Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

by

By: Rachel Wheeler
Assistant Athletic Trainer

If growing up in the infamous snow belt and on a great lake has taught me anything, it’s always be prepared for bad weather! I can’t count the number of times I’ve ended up experiencing all 4 seasons in one day…it’s honestly absurd. Rochester, NY is a wonderful city and I will always have a place in my heart for home, but when I think about the 10 month long winter, I have a harder time reminiscing fondly. I can recall all the mornings before school getting up early and running to the TV to see if my we had a snow day…it never happened. There would be 5 inches of ice accumulation and/or 4 feet of snow and the school district would be like, “Oh no big deal.”  You can’t even walk on the sidewalks or the road because it’s so snowy (not to mention at this point it’s still a blizzard and white out) but life goes on.

Then I started to look for colleges, and somewhere along the way my brain thought: “Since Rochester winters are clearly so great, let’s go some place even worse!” That’s when I ended up in Erie, PA…Dreary Erie as it’s also known as. Or little Chicago since the wind almost never stops! Don’t get me wrong, I very much enjoyed my 4 years there, but the weather is honestly atrocious! It was like high school all over again when we’d get 4 feet of snow overnight and the city would pretend that wasn’t ridiculous.  I can’t get my car out of the 15 foot long driveway it’s stuck in, but don’t worry it’s definitely safe to drive around! I really do love driving in the snow; it’s like a new, fun challenge every time you’re out there. My favorite part is finding an empty parking lot, putting the car in neutral, pulling up the emergency brake, and cranking the wheel: thus the E-Brake Turn. That’s all hypothetical of course, I’ve never done that in my life…

The moral of this whole schpeel on wintery wonderfulness is the north (for the most part) knows how to battle a good blizzard when necessary. We have gargantuan snow plows on standby all day and night with lots of salt to de-ice the roads and rust your cars. Most of the neighborhood owns a sidewalk plow or snow blower or the most intense, ergonomically correct/back-pain-saving-shovel you’ve ever seen. And everyone is required from birth to know how to make a snowman, snow angel, and a great packed-ice snow ball that will inflict the most damage/pain possible.

In the south however, this is all a foreign language or concept. Not saying that there aren’t transplants from the north down here that know how to deal, but the vast majority of people are honestly terrified of snow! There is a threat of 0.5 inch accumulation and you would think a Category 5 Hurricane or F-5 Tornado is coming our way! Sleet or heavy wet snow starts falling and people are having panic attacks and breathing emergencies in their cars even when they’re 20 feet from their driveways! The first snowflake hits the ground and some crazy chemical in people’s brain goes, “Start slamming on your brakes, swerving erratically like you have a BAC of 2.3, and close your eyes while upping the speedometer to 73 mph all at the same time!”

That may be a slight exaggeration…but you get the point.

I really do love living in Virginia though. There are still four distinct seasons and the sun is actually out for than 3 months out of the year. I just never cease to be amazed how mind boggling yet endlessly entertaining everyone’s reactions are when the snow threats begin!

Just a flurry or two created this effect!

FYI this picture was taken in Oswego, NY a little over an hour from where I grew up…That’s what 12 feet of snow looks like!

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