Snow Storms and Quarantine by Andrew Lewis

I forgot how much I missed the unpredictable nature of the weather in Western Pennsylvania.

I spent a decade living in Eastern Pennsylvania, which basically means I lived abroad for a while because things are very different once you cross the mountains.  At this time, we were a couple of weeks away from planting gardens and had three or so good mows in.  Looking out my window now, I have a nice blanket of white and more snow coming down.

Yes, it’s annoying, but it’s also comforting.  It reminds me of those early family reunions, where we would be in May, and yet it would be so cold that everyone huddled around the grill at Renlow Park.  It reminds me of those late April days of hiking through the woods behind my parents’ house and coming in needed a hot cup of tea to warm up.  And it makes me thankful.

Why thankful, you ask? Because it won’t stick and I won’t have to shovel my driveway.

I think my aversion to shoveling driveways comes from my childhood, when three feet of snow were dumped on us in a short space during the winter.  I remember shoveling my parents’ long driveway over and over, never really making progress.  The walls of snow got higher and higher until they stood over my head.

I mean, I was a kid at the time, so it wasn’t like I was all that tall.

Today, I stood in my living room looking out the window at the snow.  I have a big Spider-Man mug full of coffee and no reason to go out and no need to shovel the driveway.  I wish I could let my son outside to play, but it’s too cold and it’s not that fun playing snow.  It’s the wet icky snow that’s like failed rain.  But we’re warm inside.

There are days that I miss Eastern Pennsylvania.  I’m thankful for the experiences I had there.  But I find the hills and mountains around me comforting, like a protective barrier, or a nature hug.  And there are distinct advantages to living a slower life in a quieter town than the one I was in before.  And snowfalls in mid-April remind me of childhoods where I couldn’t figure out how warmly to dress for school when everyone really wanted to break out the shorts.

I just miss planting my garden in a couple of weeks.