Snowed In: A Tale of Yetis, Snow Forts, and Burning Marshmallows

I was born in California, and lived a generally snow-free existence for the first several years of my life. Ever since, I have had an almost fiendish love of snowstorms. I was the weird kid flushing ice cubes down the toilet, doing snow dances in the street, and wearing my pajamas inside-out in hopes of helping convince Mother Nature and the school superintendent that a snowday would be a great idea.

You can imagine my excitement last Monday as the Northeast prepared for one of the biggest snowstorms in recent memory. Even seasoned New Englanders were tromping around school Monday in their snow boots, the air electric after we received word that school was cancelled in anticipation of the storm. There was a collective rush as people raced through the library, printing notes and gathering books in anticipation of a day at home. The heavy grey sky glared through the windows, and already the winds was swirling small piles of snow around on the sidewalk.

By the time we made our mass exodus from school, the road was a parade of snowplows at the ready. I made my way to the grocery store to stock up on the essential supplies: hot chocolate and pancakes. In times like these, something funny happens to New Englanders: their hard exterior cracks, and they’re suddenly nice! Though the shelves were all but empty, people were smiling, striking up conversations, waiting patiently in the long checkout lines.

Back at home, I charged my phone, found my flashlight, and settled halfheartedly into homework. Sooner than later, I gave up and just watched the storm. It was magnificent. Even before I went to bed, the snow was pummeling the earth and howling winds carried piles of snow off of roofs and cars, leaving mountains of snow.

The evening also involved dreams of last year's snowday, and the resulting 12-foot-tall snowman ...

The evening also involved dreams of last year’s snowday, and the resulting 12-foot-tall snowman …

A snowplow got stuck on the hill in front of my apartment at 4:00am. Car alarms went off as cars were buried under drifts of snow. Too excited to sleep, I finally got out of bed and spent my morning enjoying my hot chocolate and pancakes, studying corporations, and taking periodic breaks to stare out the window and monitor the whereabouts of the vegan, pillow-fighting Yeti on the loose in Boston. (If you didn’t hear about the Yeti, please inform yourself.)

And so the shoveling begins!

And so the shoveling begins!

Quickly tiring of snow-shoveling, I resorted to tunneling.

Quickly tiring of snow-shoveling, I resorted to tunneling.

By early afternoon, the winds died down, and the snow beckoned me outside. I rounded up my roommates to shovel, build a snow fort, and continue a tradition we started last year: the increasingly epic SNOW-B-Q. The snow continued into the night.

Marshmallows and snow forts are essential elements of the SNOW-B-Q.

Marshmallows and snow forts are essential elements of the SNOW-B-Q.

On snowday number two, the sun came out, and with it, all of Boson. The streets were full of people shoveling themselves out, flopping into huge piles of snow, valiantly attempting to shape snowballs out of the powdery snow, and jealously talking about friends who’d headed towards the ski slopes before the storm hit. Though the travel ban had been lifted and cars were technically allowed back on the roads, people tromped down the middle of the streets (vaguely reminiscent of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road). Shops opened back up when their employees were able to walk their way into work, and a friend and I parked ourselves at Fuel, a great little coffee shop in Brighton. Still didn’t get any homework done.

Yes, we’ll have to make up the days we missed, but it doesn’t matter. We’ll have piles of snow for weeks, and stories about the storm for much longer than that.

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