Some things never change, no matter how old I get. Like having pizza when we have snow.
That’s a tradition that started when I was in college. I attended Frostburg State College (now University) and lived in a rooming house a block or two from campus. The town and consequently the college were named after a family named Frost.
But—with the kind of winter weather we had there—the name really fit. While it’s hard to remember many details about my time at Frostburg—I told you I’m aging gracelessly—I remember snow being on the ground on a regular basis.
I didn’t have a car yet. In fact, I didn’t get my license till late summer after graduation and my first car three or four months later. So I had to walk if I needed anything from Frostburg’s modest “downtown.”
But the only thing I ever really “needed” from the main drag was a couple of slices of pizza. I could’ve eaten more, but I couldn’t afford it.
So it wasn’t unusual for me to trudge out while the last little bit of daylight remained and slip and slide up and down a few hills to reach my pizza place.
My intentions were always good: to wait until I got back to the house before eating.
Have you ever carried a box of fresh, hot pizza at chest level? Hard to ignore that delicious aroma, isn’t it? Especially if every part of you but your hands is freezing.
So I inevitably started nibbling on my treat while slipping and sliding my way back to the house. I was careful, though. As careful as possible considering what I was doing. But I don’t question that—had I fallen down—protecting the pizza would’ve taken priority over protecting myself.
After all, broken bones would mend–eventually. But I couldn’t afford to go back and replace any lost pizza.
That started a tradition for me. One that continued with my first wife and has continued with Kathleen. Whenever it snows, we have to have pizza. And we don’t order and have it delivered. One of us goes out to pick it up.
We do NOT walk, however. Neither do we eat in the car on the way home. We have to be practical. Texting and driving isn’t safe, and driving and eating pizza is even more dangerous.
This winter has broken our tradition, though. Or at least thrown it off kilter a little. We’ve had so much more snow than usual that we would look like a pair of Pillsbury Dough Boys if we’d indulged with each snowfall we’ve had.
But talking about it brings back those same fond memories, and I hope I never get too old to enjoy pizza when we have our first snowfall of the season—and periodically thereafter. Living without that would be graceless indeed.
Do you have any quirky traditions? How about sharing them with us?
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