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honest illusions: the taste of snow
thursday, december 12, 2002

i hate snow. it's cold and wet. to get it, the air has to be really cold and damp, which tends to induce asthma. oh, i can handle snow for short periods of time, as long as there's a warm house with hot cocoa waiting for me as soon as i want to go in. barring that, i'll take a car with a working heater.

i hate snow. i hate the cold. i hate getting wet. and i hate fighting to breathe.

but, strangely enough, i also miss snow.

see, i've grown up in a lot of places, but my winter memories are of ohio. snow all winter long. not mountain-scary, ten feet deep snow, but snow none the less. and every christmas was always a white christmas. thanksgiving may have been missed a few times, but never christmas.

and kids love snow. we lived across the street from a park that literally was the entire block on the side. it was a great playground, summer and winter. summer we rode go-carts and swam in the pools and participated in the crafts projects sponsored by the city and played hide and seek among these large bushes with places that easily became secret places for young kids. and in the winter, we had snow. snowmen, snow angels, snowball fights. and we went skiing in new york. and snow meant fireplaces with hot fires that we could thaw out in front of after a hard day of playing in the white stuff.

so moving to california was a shock to me. forget earthquakes, although those freaked me out as well. no, it was the winters that captured my ire. not only was there no snow, but it rained. it rained all winter long. it rained on christmas! this was a major insult to a kid who always hated rain and was used to white christmases.

for me, even after living in california for over 20 years, christmas should be white with snow. the snow can melt away for the rest of winter, but christmas should be white. seeing clear streets, bright with sunshine or, more commonly, overcast as another rainfall threatens, is still just too strange.

when i lived in the mountains we got snow on christmas. we got snow from late november through to mother's day. but this wasn't pleasant snow. this was drop-a-trre-branch-through-your-roof snow. this is snow six or more feet deep. this is snow you don't play with because it could bury you and snow you can't really enjoy because it covers your windows in a wall of white. this snow was just as strange to me as no snow at all.

no, i definitely don't want mountain snow.

all i want is a taste of snow. a little snow to make christmas white and then melt away the next day. any more than that will ruin the nostalgia.

because i really hate snow.

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