Being from California, I used to think seeing snow and being outside as snowflakes fall by you and land on your face and eyelashes was so exciting and romantic. All the Christmas songs crooning “let is snow, let it snow, let it snow” and “walking in a Winter wonderland” help enforce the thought that snow is made for Christmas and bring joy. If you still think that like I did until this past winter, you are naive, my friend. All those Christmas crooners, must have been writing those songs from warm and sunny Los Angeles. And FYI… winter doesn’t even get rough until after Christmas.
This Winter was the second snowiest in Boston history. Boston got hit with 105.7 inches of snow within a month. The worst winter on record was in 1995-1996 at 107.6 inches of snow. I was a bit disappointed to have been so close to breaking the snow total record. I mean, if I had to deal with a bad season I might have well survived the WORST, right?
Snow problems escalated quickly this year. The public transit system, which is already extremely outdated and already suffers major problems on a daily basis could not cope with the snow. The “T” completely shut down for a few days leaving people stranded and not able to get to work. For two weeks I saw no attempt to even try and clear the tracks and the snow was left to harden. Sidewalks were not getting cleared so there was no where for pedestrians to walk. Streets were not getting cleared in time making driving dangerous and parking impossible. Bostonians stress level was high and patience was thin.
Phase 1: The first snow fall is beautiful! You feel like going outside and building a snowman and playing around with the freshly powdered soft snow. You put on all your warm clothes and snow gear and you trek out into the magical, white snow.
Phase 2: Snow is still falling! Yay! You are still feeling adventurous. This is when most people that participate in winter sports go out and snowboard or ski. People go snow shoeing, or just explore outside in the snow.
Phase 3: OK… this is starting to be a bit much. Snow is still falling. Streets aren’t being cleared. Cars are getting really difficult to dig out and you just want to get in the warmth as quick as possible because it’s so cold your face and hands sting.
Phase 4: WHY IS IT STILL SNOWING??? It is so gloomy and gross outside you start to wonder if there will ever be sun again. Will Spring ever come? Will plants ever grow back? Will all this snow ever melt?
Phase 5: It’s STILL SNOWING!?!??! PLEASE STOP! Boston broke the 5-, 7-, 10-, 20-, 30- and 40-day snow records all within a couple of weeks. I never wanted to participate in this competition. The trains have fallen apart. Offices are closing. The Mayor and Governor get on TV and ask for all businesses and schools to close and for people to stay indoors. Fine by everyone. No one wants to go out in the snow anyway. The snow sucks.
Phase 6: I have to go to work even though it’s still a mess everywhere? This sucks. Snow is still everywhere but you have to get to work. You see snow piles piled as high as 12 feet. There is no hope of even trying to dig the car out at this point. Not even trash trucks are able to pick up trash from around the city. I took a taxi to get to work because the trains were still down. I think 99% of the city had the same idea. From my house to my work it is 4 miles and should be 15 minutes driving. It took 2 hours to get into work with all the traffic. What’s the point of going on in this Winter!
Phase 7: Snow has finally stopped but the aftermath is disgusting. The magical snow is no longer white and fluffy. It’s a slippery walk anywhere you want to go because the snow has turned to a hard sheet of ice. It’s hard and icy. And dirty. Really dirty.
Phase 8: It’s melting!!! Then finally, you get a day or two of 45 degree weather and you feel like it’s summer time. The sun is shining and everyone is walking around with an extra pep in their step. Everyone in the office has snapped out of their mummy slumber and people are even smiling at each other again. And low and behold….you find a patch of grass and you know that the worst has finally passed!
Overall, winter is an experience. But my message to you is that it isn’t what it seems. There are a lot of components that come with snow that usually people tend to neglect. There is the shoveling, the scraping, the piling on and then taking off the heavy gear, the slipping and sliding as you walk, the cold as heck weather that comes with it, and don’t forget… it doesn’t just melt away and look pretty. It piles up and hardens, and gets dirty. Don’t mean to burst anyone’s snow bubble, but the truth needs to be told to us native Californians! After this Winter I’m pretty sure Anthony and I will be happy to never see snow again.