Monday, December 21, 2009

Milk, Bread, Toilet Paper. Enough.

I've lived in the Washington, DC area for 22 years now, and I've never quite gotten used to the way they deal with snow, even the threat of it.

The TV meterologists hunker down at "storm desks" and deliver predicted snowfall totals in voices usually reserved for unsolved murders or random shootings. And of course, once the very possibility of snow is introduced, panic begins at the grocery stores. Carts are packed with everyone's favorite snow staples—milk, bread and toilet paper—and lots of it. And you can't help but get caught up in the frenzy—I'm lactose-intolerant but I find myself wondering how much milk I can fit in our refrigerator.

This past weekend our area experienced the biggest December storm in history, with anywhere between 12 and 24 inches of snow falling. And with that, I'm officially done with the snow.

Was it beautiful? Sure. But honestly, after shoveling our front steps and walk four times, and digging out one car twice (the other car is packed in until spring, I think), I'm done wishing for snow days. Being able to relax for one day, catch up on DVR-recorded shows and movies that we've had from Netflix, and do a little baking is fun. But it loses its luster after a day.

More than cabin fever, however, what frustrates me is that our cities never seem to be prepared for these storms. This is the nation's capital, yet some subdivisions might not get plowed out for almost a week! Major highways around our house are still fairly obstructed by slush and snow, which is a boon to SUV owners and no one else. Yet strangely enough, folks in New Jersey got the same amount of snow and bounced back the very next day.

Yes, I know I should appreciate the opportunity to slow my pace a bit. And I'm happy to. But I'd much prefer the traditional Washington snow storm—8 inches of snow one day, 55 degrees and melting the next. Now I'm considering a move to a place where the word "snow" is only followed by the word "cone," or at least a place where they can handle snow with more finesse and less hoarding.

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