Snow Business

After finally digging out from the 27 inches of snow that fell on the nation's capital-a city founded on a simple democratic principle: "What's a snowplow?"-it's time to look back at the beauty of it all and appreciate what could only be described as a "winter wonderland." Or, maybe "house arrest."

Actually, being housebound for almost five days was a real gift to our family. It gave us an unexpected opportunity to enjoy being together and have the kind of intimate fellowship that families seldom experience. And for good reason. You go nuts with all that intimate fellowship.

It was the worst snow in 50 years. It was so bad that one radio station played the shower scene music from Psycho during weather forecasts ("This just in: More snow." EEK!EEK!EEK!EEK!) And Washington's mayor was not reassuring when he announced his strategy for dealing with the blizzard: "Wait for spring."

The snow made things even harder for the federal government, which was already closed by stalled budget negotiations. Fortunately, because of a generous contribution from the National Rifle Association, the House of Representatives was able to remain open.

To be honest, the blizzard had its good points. We've been waiting years to go sledding, for example, and I'd forgotten how much fun it is to rush down a hill on a soft bed of fresh snow for a few yards before separating from your sled, then sliding the rest of the way down on your stomach, scooping a cubic yard of snow down your neck. Fortunately, you have on lots of extra layers of clothes, which immediately turn the snow into ice water on your bare skin. I'd forgotten how much fun that is. Which is why we only did it once. (We stopped because I was using up too much Chapstick on my chest.)

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Sojourners Magazine March-April 1996
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