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Archive for Friday, January 31, 1992

LONGING FOR WINTRY PLEASURES

January 31, 1992

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Sure, the weather outside is delightful.

There's nothing that can compare to driving around, sunroof open, windows down, in the middle of winter. Or wearing shorts to class if you can force yourself to attend. Or even camping out between classes on Wescoe Beach, that warm-weather sun-soakers' haven/meat market.

But this recent warm spell is more than the brief respite we're accorded almost every winter. It's been too long. Hard as it is to admit, we need snow.

That may not be a popular stance, but here are a few reminders of the greatest joys Kansas winters bring.

Sledding down Campanile Hill: Sure, it's trivial and childish I prefer the term childlike but after just about every substantial snowfall, it's the greatest place in town to sled. It's a party, and everyone's invited. Sailing down the Campanile Hill isn't the same without a ``borrowed'' residence hall cafeteria tray, but anything flat will do.

Winter driving: After the first real snowfall, it's evident all drivers have forgotten their winter-driving skills. Sure, we've seen those highlights on the national news when all those warm-climed Southern states get an uncommon snowfall.

The Southerners, unused as they are to the flakes, slide around like puppies on a just-waxed wood floor. Laugh though we might, we know we do the same thing until we've become accustomed to the slick stuff. It makes driving generally a banal, boring experience a challenge.

Sweaters: Face it they're cool. They're a lot better than T-shirts and Bermuda shorts.

Fires: In the fireplace, that is. Sure, it's one thing to enjoy the hearth in cold weather, but it's something else entirely when the flakes are coming down. Can't be beat.

Skipping school: Yes, playing hookie is a year-round practice, but a missed lecture seems much less important on a wonderful spring day. It is hard to get out of bed on the typical blustery winter morning. But it's important to keep a fairly regular attendance record over the winter to make the April ditching better. Trust me on this.

Cabin fever: It usually sets in about February, that I-gotta-get-out, I-can't-stand-it-anymore panic. It usually goes away the first 50-plus degree day in March. It may seem unusual to miss cabin fever, but it makes the first spring day even better. The smells seem to smell better, the birds seem to chirp louder, the. . .well, you get the idea. This isn't California or any other non-weather state. This is Kansas. The highs, the lows make every day an adventure.

Sure, it's possible to do without the slush, the colds and the chills that Kansas winters bring about, but it just doesn't seem like winter in Kansas without snow.

When the first real snow does fall don't worry, barring a catastrophic global warming trend, it will, though it might hold off until July I might recant. I'll probably change my tune in March.

But for now, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.

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