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by Jeff Wilkin

Type A To Z

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Features reporter Jeff Wilkin on pop culture

Seeking the Snow Queen

We’re almost to the middle of December, and there’s only been a trace of snowfall.

I’m sure there are other people like me — folks who can’t wait to experience an old-fashioned snowstorm. I want to see frosted window panes, candles gleaming inside, painted candy canes on the tree.

It’s the ideal weather for chili con carne on the stove, fire in the fireplace and soft music on the stereo.

A few cold beers are also part of this equation .... but they are part of the equation on days of gentle spring rain, oppressive summer heat and quiet ’n’ cool autumn afternoons.

It just doesn’t seem like the holiday season unless we get a little snow and wind, something that justifies gloves and scarves. I look at the old Gazette’s weather page every day, and it’s the same old prediction — high temperatures in the high 30s or low 40s, some sunny days, some cloudy days, some breezy days. Jack Frost wouldn’t be caught dead in this weather.

On the same weather page, I’ve noticed that the snowiest December in history occurred in 1969, when I was just a dopey freshman at noble Aquinas Institute. We got 57.5 inches in the Capital Region that year, and we must have scored similar figures in Rochester. I remember trudging to school in wet, snowy cold, but I was used to it. Seems Decembers during the 1960s always promised early snow for us kids.

Right now, it looks like Thanksgiving weather outside. Barren trees, green grass, a few birds flying around. Folks are still raking leaves and riding bicycles. People have already rolled out their holly — many houses have been decorated inside and out for Hanukkah, Christmas and New Year’s. But we need a little snowfall.

Maybe some recent early storms have snow birds like me looking forward to a white winter. In 2008, we had that nutty ice storm on Dec. 12, followed by a monstrous snowstorm on Dec. 19 and another snowdown on New Year’s Eve. The weather watchers in Albany said we got 27.5 inches that year.

Now I don’t like to drive in snow, and avoid any travel on days when flakes are flourishing. I hate the idea of getting stuck on roads or getting hit by a lousy driver who drives even more lousy when snow has slicked up highways. And I’m not crazy about shoveling two feet or so on a blustery morning ... especially when I have postponed my snowblower purchase for another year.

But it’s December. Some people say they like snow just around the holidays. We’ve still got time, and winter doesn’t even start until the solstice on Dec. 21.

Just like we get hot days in May or cool days in August — reminders that summer and spring on their respective ways — I think we’re about due for a four-inch primer for the winter season.

Hurry snowfall!

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