Nothing builds excitement in a Southerner like the promise of a Snow Day.
In this neck of the woods, the talk this week has been of a multi-day event producing anywhere from a trace to a foot of snow on what is a three-day weekend for many people. I say bring it on! We’re good on bread and milk, and the load of propane for the generator was just delivered. The thought of staying home for several days and not having contact with other people is really not that scary. In fact, it seems oddly familiar at this point!
Why do we get so excited about snow? Where I live in the Upstate of South Carolina we generally get a snowfall once or twice each year. It typically means we lose power and have to rely on a generator and we can’t drive out of the neighborhood for a couple days. But snow also has the magical power to turn back time. What was old becomes young.
Growing up in South Texas, the first time I saw a measurable amount of snow was on January 11, 1973. I was about to turn ten years old. The fact that I can remember that date should tell you what a momentous event it was in my life. I vaguely remember my parents talking about the possibility of snow the night before but I think they told us kids it wasn’t likely to happen.
The first thing I remember about that day was my father waking me up and telling me it had snowed. I rolled over to look out the window at the head of my bed and then jumped up so quickly I hit my head on his chin! As soon as we could bundle up, my three older siblings and I, along with my parents, were outside. We ran through several inches of snow, throwing it in the air and at each other. At one point my father stuck a snowball down the back of my husky-sized pants. My dad was just being a big kid. I’ve always remembered that moment as a time when he let everything go and just played with us for few minutes. There would be time later for feeding livestock, thawing pipes, and rescuing animals; for this brief moment, he was just one of the kids.
Many years later, living in Conway, SC, our family experienced my children’s ‘first snow’. My wife and I woke well before daylight and realized there had been a huge dumping of snow during the night. We hustled outside and got a first look at the winter wonderland. Then we waited. How long should we wait before we wake our boys? I’m confident we were not as patient as my own parents had been during my childhood. Those next few days we built over a dozen snow objects, from traditional snowmen and snow families to thrones and snow dogs. Our children even went next door and asked our neighbor, a college professor, to come outside and play with them! And, of course, he did!
Yes, snow makes you younger.
As I’m writing this, we’ve delivered oil lamps and battery chargers to our sons’ households. We’ve prepared a place our dog can get to outside to take care of her business. And we’ve got the snow shovel by the door. We’ve both been known to sled down the steep street leading to our cul-de-sac so I still need to pull the plastic sled out of the garage.
Here’s hoping we can all relive a moment of our youth again this weekend.
Be safe out there but have some fun.