Snow Pro/Con

We've had a lot of snow this winter - 70 inches as of today. The average for the  entire winter around here is 42 inches, and we've still got two or three months of winter weather to go! The extreme weather has its benefits and drawbacks.


1. Snow days! This is my fifth winter in Cambridge, and my workplace has had one or maybe two snow days in all of the previous winters combined. This year, we've already had two, plus a handful of delayed openings and early releases. You just don't expect that to happen much once you're out of high school, but it's a nice surprise when it does.

2. New snow. Freshly fallen snow is so lovely, and week-old snow is so gray and dreary. It's been nice to have the fresh snow replenished so frequently this winter. The city looks clean and fresh and bright.

3. Extreme conditions. It's kind of thrilling to see snow piled higher than the cars, so high that you can't see over the snowbanks. The neighborhood feels like a different world with this new landscape.


1.Traffic pile-ups on the sidewalk. By "traffic," I mean pedestrians. I realize that I'm lucky not to have to rely on a car to get me to work, but the snow limits walkers, too. As more snow falls and there's fewer places to pile it,  the sidewalks get narrower and narrower, which means no more passing lane. If you get stuck behind someone walking slowly, you're stuck for good. And if you run into someone coming the other way, one of you has to "pull over" into the snowbank.

2. Flooding. Our apartment is on an upper floor, so I'm not worried about my stuff getting ruined, but the office where I work is slightly below ground level, and any melt-off leads to water running in under the front door. I once had a minor moat around my desk during the spring thaw, and I anticipate that there will be a lot more water coming in once the temperature gets above freezing this year. And here's the gross part: the rising water flushes out cockroaches looking for higher ground. There is no insect that I like less than the cockroach.

3. Dirty snow. As I said, we've had frequent fresh snows this year, but at some point the storms are going to stop and the snow will begin the long, ugly process of melting away, gradually turning gray and black and revealing all of the litter that was buried beneath drifts as the snow fell. It will be an extra-long process this year.