The tradition I carry on is Snow Fever. It’s more of an affliction than a tradition but many people refuse to admit it’s a problem. Whether through genetics or learned behavior, I prefer swirls of powdery potential death, racing in lively gusts over the boredom of barely frosted vegetation. This conflicted love I carry on includes delicate, fleeting flakes, violent thundersnow, or anything in between. Snow delivers the hope of life returning after the offseason, tourist dollars, and play. What other natural substance allows humans to glide, bounce and fly? The price of snow may include lost toes or treacherous roads but Snow Fever persists.

No, I’m not a masochist. I hate shoveling, too. That’s why Snow Fever can be a real burden from the first hint of snow in October to the last melancholy squall in April (or May, or June). Despite the pain of shoveling, I can’t help but share my pining for this particular combination of hydrogen and oxygen responsible for joy, sadness, rage, and nostalgia. The pull is obvious when contemplating memories of fluffy powder on mittens and creating laughter fueled snow angels. These memories help you forget the long, frigid nights in January.

Do you suspect you have Snow Fever? Signs and symptoms of Snow Fever may include:

*impatience for the first flake to arrive
*awe at snowflakes glittering under streetlights
*longing for the rush of visitors, fun, celebrations, and traditions associated with frozen precipitation
*wistful thinking about snow while in tropical climates
(This symptom is the most embarrassing and causes potential episodes of extreme rage in loved ones stuck at home.)

You may be saying, “No, that couldn’t be me”. Take a moment to reflect on instances when loved ones wanted to murder you or questioned your sanity. Did you share your sadness at the last dirty, little snow pile evaporating on a warm, sunny day? Did you wake on a cold morning openly hoping for a white blanket on the yard and gracefully bowed trees? Did you hint at your tolerance, even joy, at Old Man Winter’s cantankerous, violent bouts for the gift of yet another foot of fresh powder?

“That’s definitely not me!”, you laugh while hopping on a plane to the tropics, convinced you’re not coming back until summer. Don’t lie to yourself, this affliction is real. Unfortunately, there is no cure for Snow Fever, just accept this particular genetic condition, passed in the guise of Adirondack tradition, and make peace with shoveling.

One thought on “Snow Fever by Heather Haag

  1. Then there was that morning, I was about ten and, for that winter, my bed was beside a large, loose window, and I woke up to an inch of snow on top of my bed! It made an interesting “crunch” sound as I moved under it. I quickly got the snow off (into a metal trash can) before it would melt and soak my blankets!

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