Loving and fearing the snow
I was aware that I wasn’t going ever to see snow in my hometown due to its geographical location. So one of the traditions that I enjoyed as a child during the holidays was to receive Christmas cards from our relatives and friends
I looked at that idyllic white landscape. I imagined myself inside the card making a snowman; throwing snowballs at my hated neighbor; or skiing downhill very fast.
At this early age, I only knew about snow cones, tamarind or strawberry flavors.
I licked them to the last drop in a warm day.
Time passed. I went to the High School and then it was time to attend college. In my sophomore year I was awarded a scholarship to study English at the College of Wooster in Ohio. From the moment I put a foot in this picturesque town I waited patiently the arrival of snow. The glorious day arrived when I was having lunch at the college. I saw descending hundreds of snowflakes that seemed to never arrive at their destiny. I was so excited and rushed outside to feel the snow on my face. My excitement was such that I did not feel the cold in my body. At that moment I felt as if I were in a Christmas card.
With the arrival of this weather I learned the importance of dressing warm: to wear a hat, gloves, scarf and boots in order to make sure the heat does not escape from one’s body. Layers of clothes were important as well. I felt like a robot wearing so much clothes. In spite of all this I kept enjoying the great scenery I used to dream about as a girl.
I spent two year at The College of Wooster. From there I went to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the home of the Brewers. At Marquette University I studied Latin American Literature and I experienced the beauty of snow one more time.
I lived in an apartment and had my own car. Lacking a garage, the snow deprived me of from my beauty sleep since I had to scrape the windshield and shovel the street.
Driving on the snow it really gave me headaches. My friends, professors and students used to tell me in order calm down my anxiety and fear of the snow: “You’ll get used to it”. Without giving them a response, my mind kept telling me that I had to get over my fear of driving in the snow. Each time I drove on it, fear consumed me. My legs became like a rag doll.
One day reading the newspaper, there was a great article that saved my life: “How to drive on the snow and learn skills in order to be safe”. I had never read with so much care an article. This included the essential safe skills in order to drive on the snow. Among them: to pump the brake instead of pressing; allow enough space from one car to another when driving; invest in snow tires (if you have the money); and go slow if it is snowing heavily. I followed these instructions to the letter.
Passing the time I learned that there are more than fifteen names for snow, depending on its form and consistency. Some of them are snowflakes, slush, blizzard, flurries, sleet, snow showers, squalls, freezing rain… As you can see, quite intriguing.
In conclusion, my snowy Odyssey, I also learned to appreciate my hometown weather with its radiant sun.