By Michael Leach
“Summer afternoon — summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language,” said American novelist Henry James.
Admittedly he probably was referring to an English summer afternoon, more like a late May afternoon in the Midwest. Yet in our region of often sultry summer afternoons, not to mention stifling dog days, summer afternoon still conjures a pleasantness unique to the season of school vacations, swimming pools and backyard barbecues.
Winter, on the other hand, offers little in the way of appealing — much less beautiful — word pairings. Does anyone ever want to read polar vortex again, much less survive it?
How about: mixed precipitation, freezing rain, ice storm, wind chill, snow emergency, road salt, snow shovel, ice scraper, record snowfall, record low, blizzard conditions, jackknifed semi, icy freeways, near whiteout or pot holes?
Some may cite “white Christmas” as beautiful winter words, but after this dreadful winter, is anyone dreaming of that yet?