragging themselves out of bed and facing disappointment at the hands of the fickle...Flake Fairies...even they've become jaded. Oh, they still wish for a Winter Wonderland, but their expectations have lowered to almost zero. Which helps to explain their disproportionate joy this morning upon seeing even a sprinkling of shiny crystals on the ground. Well, it was enough for a little bit of a sleep-in, and a compressed day of academia, so I suppose they're feeling adequately rewarded. Perhaps when they get home they'll even attempt to construct a few snowballs and chuck them at...each other, most likely.

And as for your truly? Anyone who's ever met me--in the real world or even virtually--has had the opportunity to endure me complaining in excruciatingly vivid detail about how much I loathe the whole Winter Experience. (On second thought, that makes it sound like a type of enjoyable game show prize--you know, "your getaway package includes a Fabulous Frosty Fun Escape!" But it's really, really NOT. Just frigid...without the ski-lodge ambiance...) Okay, so to sum up my humble opinion: we've done the whole "snow thing", nooooow can we please have Spring?

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