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Never Snow Again

When we got engaged, we bought a wedding planner and Josh wrote on the first page: “Mommy, what was it like to live above ground?”  See, we were soooooo funny when we were in our twenties.  We liked to joke that by the time our kids were interested in looking at our wedding planner, we would be living in an underground bunker because the earth would be uninhabitable.

That doesn’t seem to funny anymore.

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Every morning when I go to wake up the kids, I peek out the window even though I know there hasn’t been snow in the forecast.  Why do I do this?  Wishful thinking?  Disbelief?

I am a lifelong Marylander.  We are owed snow days; it is our birthright.  It is the promise our state makes to all residents: we will get snow AND we will be incapable of clearing said snow from roads.  The tradeoff is the snow day.  We get to stay home and not do anything in exchange for putting up with the fact that Maryland cannot obtain sufficient numbers of snow plows.

I like this system.

But this year, we haven’t gotten any snow days.  Yes, there is snow in the forecast for Monday night, and people are running around, shrieking, because we could get anything from one inch to 400 feet of snow.  But the Capital Weather Gang has gently reminded us like a patient, cardigan-wearing grandpa not to get ourselves too worked up.  There is more of a chance for things to go wrong with this storm than for things to go right.

Sometimes you get a gut feeling on things: I just don’t think we’re going to see a school-cancelling amount of snow.

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I am aware that there are plenty of people on earth who have never experienced snow in the same way that I am aware that there are plenty of people who have chosen not to live on either coast and therefore going to the ocean is a big deal or doesn’t happen at all.

But that’s not the choice we made.  We made the choice to (1) live in a place that goes through all four seasons, (2) live within close proximity to the ocean, (3) live in a place that may get a little soupy in summer but is overall not too hot and not too cold.

The thing about global warming is that it’s entirely possible that some places will never see snow again.  I’ve thought about ocean levels rising and flooding.  I’ve thought about species dying out due to climate change.  But I’ve never given a lot of thought to the idea of year after year without snow.  While I know there are plenty of other people who live that way, it isn’t our norm.  It’s unfathomable that we will have to travel to experience snow, something that used to fall down all around our house.

It makes me sad, first, but it also gives me the energy to fight the good fight and support the work of environmental groups to address global warming.  Emissions are NOT going to take away my Maryland-snow-incompetence days, not if I can help it.

13 comments

1 Raven { 03.12.17 at 7:53 am }

I’m Canadian….so we see lots of snow every winter BUT this year, we’ve had way less than I can ever remember having in my life. I doubt Canada will become snow-free in my lifetime but it’s scary to think of the changes afoot.

2 a { 03.12.17 at 9:48 am }

We usually see some snow, but it has hardly even been cold this year. 🙁

3 Working mom of 2 { 03.12.17 at 11:03 am }

Be careful what you wish for…after many years of drought in Calif we got a ton of rain here all at once. Big Sur is cut off etc.

But I know your point was climate change. And the head of the EPA is a denier. Oy.

4 loribeth { 03.12.17 at 11:42 am }

It’s been cold at times this winter, and we are still getting snow (30 cm = 1 foot is supposedly on the way tomorrow/Tuesday…!) — but even where I grew up on the Canadian Prairies, it’s not the constant presence that I remember as a child. I read an article about how backyard skating rinks may soon become obsolete… there’s a house on the other side of the condo property that has a huge, regulation size rink, complete with boards & lights, and I’ve only seen kids out there using it a handful of times since they built it after Christmas. The weather does seem to be more extreme these days. The swings in temperature are greater (it was +18C one day in mid-February, which I don’t ever recall in my lifetime, anywhere I’ve lived). The thunderstorms in the summer seem to be more violent, the rain more torrential. A lot of my friends post on FB about how they love the milder weather & don’t miss the snow & cold, but I keep thinking that one way or another, we are going to pay for it… 🙁

5 Cristy { 03.12.17 at 12:45 pm }

I grew up with snow being a given (and snow-days being obselete because our state had an army’s worth of snow removal equipment). Today we do have snow, but it is no where to the level promised.

Climate change has been on my mind for years. Particularly being around atmospheric scientists and them warning me that it was no longer a matter of if. The problem is, I do believe now we won’t get a majority on board until we’re rapidly going down that road of no return. With the EPA being silenced and the fossil fuel agenda showing no chance of slowing, I really don’t have a lot of hope.

6 Click { 03.12.17 at 1:52 pm }

I live on an island which is usually well sheltered when it snows but it’s exposed enough to get a sprinkling. We’ve not had anything this year either. It makes me sad because we’re definitely seeing more extreme weather now.

7 Cassie Dash { 03.12.17 at 3:32 pm }

It’s funny (or not), but I live in the Seattle area, and we’ve had two snow days (and many school delays) this winter for the first time in YEARS. My three-year-old got to play in it for her very first time! Snow is not our winter norm, but this year we’ve definitely had it. And our family in Portland (Oregon) has had so much snow, it’s truly not funny at all. So we’re the opposite of you and it makes me worry all the same. This global warming is no joke.

8 Chris { 03.12.17 at 5:27 pm }

As a native Californian who is starting to think we may float away…(don’t get me wrong…we needed water…but, maybe not quite this much all at once?) I’m right there with you on thinking about climate change. But, I have been for years. And it’s been really noticeable to me since we moved back to an area where we visited every year growing up because my grandparents lived there. Because growing up you could count on a certain amount of rain and fog. We came back and there was very little rain and NO fog. None. It’s eerie.

9 Beth { 03.13.17 at 6:51 am }

I live in Michigan so we will likely always have some snow. And we will get the odd snow day because we get blizzards. But we’ve gotten far fewer in recent years. It’s most notable to me in the month of February. 11 years ago when we got married it was on the coldest day of that winter. Record setting. This year? We celebrated our anniversary – in the same state – with 60+ degrees, outside riding bikes with our daughters.

10 Mali { 03.13.17 at 8:13 am }

I’ve been to DC in the summer, and in the winter, so I had to laugh at your definition of not too hot and not too cold. I guess it’s all relative, right? We’ve had the worst summer on record this year, so in a way I can relate to you having a warm winter without snow. It really is a global issue.

11 nonsequiturchica { 03.13.17 at 2:06 pm }

For the first time in 146 YEARS Chicago did not get any measurable snow (i.e. more than .5 in) in both January and February. Last night we got about 3 in and that is the first snow we have seen since DECEMBER 11th. THIS IS NOT NORMAL.

12 Lori Lavender Luz { 03.13.17 at 8:42 pm }

Oh, our twenties (for me, thirties). Who could have known the “Mommy” part was so full of innocence and presumption?

But yes, climate change. Forgive me for not hoping you get a snow day tomorrow. If you do, my husband won’t be able to get home.

How about Wednesday? Snow away!

13 Amber { 03.21.17 at 4:40 pm }

We actually had quite a bit of snow this year. I can’t say that’s unusual though, as it tends to happen every few years. Last year we barely saw a dribble of snow, but three years ago we had a ton!

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