Snow: it Deserves its Own Post

A friend recently mentioned snow after I posted my 5 reasons why winter is worst. At first I was shocked I somehow failed to mention it, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized, I’d subconsciously done so on purpose. Because snow sucks so badly, I needed to feature it in its very own low point post.

Snow, you bastard.

I hear a lot of people in Utah getting all excited about snow. They’re sick, sick people. Also, they’re into winter sports, and if there’s one thing Husband and I really don’t participate in on any level, it is the winter sport. I love the outdoors … until it becomes late fall/winter, and then I avoid it as much as possible. Unfortunately, going outside is required of me to remain a functional member of the human society, but one of these years, I’ll probably throw in the towel, sign up for home delivered groceries, join Amazon Prime, set up an account on WebMD, and never leave the house again.

Photo courtesy of patient.co.uk

Photo courtesy of patient.co.uk

My distaste for snow began when I was a kid, which I realize is when most people really enjoy it, but when you live in the Pacific NW, any images you may have of fluffy, bright white snow are completely killed because what you get is a hard, almost icy snow, that rarely sticks to anything, and when it does, it turns muddy and slushy awfully fast. Our relationship (mine and snow’s, of course) was damaged even further when I was fourteen and nearly broke my spine on a church snow tubing trip on Mt. Hood.

I could regale you with that whole story, but it would take too long. Suffice it to say, it involved a knife, a wooden board, bad walkie talkie reception, and a trip home listening to 80s music, which at the time I despised (I’ve since gotten it together, don’t worry).

And yet despite all those things, when I was choosing a college to attend for four straight years, I didn’t even consider places like California, Arizona, or ANYWHERE OTHER THAN UTAH because Mormons. No, seriously, that’s why I came here. I needed other Mormon kids to play with. And I got them in spades. Thousands and thousands of them. It was actually kind of freaky and a real cultural experience for me, but here I am back in Utah, surviving, so perhaps that was like a pre-apocalyptic prep course. But I digress.

There’s something about a northern Utah winter that is different than winter in the rest of the state, something of which I was unaware (or perhaps I was extremely aware and decided to kid myself and deal anyhow because, again, Mormons). My freshman year wasn’t too bad, and for the most part, I’d say that was God blessing me with a mild(er) winter because I didn’t really have friends or good grades (okay, I’ll admit, I was on the Dean’s list first semester, but I did fail a few quizzes, which for a 3.9 GPA high school graduate was thoroughly traumatizing) or even an enjoyable first semester.

But then my sophomore year came.

Four feet of snow. Blizzards. Classes in session, regardless of all the things. It is really horrifying to walk to class in four feet of snow WHEN YOU ARE 5’1″. There was one afternoon where we jumped out of our kitchen windows about six feet up into the piles because there was no way we’d hurt ourselves. That was relatively fun-ish except for the cold, wet parts.

Fast forward to 2008, when my roommate and I were literally stuck in our apartment for three solid weeks, taking time off work without pay, and almost missing Christmas, because both our cars were snowed into the parking lot and there’s no road clean-up in the entire state of Oregon. We would walk to Costco for fun. One day, we even trekked a mile to Fred Meyer just to shake things up a bit, but of course we didn’t buy anything because we couldn’t afford it. That we didn’t kill each other in those three weeks is remarkable, not because we didn’t like each other (on the contrary, she remains one of my closest friends) but because three weeks in 950 sq. ft. with another human person is taxing.

We were just so excited to not be inside.

We were just so excited to not be inside.

And here’s the thing about snow. It is merely glorified rain. People can’t seem to complain enough about rain (especially non-Pacific Northwesterners, and I know, I know, this is the point when you remind me I’m a hydrophobe, but I’ve been taking medicine for that, and I’m pleased to report that I can tolerate it now without panic attacks), but then they get excited over snow? You realize when it melts, you’re going to have cold, nasty puddles … like when it rains … right?

People tell me I have to start doing winter sports (Ski Utah!), but I remain completely unconvinced. I mean, almost becoming a paraplegic from a snow tubing accident can kind of kill the magic for you, plus skiing takes coordination and leg strength, and snowboarding looks like skateboarding, which I attempted once and was then required to wear a helmet the rest of the afternoon. Just in case.

Snow also ensures that you’ll have to bundle up before stepping outside (seriously, when I was in college, my nose hairs froze. MY NOSE HAIRS. I didn’t even know that was a thing.) because it’s below freezing (I know, I’m a scientist), but you can certainly expect to be hot, sweaty, and really gross upon entering any location that is not also set at a balmy 34 degrees Farenheit. So snow can muck things up even when you’re inside, not even touching it.

So all you crazies who think snow and winter sports are great, go ahead and live in your delusions. Enjoy the chapped lips and potential frostbite and frozen nose hairs. I’ll be inside, cranking up the furnace, wearing several pairs of socks.

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2 thoughts on “Snow: it Deserves its Own Post

  1. Chapped lips and frozen nose hairs are a small price to pay for my winter sports. I started snowboarding back when I still lived in New Hampshire. Compared to the snow you get in the Pacific Northwest (especially once you cross into BC, home of the legendary Powder Highway), New Hampshire is a hellscape during the winter. The snow gets deep, though not always Rocky Mountain deep, and is more often than not covered over by an inch or so of ice. Most riders detune their edges a bit to keep from digging in to the snow while turning. East coast riders keep their edges as sharp as they can because, more often than not, they’re riding on ice or man-made snow that’s turning into ice, and you need as much bite as you can get to keep from sliding out. Utah is heaven by comparison.

    I keep snowboarding for one simple reason: it’s one of the few things I’ve done that requires your entire being, mind, body, and spirit, to be completely engaged in the moment. And that’s living like most people never get to live. It’s like I don’t even have to be good to be having fun, it just feels like flying. Flying along on this awesome adventure through some of the most beautiful scenery you’ll ever see. Only setback is the cost of a resort, but I’m fortunate to live near one of the cheapest in the Rockies.

    Hey, if that’s your idea of a delusion, I’ll keep a delusion over your well-grounded reality of sitting comfortably.

    • Jack, I’m glad you so enjoy winter sports and hope you stay safe this season! Thank you for writing – I appreciate all my readers. I meant the majority of this post to be in jest (the entire scope of my blog is humor writing where I don’t take myself too seriously) and certainly did not intend to offend anyone when it came to hobbies they so love. As a shortie with bad circulation, small lung capacity, and SI joint problems/chronic sciatica/torn labrum, skiing and snowboarding aren’t my cup of tea, although I do love the outdoors in general!

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