I miss the snow. Lots.
This is my first winter out of the Midwest, and I totally miss it. After 25 winters in the states of Minnesota, Ohio, Illinois, and Wisconsin, the District of Columbia and the East Coast just doesn’t cut it. I miss the snow. When I heard about the recent weather in Chicago and Milwaukee that brought upwards of a foot of snow, I got jealous. I want to be able to make a snow ball and have a snow ball fight or spend an hour or two building a snowman. I did get to experience a little snow on two occasions here in DC so far — once I threw a snowball at someone as they answered the doorbell I had just rang, and the other moment I turned my head to the sky and caught these giant flakes in my mouth!
I don’t really miss the cold. In fact, it makes it much easier to bike to work every day when it’s 40 or so degrees out and the roads are immaculate. But it’s hard to feel like it’s winter with no snow and late fall (for the Midwest, at least) temperatures. Today I opened the door and knew it was cold, but that didn’t keep me from biking to work. I arrived and found out it was about 22 out on my ride (last year I would sometimes ride to work when it was about zero). I thought, “Finally, some winter temperatures.” And then I look at a 10-day forecast to realize that the high is predicted to be above freezing every one of those ten days which doesn’t bode well for precipitation arriving as snow.
Maybe it’s one of those “nature vs. nurture” things. I hear people out here talk about being so frozen when it gets below 32, but I’m used to it, so it doesn’t bother me too much. I hear about people who won’t venture outside when it rains and the temperature is hovering around freezing because of the ice — and there probably will be ice, but it’s not necessarily anything to be fearful of. Other Midwestern transplants like myself comment how the driver’s here in DC “go crazy” when there is even only a trace of snow. And I remember a day last month when it was predicted to”flurry,” and they had already spread salt on the road as I biked to work.
This winter is teaching me a few things. One of them is that I definitely miss snow and don’t know if I could live too many years out here where it is considerable lacking. But another is something more important, I think, and it has to deal with perception. Who has the better Winter weather? After this experience, I’ve learned it’s all in the eye of the beholder. And, of course, I’ve also learned that’s true about more than just the temperature and amount of snowfall.