Every year about this time, give or take a couple weeks, there comes a time when enough snow melts that you can see your lawn again. It’s glorious. You can smell the freshly thawing dirt and see slight sprigs of green grass, watered by the melting snow. After a long winter either inside, moving outside from point A to B, or engaging in frantic winter sports that require you to keep moving to generate body heat, you can finally take a leisurely stroll among the puddles, mud, and treacherous ice patches still lurking in the shady areas.
Each year at this time I congratulate myself for having survived another winter to see the next amazing spring. I start to make plans for how I will clean the yard up after another winter of neglect and dormancy, which usually entails raking up the last bits of leaves and sticks from early winter, which always seems so long ago. I make plans for where the baseball equipment will go, baseball being the natural thing to think about in mid-March.
But then a terrible thing happens, every year. You see, where I grew up, in Kansas, March represents spring. Trees get buds, grass greens, the weather turns, and so on. March may be windy or drab, but you can at least be out in it, and you know it’s going to gradually get better every day. It’s like they taught us in school: March winds bring April showers which bring May flowers, which brought the Pilgrims. But in Minnesota, it turns out that March is the heaviest month for snowfall, and there was nary a mention of March snowfall where I grew up.
They don’t tell you that when you first show up here, and you’ll spend the rest of your life with a slight chip on your shoulder about this bit of trickery, a meteorological bait-and switch where they hook you with winter sports and hot chocolate and playful sex romps in the snow, only to give you brown, sandy ice, mud and the first 70 degree day roughly the same time the NBA playoffs end. Though to be clear, no one actually promised me sex romps in the snow. I just assumed that’s what “winter sports” meant.
This morning I woke to see my lawn, which I had only become reacquainted with two days earlier, gone again. And now tonight we are getting what they call “Heart Attack Snow”. Really, that’s what they call it, because March snow is often very wet and heavy, and people have heart attacks when they try to shovel it. Non-natives, no doubt.
Personally, I like to call snows like we’ll get tonight “Fuck You Snow”. Because that’s what this snow is saying to me, each and every year. And after the Fuck You Snow we’ll get the “Ha Ha, Fuck You Again Snow”, followed by the “Winter Will Never End Snow”. Some years the snows continue later than others, and they all have various names, but none of them break your heart like the Fuck You Snow.