As a teacher, March is a challenge. As Tara wrote last week, March is long. There aren’t any long weekends or vacations. It’ll be awhile until we see April vacation. Sometimes March feels like a slog toward spring.
In Vermont, it doesn’t help that all the commercials on TV and catalogues in the mail are filled with bathing suits, flip-flops, outdoor toys, and garden supplies. Unfortunately for us, in the mountains of northern Vermont, we won’t be able to make use of any of those “spring” items until Memorial Day has passed.
My mother used to remind us all the time that “March was the snowiest month.” For example, when we begged to stay home from ski lessons so we could watch Saturday morning cartoons:
My 8 year old brother: “Ma, can’t we stay long enough for Garfield?”
Mom: “No. Get in the car. March is the snowiest month.”
My brother and I in unison: “Ugh. Maa!”
Recently I caught myself saying the same thing not just once, but multiple times. To my daughter, to my nephew, and today to a whole group of teachers. I never really questioned the fact that March was the snowiest month until I sat down to write, tonight.
You see, I’m in the habit of coming up with a title first, and then writing a draft (changing the title as needed). So when I decided on “March is the Snowiest Month,” I then thought, “But wait. . . is it?”
So, I did what anybody would do in 2016 and I googled it. Turns out there were many websites that confirmed my what my mother taught me, but there were also a few that showed not March, but January as being the snowiest month.
Also, it seemed that most, if not all of the websites proclaiming March as the snowiest month just happened to be ski resorts, ski reviews, and skier blogs. The weather channels and meteorologists all pointed to January or February.
What does this mean? Why does everybody keep saying March is the snowiest month when the scientists say otherwise?
Maybe it’s a matter of perception. By March, we’ve been accumulating snow all winter long, so in some ways it is the snowiest month. Maybe it is snowier in the mountains than in the valleys? Maybe certain places in Vermont get more snow in March than any other month?
Whether or not it’s really true, I think that the idea of March being the snowiest puts a positive spin on the cold weather, and the long stretch of time we need to get through before spring really arrives. I like thinking March is the snowiest month. It gives me something to look forward to — because in my world snow means snow days, skiing, sledding, making snowmen. Lack of snow would mean just ice and cold and grey skies.
March is a long month. But it’s a good long month. Maybe not the snowiest month, but it is a month where anything can happen.