Old Man Winter’s blast can’t stop the tide

A classic nor’easter dumped a bunch of snow on The Yard, accompanied by the wicked winds that are a signature of these nasty storm systems. Growing up in the Midwest, I knew all about Lake Effect Snow, but nor’easters were foreign. After few decades on the East Coast, I’ve gone from wide-eyed disbelief (mostly at how poorly the region handled the storms) to rolling my eyes at the advent of the term “bomb cyclone.”

When you know, you know … these two guys pretty much represent reactions to winter nor’easters. By the way, I was sitting at a wedding about 10 years ago and I kept looking at this woman’s hair. It was so familiar, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. Just about the time the couple was going to light the unity candle, it struck me – “She’s Misses Green Christmas, She’s Misses Sun …” I had to cover my mouth so I didn’t laugh out loud. After the service, I couldn’t muster up the courage to ask her if it was an intentional copycat hairdo.

But everyone reacts to these storms differently. You always have Team Snow, who get excited when the predicted totals climb and are disappointed when the forecasts miss the mark. There’s the anti-snow group (of which I am a member), who get grumpier with every updated forecast, then grouse about how awful the forecasters were. But there are also the Snow Newbies, those who grew up where snow was either an oddity or non-existent. For them, a nor’easter is like someone who’s never had chocolate being dropped in the Hershey factory. Overwhelming.

Seems fitting that the storm arrived as January is packing its bags to make way for February, the heart of the Dark Ages. While everyone endured the storm, they reacted differently. And everyone will turn the page on the calendars soon, but it will mean different things to different people.

For the Plebes, on a macro level, it’s the realization that the Dark Ages are here for real. On a more micro level, they are about a month away from choosing a major, no small item. The Firsties are on their Parade of Lasts. With service selection behind them, commissioning is becoming very real. The Youngsters and 2Cs know the routine and can embrace the suck to get to the other side. But they, too, know that on the other side are changes, especially for the 2Cs who will be coming up on their final summer at USNA before they become the top dogs … goats? … on The Yard.

I’ve written often about the Academy’s ceaseless rhythm. Through tumultuous societal unrest, through a pandemic, through a nor’easter, everything keeps moving forward, just like the ceaseless rhythm of the tide.

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