It’s snowing today, and I’ve been getting texts about it all morning. (If I’m honest, I’ve sent a few texts, too.) I love snow, and my Georgia kid’s heart starts to grieve when we go more than 700 days without any accumulation of the pretty white stuff.
The entire country makes fun of us for our reaction to the snow, but I’m not going to waste any of my precious show day on them. If you don’t appreciate our reverence, head back north to the land of a thousand snowplows.
We wait for these days, and they come less regularly than Christmas. We never know if it’s going to be “good” snow, and there are a thousand definitions of “good.” We want it to cancel EVERYTHING (like school and work,) but we don’t want it to knock out the power. We want it to get most people off the roads, but not make it completely impossible to get through. (Unfortunately, if that’s the case, it’s usually just the stupid people who get out on the roads. Ugh.)
We want it to be good sledding snow, good snowball snow, good snowman snow. When I was a kid, I remember getting cheated too many times. Jody and I made muddy snowmen out of slush most of the time. (I only vaguely remember getting powdery stuff that wouldn’t hold together; maybe that was when I was older.) One year we had a couple of inches of snow followed by an inch of ice. We went out side and did our best to break through the ice to dig out what snow we could get from beneath it to do our snowy business.
Southern snow is usually only good for a day. Even if the weather stays cold, we get enough sun to melt the top of it and there’s still enough heat in the ground to melt the bottom of it. At night it freezes, and the next day we have a crunchy powder. It will stay pretty for several days. (In my adult mind, that’s still “good.”)
Today as I watch it fall through all my open curtains, I am finally admitting that snow is one thing that makes me sad to not have children. Every year I consciously go out and clean the leaves off my yard in December in case it snows. (No one likes leaves in snowballs.) I have snow boots. I have a good place for sledding. (I don’t have a sled, but that was never an issue. We improvise.)
About ten years ago some of my college kids were at my house over Christmas break, watching a movie. We got an unexpected snow in the middle of the night. It was only about an inch, but one of the kids ran home for a snow disc (a Little Mermaid snow disc; think about that for a minute…) and after a bit of sledding they built two large snowmen and one little snow dog. At 12:30 in the morning, we thought there was more snow than there was. In fact, there wasn’t much snow at all by the time the sun came up the next day. To my neighbors’ surprise, it was cold enough that I had 2 large snowmen in a bare yard for most of the week. It’s one of the best memories I have of my house–those 5 kids playing in the snow with me. They’re grown up now. All of them are married, and 3 of them have children of their own. (I hope they’re playing today, and will send me some pictures!) As I watch it snow right now, I can see them there in my yard.
Today I realized I’m too old to play in the snow, but I hope my students are playing. I know that I have other friends, my age, sitting inside with the curtains open, watching and remembering. We only get this one day a year to have everything covered up in white. We have one day to have a blanket of memories fall on our houses.