Thursday, January 17, 2008


Ha-HA...I did get something accomplished today. As I was struggling through a particularly nasty, slushy commute home today, I got the idea for a slice-of-life essay. Here's the result. I'm still not sure if it looks as good on paper as it sounded in my head. Feel free to leave comments or critiques. (I love feedback. Even if you just tell me I suck.)

by Angela Dalecki

It snowed today.

As a grown-up adult with grown-up responsibilities, I hate snow. I hate that it makes my commute home more difficult and twice as long as usual. I hate that I can’t drive easily in it. I hate having to clean off my car. I hate getting home an hour later than usual because the weather slowed traffic to a crawl on a highway.

It’s a shame I have to commute to and from my job. Because if I didn’t have to drive in it, maybe I would have appreciated how beautiful Pennsylvania looks with a fresh blanket of snow.

By the time I left work, it had been snowing for about three hours. When I stepped outside, there was about an inch of snow on the ground, and big, fat, snowflakes were still coming down. There was no wind, no rain, just snow.

If I hadn’t had to drive in it, I probably would have taken a moment to enjoy the beauty of it all. Because it wasn’t a snow I would have wanted to miss.

If I wasn’t so worried about getting home, I might have noticed that the snowflakes were the heavy, moist kind—the type that just clings to whatever it lands on. More than a dusting but not quite a blanket, the snow had covered the lawn to the point where you could just barely see grass tips peeking through.

I might have noticed the leafless oak trees along the streets and the parking lot, and how they were all lined with snow on each and every branch. I might also have noticed the evergreens—how their coating of snow made the branches hang just a little lower than usual, and how the layer of white on green gave them that coveted Christmas look that we never actually get around Christmastime here in the Mid-Atlantic states.

Most importantly, I might have noticed how muted our busy world gets when it snows like this, how quiet and peaceful it is, and what a magical feeling it is to stand outside and just allow the snow to catch in my hair and eyelashes. And if I’d noticed this, maybe I would have gone for a stroll, taking in all of the things I was too busy to see because I was cleaning off my car and cursing Mother Nature for never allowing it to snow on a Saturday.

And if I’d gone for a walk and taken in all of the breathtaking scenery, maybe I would have remembered how, as a child growing up New England, I would wait all season long for a snow just like this one—the perfect consistency for snowmen, snowball fights, sledding, snow angels, and catching snowflakes on my tongue. I’d think about how it’s been entirely too long since I enjoyed snow just for the sake of being snow. And I’d smile and walk a little longer, enjoying the feeling of flakes on my skin and thinking about how, for this moment at least, I’m a child again.

Eventually, I’d go back inside and warm myself up by changing into some cozy flannel pj’s and warm fuzzy socks, and making myself some hot chocolate and maybe baking some cookies. I’d put in an old movie, snuggle up under a blanket with my husband, and think that life is pretty okay right now.

Instead, I had to clear more than two inches of thick, wet, heavy snow off my car—without a brush, since I’m an idiot who doesn’t plan for these things—and endure an hour-long commute on a messy, slushy highway with hundreds of other people who don’t know how to drive in snow and insist in crawling at about 12 miles an hour. By the time I got home and could actually think about enjoying the snow, it had turned into rain. So now I’m inside, ready to eat dinner, just thinking about what might have been.

I think I might still make that hot chocolate.

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