What do you mean it's gonna snow?

By Dwight Collins | Dec 29, 2015

Camden — So here I sit in my office looking out the window, pondering what I might write about and all of a sudden it hit me — it's snowing.

The first snow of the season always gets me excited, a fresh blanket of white wonder that makes everything look clean. Then I step outside. Now mind you, I run hot, but this morning reminds me why I own a hat and gloves — but of course I have no idea where they are.

I believe that procrastination is a human trait that most all Mainers have come to the surface during the first few weeks of winter. “Oh I still got time,” we say because the weather has been more spring-like than the tough northeast winters we are accustomed to. I admit I fell into that trap too; 50-plus degrees on Christmas and three days later I am defrosting the car and wondering what the heck I did with the damn scraper.

I admit, the only thing I did was get tires on my car. I did not dig out my boots or gloves and the only reason I have a hat is because my sister made me one for Christmas. I did however scramble around yesterday to make sure that my son AJ had his and that he was prepared — so I may have failed myself, but mini me is ready.

One would think after the winter we had last year, I would be more prepared, after all I was a Boy Scout. Honestly, the mild start to the winter lulled me into a false sense of security, I had convinced myself that plow guys around the state were not going to make a penny from plowing snow, heck I was wearing flip-flops until today.

Another thing that gets lost in our short-term memory is the ability to drive in bad weather. If you don't trust your driving stay home — please. I don't worry about me, I drive slow and take my time, if I get stuck it's usually because I am not paying attention. I have been driving in Maine winters for almost 30 years and it never fails that the first cars I see in the ditch were the ones that passed me in a hurry or their tires are as bald as a baby's bottom. Word to the wise, brakes don't work the same in snow as they do on dry pavement — might wanna take note.

I love winters in Maine. The cold? Not so much. However, do love the beauty that it holds from the warmth of my apartment as I drink my coffee. I remember living in Camden and one night back in the end of January 1989, my buddy Jonas and I struck out in the middle of the night to walk into town from upper Mountain Street. The street lights were an amber color as the snow blew sideways, I remember that the snow was crotch deep (yes, not very deep for me I know) and each step was like using a stairmaster.

Not a soul was around and the only thing we could see as we entered town was the lights of the plow trucks and big bucket loaders piling the snow in the middle of the five-way intersection.

It was surreal. The howling wind and blowing snow made it feel like we were inside a snow globe. As we made our way back to my friend's house, we soon realized that going out was not one of the smartest things we had done, or at least that's what the plow truck driver said as he slowed down to give us hell for being in the road.

I try to take the plow guys advice. If its so crappy out that plow trucks are running, stay home. I could only imagine two sets of feet sticking out of a snow bank, because that old bird didn't see us. Every time it snows I think of that night and say to myself – I think I'll just stay home.

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