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The winter storm dumping on the mid-Atlantic states today causes me to reflect on the Top Ten reasons the rest of my family loves a huge snow storm (notice that I am not included in that group):

10. It usually involves an excuse to escape the routine of some level of responsibility (schoolwork, canceled activities, etc.) and participate in a group adventure. (Now if that “adventure” escalates into something like a long term power outage . . . the thrill will quickly wear off.)

9. Wet snow gives perfect conditions for making igloos, building fancy snowmen and engaging in surprise snowball attacks. Dry snow is easier to shovel, protects you better from the elements and brings its own set of fun activities.

8. It’s a chance to make special requests of Mom to run to the store and stock up on their favorite snack food so that we can ride the storm out with the proper munchies. (We are way beyond just stocking up on toilet paper and milk. We are talking DVDs and library books as well.)

7. They must get some sort of sadistic pleasure out of watching Dad spend hours shoveling and clearing off cars. (OK, that was a cheap shot … they do pitch in and help.)

6. Admittedly, the Winter Wonderland look is a beautiful one. I think our family pictures themselves as removed from the hustle and bustle of the big city and living back on idyllic Little House on the Prairie. Keeping a fire blazing adds to the ambiance of the overall experience. Of course that assumes that we took the proper steps of preparation and laid in enough of a supply. Roasting marshmallows is always part of our survival diet.

5. Hot chocolate with marshmallows (are you detecting a theme here?) tastes a lot better the colder and snowier it gets.

4. As long as the TVs are working, you can cycle through a ton of old episodes of ALIAS on DVD in order to get caught up as season #4 commences. (OK, I admit I like that option as well). Jigsaw puzzles and board games get a lot of action as well.

3. Any friends within walking distance are sure to be home as well … so it is a great chance to get together and hang out. There is no more “neighborly” a time than a winter storm. Break out the sleds (if we can still find them) and hit the hills for some extra excitement.

2. They need to be able to use all of their new snow gear and accessories. Just like the snow blower owners are dying to show off the power of their favorite toy, my kids need an opportunity to wear the boots and gloves and snow pants that have been taking up space in our closets.

1. The #1 reason must be that they have a screw loose. Why else would they be willing to put up with all the aggravation and inconvenience of blizzard-like conditions? Admittedly it looks beautiful for about a day … but balance that against the ugliness that persists for a week. (Then again, the above reasons don’t sound so bad … so I guess I am a bit of a Scrooge when it comes to blizzards.)