First snow

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The coldest November on record around these parts – at least I think I heard some weather talking head about that the other day – finally brought the powdery white stuff that truly makes it feel like winter here in the Northeast. It snowed overnight and into this morning, the first (real) snow of the season.

It probably is silly to write about snow, considering I again live in my upstate New York, but it seems more appropriate seeing falling white stuff from the window early this morning and walking through it later on.

Truth be told it’s not a lot of snow, maybe an inch or two, by local standards.

Nobody out and about seemed to give it much notice. Cars, other people walking and not even this transplanted ex-Kentucky resident, who nearly went down after a slip about 100 yards into that brisk morning walk.

The amount on the ground did give some reason for a little laugh, thinking about how this amount at this time of the day would certainly debilitate Central Kentucky. Ok, well debilitate might be a little strong, but the local news would be out in force with the “stock up on bread, milk and canned goods” stories while their roving reporters stood near a highway with snow blowing all around.

Up here – back home for me – the first snow is really just a reminder about how long ago the summer racing season at Saratoga was and drives home the fact that the 2014 season is not just around the corner.

Up here the first snow gives a lot of folks reason for optimism. Another season’s change, and specifically this one from fall to winter, brings about thoughts of ski slopes and chair lifts, fireplaces and ski lodges, warm parkas and hot chocolates.

Racing’s almost an afterthought for some, relegated to reading news blurbs in the paper (people still do that?) or online, watching a race or two on television.

In nearly every way possible that’s a good thing.

Seasons need to begin and they need to end.

Horses, horsemen and women – and even horseplayers – need some R&R. If only the powers at be would realize that, but I suppose someone out there would start explaining bottom lines, budgets, returns on investment, all that kind of stuff.

So I’ll just head for the rock salt and the shovel and get to work.

And maybe some hot chocolate, too, when I’m done.