I learned a few things during our snow event in Knoxville this week and was reminded of some others.
Snow is one of the crystalizing forces of nature. You reveal what is important to you when it snows. When snow was forecast last Monday, I made sure I had plenty of firewood in the house. When I was younger, a snow forecast sent me in search of a place to ski. In the blizzard of 1993, Knoxville was closed for a week, but I got on the road and managed to get to West Virginia to ski. After clearing off my driveway this week, I realized I no longer have any desire to snow ski.
I also question why anyone would voluntarily choose to live in Buffalo. And I can’t imagine what life was like without heaters fueled by electricity, natural gas or propane.
Almost everyone loves the first snow day of the year, except accountants in the beginning of tax season. Some people love snow days a little too much, thinking that if there is a snow-covered hill somewhere in an adjacent county, they better stay home, just to be safe. These are people who can’t get to work but have no trouble making it to Applebee’s.
I think that the first time there is a half-inch of snow in a season, employers should excuse from work anyone with kids under the age of 16 – with the requirement that they must share photos of themselves outside with their kids, trying to sled or build a snowman.
Like a lot of things in life, snow is as beautiful as it is dangerous. And like many problems, it eventually melts without ever having to do anything. You don’t have to drive on snow often to learn how to do it, but if you never drive in snow, you will never know how to do it.
I love how rules become pretty malleable when it snows. As long as kids don’t break anything (other than their own bones), they can get away with almost anything in the snow. For example, I bet that the south end zone ramp at Neyland Stadium is a fantastic sledding hill. I’m just guessing, of course. I’m also guessing Tennessee Athletics Director Danny White wouldn’t approve, but I’ve never known anyone to go to prison for doing it. Thank goodness.
Also, I’ve been told that, in a pinch, a cafeteria tray makes a quite functional snow sled – after which it should always be returned. It could snow again and someone else might need it.
David Moon is president of Moon Capital Management. A version of this piece originally appeared in the USA TODAY NETWORK.