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Saturday, May 30, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Plan now for next blizzard’s fun

Jackie Beery, left, and Judy Waring ski across Fourth Street at Sherman Avenue in Coeur d’Alene on  Dec. 18 as snow  from the massive winter storm blanketed the region. Most adults seemed to forget how to have fun in the snow during December’s onslaught.  (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)
Jackie Beery, left, and Judy Waring ski across Fourth Street at Sherman Avenue in Coeur d’Alene on Dec. 18 as snow from the massive winter storm blanketed the region. Most adults seemed to forget how to have fun in the snow during December’s onslaught. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)

Now that our roofs are no longer collapsing, our snow berms are receding, and those white lumps in Browne’s Addition have revealed themselves as Mini Coopers, it’s finally safe to utter the following words:

Snow is fun.

We adults tend to forget this. Adults were certainly not allowed to utter this sentiment in December, aka, the Snowiest Month Ever. Actually, after about the seventh consecutive snowstorm, I wasn’t even inclined to utter it. My mood (and I believe I speak for the majority of our huddled and mittened masses), became emphatically anti-snow.

My attitude was summed up by the headline that I suggested, helpfully, for our Christmas front page: “Hey Bing, Here’s Your Stupid @&%^#%=$! White Christmas.”

Alternate suggestion: “Take This Squall and Shovel It.”

Even if I had wanted to say “Snow is fun,” I would have been run out of town on a roof rake. It’s hard to see the snow-joy when your Jeep Commander is high-centered, in the middle of downtown, on the Berm-lin Wall.

Yet now, with a little time, a little distance and a lot of thaw, it’s obvious to me that we have had ourselves one hell of a ride. I don’t know about you, but Christmas week at our house was an endless round of skiing, snowshoeing and sledding – and that was just to get to the grocery store.

But the fact is, snow is fun. Just ask any kid. Plenty of children had the Best Christmas Ever, tubing down snowy hillsides, building snow forts, shoving snow down a sibling’s neck, falling backward in the pristine powder to make a snow angel and then desperately tunneling back upward toward the light. Yes, the powder was that deep.

What would kids have done for fun if Christmas had been snowless?

Parents all over the region would have been forced to say, “You kids go outside and play in the freezing fog.” It’s just not the same.

You didn’t have to be 7 to have fun in the snow, either. Over at Merlyn’s, Spokane’s premier comics-and-games store on Main near Division, some considerably older “kids” figured out that Spokane’s blizzard-fest offered a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for fun, not to mention some awesome advertising footage for Nike.

A group of out-of-town urban guerrilla snowboarders turned the roof of Merlyn’s into a giant snow ramp. The snowboarders blasted down the sloped roof, off the lip, across the alley, over a fence, finally landing (occasionally upright) on a giant snow pile in an adjacent parking lot. A helicopter hovered overhead, shooting footage for a new Nike brand of snowboards.

A lot of people managed to have a less extreme form of fun. Cross-country skiers made tracks in the Finch Arboretum and snowshoers tromped through the wilds of Manito Park. One day, my daughter and I were walking along High Drive when we ran into a family who had just come back from carving telemark ski-turns all the way to Hangman Creek.

“It was a blast!” they said, cheeks ruddy from the adrenaline and/or the 8 degrees of Fahrenheit.

So, when the next blizzard arrives – and it will – we need to keep the following thought in mind. We can sit inside and complain about snow. Or we can recognize it for the best opportunity, ever, to go careening off a roof.

Jim Kershner can be reached at (509) 459-5493 or by e-mail at jimk@spokesman.com.

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