Editor's Note: Snow and Strategy
It's snowing again in Philadelphia. If we get the eight to 10 inches that are expected, the total accumulation for the area this winter will be pushing the 80-inch mark. "Snowmageddon" is what we're calling it.
This winter here in FS' hometown has been a tug-of-war with Mother Nature. And all of our storms so far have shared a funny quirk: It snows — hard — and then there's a lull of an hour or two when the promise (or threat) of more snow hangs heavy in the quiet calm of winter air, cracked only by the crunch and grumble of folks with shovels trying to get a jump on the Big Dig. They dig. And dig — turning pristine expanses easily imagined as fairy paths or the delicate nape of Nature's winter neck back once again into sidewalks and cement drives. But Nature just won't give, and she quickly dismisses their work and snows all over their parades.
For those unlucky enough not to be able to stay home, morning drives turn into an exercise of pushing and grunting and tire-spinning. Low-riding cars morph into snowplows, rendered impotent halfway up the street by a dozen or so unrelenting inches that tear at their vulnerable underbellies and threaten exhaust pipes. Higher cars, left with wheels squealing, sound the warning — stay home! — with every noisy revolution.
But those who can eschew cars and commutes, the little and not-so-little lovers of frigid fun, take to city streets and suburban hills and vales with sleds and boards and dogs to make the best of a much-loved but none-too-frequent snow day. The frigid onslaughts of flakes leave in their wakes days in which sunlight dances off the shiny veneer of perfectly frosted fields. The world is a big, lush cake and the snow its sweet, white icing.