Snow Angel of Mercy

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There was a “snow storm” all weekend, which really means a straight 24-36 hours of light snow, leaving at least one foot deep on the ground. When I went out for the first time after most of it had fallen, I fell on my back and made a snow angel in an untouched surface parking lot. It was the weekend; no one was parked there and it hadn’t been plowed yet. I wanted to make a statement about what flat land should be used for – fun. If you insist on paving over fun, at least build a couple extra levels connected by ramp so space can be saved elsewhere for fun.

I made another snow angel on my soon-to-not-be-my-parents’ front yard (more to come on that later) as kind of an homage to a childhood there. Walking the dogs through nearly pure, fresh snow was also a welcoming celebration of winter, because any dog with a decent coat deserves winter. Dogs in snow is one of the most fun things I can imagine. (Well, excluding a particular “fun” category…)

The downside of winter came on my walk to work this morning. Speeding cars down mucky roads splashed me with street slush twice – my pants, my coats, my bags – and I would’ve sacrificed my coffee and travel mug to break a windshield if it were logistically possible. (Speed and direction don’t cooperate with this plan.) A two-foot length of sidewalk is cut off by barriers: SIDEWALK CLOSED PLEASE USE OTHER SIDE, which would require me crossing six lanes of traffic twice. I walked around that sign, through the two-foot high unplowed hill of snow that surrounded it, out of spite and principle. I nearly fell. It wasn’t as fun or glorious as making a snow angel, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.

Despite the cold and the short days, snow makes winter the wonderland it’s called in song. I will make snowmen this year, which I haven’t done for possibly a couple of decades, and I will toboggan down man-made hills. It’s not the weather that makes a Prairie Winter unbearable; it’s the people complaining, the people rushing to shop for the holidays, and the people hiding in their mobile shells dirtying the roads and, evidently, people without mobile shells walking alongside them. I will take on the challenge of sticking to my guns, to my principles, if not to show people it’s possible to walk in snow and cold, then to gain notoriety in being that girl on the sidewalk who mouths off (and possibly throws snowballs) at cars. And for the snow angels. Definitely more snow angels.

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