09 January 2011

Nival Novelty

This is Chase signing in for the 'once in a blue moon' blog post. As you can guess, it is based on a desire to procrastinate doing real writing for my work. haha But what is life without a little fun mixed in with work...you know, before, after, during, throughout, instead of...uh...you get the picture.

Nival (adj.) - of or pertaining to snow

To echo a thousand other voices of the mid-South, I'm excited about the winter weather. Here in mid-Missouri, Old Man Winter takes a little bit different approach to precipitation. In truth: we rarely get it. And by "it", I mean a real snowstorm. Despite our equidistance between two blizzard-prone states (Kansas and Illinois), we get surprisingly little more snow than Little Rock has seen tonight...far from the multiple feet I expected when first moving here. Despite moving 370 miles north and experiencing temperatures that, as a child in central Arkansas, I thought were at the bottom of thermometers just for show, we barely see more than a few inches at a time.

I will say this, the far more frigid temperatures (on average 15-20* lower than in Little Rock) lead to snow that sticks on the ground longer, but the roads turn to slippery slush equally as quickly and the use of coal ash on the roads instead of salt quickly spoils much of the beauty near the roads.

Still, my time as a youth has left a deep-rooted optimism toward all forms of wintry precipitation and, so far, I have yet to succumb to the pessimism of adulthood that sees it as just a hindrance to get to work. I have become increasingly cynical toward a lot of aspects of life: burned out at school after a difficult semester, disenchanted with work after a project that was mediocre at best, embattled and dwindling friendships...it can be tough to stay positive about anything.

Part of the reason why most people here don't like snow is that, unlike Arkansas, the entirety of Missouri doesn't shut down for snow. Katie and I experienced some of this attitude at UofA, which cautioned against unwarranted dangerous driving, but nonetheless stayed open regardless of the weather. Missouri goes one step further and practically dares its students and staff to make it to class/work on time. For 'us', 3 or 4 inches is a drop in the bucket. After all, we do occasionally get the tail end of a Kansas blizzard or the beginning of a Nor'easter, so a foot or more is not unheard of.

That does take some of the wind out of the proverbial sail, but I still look forward to it. It's one of the few things that has yet to be spoiled by a wholly unenjoyable event. I've never wrecked, gotten hurt, or even been late to work during a snowstorm. Those negative experiences I have had have always been tinged with the silver lining of family and friends, which turned them into memories I will keep for a lifetime. I've been stuck at home without power for days on two separate occasions, the most recent of which we had no gas stove to heat our food...but being stuck with Matt and Rachel playing Risk and eating tepid Chef Boyardee and (once the roads cleared) Taco Bell by candlelight for a week is hardly "roughing it". So as far as me and snow are concerned, we're alright.

The front is now nearing mid-Missouri and we wait with bated breath and anticipatory antsy-ness, Katie for a near miss and I for a direct hit. Either way, the show will go on tomorrow regardless of the weather and I need to get back to work.

Wishing everyone a safe and enjoyable tomorrow.

1 comment:

Anna said...

Well said, Chase. I still love the snow, which brings such wonderful memories of the kids sleighing... and even of my Mom. It warmed my heart to see George and Ellen making an igloo and a snowman. I just wish you both were here to have some hot chocolate. Wish we could get Papa home, too.