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Thank You, South Bend winter

Laura McCrystal | Friday, January 21, 2011

Dear South Bend winter,

Since I am currently spending my final months with you, I would like to put my love and respect for you into words.

Last year at this time, I was headed to France for a semester. While I was there, it snowed once or twice but never stuck to the ground. Since returning to South Bend last weekend, I’ve realized that there are so many things I forgot about winter here in northern Indiana.

South Bend winter, there are a few things only you could teach me, and for these I am eternally grateful.

Thank you for giving me a great reason to buy a brand new down coat at an after-Christmas sale over winter break.

Also, thank you for making me rethink my decision to purchase that coat in white as soon as I remembered how that snow stays white for approximately five minutes before turning to gray or brown sludge.

Thank you for making Starbucks’ peppermint hot chocolate, my favorite drink, taste especially delightful. There’s nothing like walking into LaFortune to get a hot chocolate on a day when the wind-chill is 30 degrees below zero.

Thank you for the valuable reminder that no matter how bad my day is or what kind of mood I am in, sunshine and blue skies are always a reason to smile. After all, it could be several months before the sun peeks out again from behind layers of gray gloom.

Thank you for teaching me balance. Or, at least, for reminding me I should wear boots with traction and try to improve my balance. Within 24 hours of returning to South Bend last weekend, I wiped out in the street in front of my off-campus house. This was also the first time I began to regret purchasing a white coat. But, on another note, this moment reminded how much fun I had when I got similar bruises playing broomball last semester.

Thank you for giving me a reason to spend my Saturday afternoons doing absolutely nothing other than sitting on my couch, watching television and reminiscing about football season.

Thank you for allowing Notre Dame students to look forward to getting to the beach during spring break. After spending January through March in South Bend, we appreciate tropical climates more than students from any other school.

Thank you for the threat that even after spring break, winter is probably far from over. Sudden changes from sun to snowstorm are great life lessons and reality checks.

Thank you for making students think that it’s normal to wear shorts, sundresses, flip-flops and t-shirts as soon as the thermometer hits 55 degrees.

Finally, South Bend winter, I would like to thank you for being ridiculously long. Who wants a short and mild winter when sunshine and warm weather also mean graduation and saying goodbye to my days as a Notre Dame student?

The views expressed in the Inside Column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

Contact Laura McCrystal at lmccryst@nd.edu