OPINION COLUMNS

Warming up to the idea of snowy weather

By Kristen Tribe | Published Saturday, January 7, 2017
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“Snow, snow, snow, snow, snow

“… I want to wash my hands, my face and hair with snow

“… I long to clear a path and lift a spade of snow …”

Or … not.

Kristen Tribe

Kristen Tribe

Although it’s one of my favorite songs performed in “White Christmas,” it’s possibly where my affinity for snow ends.

I’m not made for this weather. I simply don’t like to be cold.

Multiple hours of sub-freezing temps and snow flurries inspire me to do one thing: curl up on the couch under a blanket and wait for it to pass.

Keeping this in mind, you can imagine my initial dread when my husband suggested last year that we take a family vacation to Steamboat Springs, Colo., after Christmas.

In planning for the trip, he kept assuring me I simply needed proper clothing to better enjoy winter weather. (Having spent some time in North Dakota as a kid, he’s the family expert on blizzards, biting winds and bitter cold.)

To his credit, he shopped and gave suggestions based on my likes, dislikes and general quirks, to ensure I was outfitted for ultimate warmth.

Despite my apprehension, I was determined to suck it up weather-wise and enjoy myself, but I had second thoughts as soon as we landed in Denver. We stood outside waiting for a shuttle, and it was only eight degrees. Eight. Not even double digits. A maniacal laugh escaped my throat as I wondered how I had ended up in this place.

As we drove the rest of the way to Steamboat, the temperature dropped, if you can imagine that. In some valleys, it fell below zero (this was before nightfall). Somewhere along the way I decided the obvious answer was to stay in the car all week.

My husband thought it was hilarious and relished announcing the temperature every time it dropped. It became a running joke, but I was truly dreading spending hours on end in the cold.

We pulled into Steamboat near dusk, and my dread turned to delight. It was as if we had just driven into a postcard. They had received 100 inches of snow throughout the season at that point. It looked like a Christmas village, and we were all in awe.

Over the course of the next few days, we went snow tubing, snowshoeing, dog sledding and explored downtown and the neighborhood in which we were staying. They are obviously better equipped to handle snow in the mountains, so that, in addition to brilliant sunshine eased my weather phobia.

I felt like a fish out of water, and each outing required a bit of mental fortitude on my part, but I have to admit, I enjoyed every minute.

We didn’t take a winter vacation this year, but we’ve kept up with the snowfall in Steamboat while drinking up the sunshine here in Texas.

I’d become so used to 70-degree winter days this season that this week’s cold snap threatened to throw me into a funk.

But I decided instead to embrace it, and even wish for snow. After all, I now have all the proper gear, so let’s do this.

Friday morning I drug out the snow boots, down vest, heavy coat and gloves. I looked more like I was headed to the slopes than the newsroom, but after all, I was expecting, snow, snow, snow!

Kristen Tribe is editor of the Messenger. Although she was mentally prepared and determined to have fun in multiple inches of snow, she was actually relieved by Friday’s dusting.

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