Apathy & Snow Angels

 Apathy is living oblivion. - T-Shirt 

Comments I, myself, have heard (or spoken) in the past two weeks or so:

"I am done with this *+&#@"

"I wish we could get more."

"Can't wait to get out and play in it."

"Gonna hunker down and hope the power stays on."

"This is why I DON'T live in Minneapolis."

"This is why I WISH I lived in the islands."

When it comes to snow in our little corner of the world, Indifference takes a back seat. And keep his mouths shut. Around here, snow inspires passion. Fervor. Sometimes rage.

And then of course, there are the frantic milk-and-bread-panic-attack-grocery-store-runs. And while we're on the subject... milk and bread? Really? You're going to be holed up for a few days, and all you want is milk and bread? What about Doritos and beer? Tacos and Oreos? Meat balls and hot sauce? More evidence that snow makes you crazy.

But when the flakes start flying around here, the passion does indeed start pumping. The fervor either for-or-against the wintry-mix produces a wild-and-wooly mix of feelings and opinions. Sleds and moods begin sliding down. Snowballs and epithets get thrown around. Snow people rise; attitudes plummet. In these here hills, snow divides us in ways that Republicans and Democrats have never known.

There are a few things that bring snow-lovers and haters together, however. Bon-fires, for instance. Hot chocolate. Snuggling with your honey. Snuggling with someone who might become your honey. Sipping whiskey by the fireplace. And hot tubs.

A few snows back, there were seven or eight of us in the tub. We were wearing bathing suits or less. The water was hot. Steam filled the room. Outside, there were about 5 inches of snow on the ground and more coming down. It was a quiet, gentle snowfall. No wind. No branches snapping or transformers ka-powing. We were there together, snow groupies and snow haters alike.

The chatter and laughter was as bubbly as the water when someone said, "Hey! Let's run out and make snow angels!" And he immediately jumped out of the tub and ran outdoors. The rest of us watched him go, dropping our jaws with a collective, "What the....?"

The snow-angel-maker reappeared in the doorway looking like a scene from Yellowstone Park. Steam coming out of every pore. "Come on!" he said. "It's amazing!" And so, social pressure being what it is, believers and non-believers alike climbed out of the tub, went outside in the 20-something degree air, plopped themselves in the snow, created a heavenly host right there in the back yard and then scrambled back into the tub with a frenzy usually reserved for milk and bread.

There may be physical sensations more invigorating than hot-tub-snow-angel making; but, if there is, I've never experienced it. In our breath-taking thrills and chills and hooting-and-hollering return to the tub, our divisions over snow evaporated. We were simply a collective of steamy, giggling goof-balls who, through laughter and silliness erased any semblance of apathy or nonchalance. We were ecstatic to simply be alive. And warm.

"Apathy," says the T-Shirt, "is living oblivion." Life is too short to not give a damn. Whether you love it or hate it - play in it or stay inside eating bread and milk,   snow disrupts our routine, shakes us loose and kicks apathy in the butt. Hurray for the &*#@ snow!!!

Howard will be celebrating St. Paddy's Day with some live Irish music, good friends and enough Irish whiskey to make St. Brighid and St. Patrick do a little dance.  Or maybe a little more.  Howard is a true believer in luck.  And, since the Irish seem to have more of a handle on the gift than any other country and since Howard is pretty sure he's got some Shamrocky blood running through his veins, he will be singing, dancing and lifting a glass to each and all.  Howard's favorite Irish toast:

May those who love us, love us

And for those who don't love us, may God turn their hearts.

And if He can't turn their hearts, may He turn their ankles

So we'll know them by their limping.