I live in New Albany, Ohio, a suburb of Columbus. It’s located in the Midwest.
We have seasons here. For those of you who live at the North Pole or on the equator, a “season” is a period of relatively consistent, distinct weather. There are four of them. They follow each other in an endless cycle in which the temperature warms and cools, then warms and cools again, and again, and again.
The different seasons feature different weather. It’s likely to be wet in the early spring. The summer months see pop-up thunderstorms and, occasionally, tornadoes. And, as autumn progresses, we get a condition called “snow.” Weather.com defines “snow” as “frozen precipitation in the form of white or translucent ice crystals in complex branched hexagonal form” that “usually appears clustered into snowflakes.”
In the Midwest, snow is inevitable. It happens, repeatedly, every year. Every human being beyond the toddler stage who has lived in Columbus for at least a year has seen snow and knows precisely what it is. It is part of the circle of life, as predictable as a first-game loss for the Cleveland Browns.
So why, then, does the first day of autumn snowfall — like, say, this morning — cause the reasonably proficient drivers of Columbus to behave like slack-jawed rubber-neckers who’ve never seen white stuff fall from the heavens? Why does it impel them to slow down to creeping speed on completely safe interstate highways?!? Why does it always result in my normal 25-minute commute to become an hour-long, wheel-pounding, tooth-grinding ordeal?!?!?!?!?
Well, at least we’ve got that out of the way.