Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Life Lessons: Anticipating snow

I remember as a kid the excitement I felt when anticipating a major snow storm. It seems no matter how many years have passed the moment I hear the words "a major snow storm is on its way!" I am instantly that little kid again eagerly awaiting the snow. I would always listen to the reports of the weather and I would love looking out the door watching the snow fall. As the snow accumulates and falls at a rapid clip I just love the feeling of being warm and cozy inside our house with my family as it continues to fall. I always welcomed a day off from school during a snow storm and would enjoy going outside and helping with the shoveling and having playtime in the snow. To me snow is an instant connection to my childhood and it seems I am fascinated by the beauty and calmness of a heavy snow storm. I love when the winds blow the snow as it falls and all you see is a heavy blowing snow all around you as the depth of the snow continues to grow.

I remember some real heavy snow storms during the years and each one was unique. The one snow storm that sticks out most in my mind was the one that hit in 1978 in February when we were living in Bellmore, New York and I was in high school. It was 2 storms that hit back to back. The first was a heavy snow storm with heavy blowing winds constituting a blizzard with an accumulation of approximately 2 feet of snow. Then on the heels of that storm was an ice storm that seemed to crystallize everything making the combination of snow and ice look like a winter wonderland. I remember we lost power due to downed power lines for several days and missed an entire week of school.

Another snowstorm that I remember vividly was one that hit in 1996 on January 7th on a Sunday which was my sister's birthday and the snow fell from the early afternoon through the late afternoon on Monday. I remember having 2 days off from work and walking with a friend in the middle of Merrick Road through 26 - 28 inches of snow with not a car in sight. It was a very surreal experience. These snow storms have created many exciting memories and each time I hear of one on its way it seems to trigger these memories of past snow storms. I always enjoyed sleigh riding and skiing and whenever I get a snow day I would find my way to the local park at Newbridge where I would sleigh ride down the hill near the baseball fields.

Now that I am a father I love to take advantage of a snow day with my son. I usually have Maria prepare him for outside by dressing him in layers so he is protected from the winds and the cold snow. We love sleigh riding and would drive to Newbridge to sleigh ride on the hill where just about every school kid is playing. Matthew loves sliding down the hill and I feel like a kid myself sliding down the hill after my son. I've always welcomed a snow storm and feel that having changes in seasons is fun for that very reason of anticipating the snows. If I were in Florida in the winter I'm sure I would enjoy going to the beach with my family but I know I would certainly miss the snow.

Another pleasant memory I have of winter and snow is my mother's lovely voice calling my sisters and I inside to have a grilled cheese sandwich and a nice cup of hot chocolate, one of my favorites. These memories are priceless to me and sometimes I shed a tear knowing these times are long gone now and the calls of my beautiful mother are now only distant memories.

This is why I need to spend the time with my wife and son on snow days so we create our own beautiful memories and so our son will have wonderful memories to share with his family some day. As I prepare for yet another snow storm I will make sure we have our fun in the snow and I will capture it on video and on my digital camera which makes the memories extra special. "A major snow storm is on its way!" I can't wait! My son already knows he has a snow day and I will keep my fingers crossed that I will have one too!

Edward D. Iannielli III

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Please feel free to read my writings and leave a kind message or suggestion. Thank you. Emily