LESLIE CRISS: Five-decade perception of winter, snow does a 180

“If winter comes, can spring be far behind?” – Percy Bysshe Shelley

“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.” – Charles Dickens

“When I no longer thrill to the first snow of the season, I’ll know I’m growing old.” – Lady Bird Johnson




I believe I came into the world a lover of snow.

From early childhood, any hint of the white, fluffy precipitation excited me as much as the coming of Christmas.

If the possibility was simply given a mention by radio or television weather prognosticators, I became the most fervent snow wisher around.

With my dad’s leather-covered, box transistor radio under my pillow, I’d barely doze through the night, waiting to hear the long-awaited words, “No school due to snow accumulation.”

Truth be told, I usually knew it had snowed even before the radio announcer said so.

I could tell by the muffled silence outside my bedroom window, accentuated only by the occasional sound of a slow-moving vehicle making its way down our frozen street.

My little sister and I would bundle up for the first of many times in the day, and head outside to revel in this great, cold gift from the heavens. Sometime mid-morning we’d follow our grandmother’s recipe for snow ice cream and enjoy this sweet, icy treat.

Even through my teen years and into young adulthood, my excitement over snow predictions did not wane, nor did my excitement when the predictions became truth.

And my frustration grew each winter when it snowed just about everywhere but where I happened to be. I knew it was irrational and silly, but I began to take it personally, my pouty mantra becoming, “where I am, snow isn’t.”

About six years ago, I awoke Christmas morning with the surprise of a lifetime – my first ever white Christmas. No teasing from any meteorologists, no warnings at all. Bam. There is was. Everything in my east Tupelo neighborhood covered in snow.

But things have changed. Unless I have the luxury of watching flakes fall from inside where it’s warm, I am officially over snow. Winter is officially no longer my favorite season. I have had enough.

Instead of enjoying the winter, I’m yearning for spring.

Rather than rejoice at any hint of snow – great or small – I secretly hope it doesn’t happen.

Maybe it’s my age. Perhaps it’s my bad knee. Or various and sundry old joints that need an extra hit of the Tin Man’s oil can in the winter.

No matter the reason, the bottom line’s the same.

I don’t like the cold. My aging bones don’t like it either. And I don’t care one whit about the white stuff.

I am officially over winter.

And any icy precipitation that might accompany it.

Come on, spring.

And summer too.


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