Saturday, February 6, 2010

Did You Say Snow?

I'll be the first to admit that my northernness comes out in full force whenever snow is anticipated down here. All winter our meterologist wears a snowflake and has a segment called the Snow Hope Index. I'm not kidding. This fascination with snow cracks me up, especially since once they get snow everything shuts down, the shelves at grocery stores are wiped clean, and accidents abound because people have absolutely no clue what to do once snow actually hits the ground. What? I'm not supposed to continue driving at 65 miles/hr? What? I'm supposed to keep my eyes on the road instead of this pretty white stuff falling from the sky?

However, after reading a column in the morning newspaper, I realized that my memories with snow are a little more complex than a dusting here or there or a snow hope index of one. I'm remembering the first snowfall and how much I loved it, but them I'm also remembering how that crystal white snow soon becomes yellowed or blackened for that matter. I'm remembering trudging through the neighborhood screaming trick-or-treat with my snowsuit under my halloween costume. I'm remembering having to wear hand and foot warmers in my gloves and boots just to overcome frostbite. I'm remembering -30 to -40 degree temperatures. heard me right. And that wasn't even including the wind chill.

But I'm also remembering making snowforts and snow igloos, snow angels and the ever popular snowmen. People down here don't have that luxury. The last time it snowed this much down here was 20 years ago. 20 YEARS AGO! When that snow came down, the people came out of the woodwork. I have never seen so many people outside in our neighborhood - not even during the summer. For some, this was their first time seeing snow. And with that came their first snowball fight, their first snow angel, and first snowman.

The snowmen I remember were rolled, had a carrot for a nose, and coal everywhere else. He donned a black top hat or winter hat and a scarf. Virginia snowmen? Nowhere near that (unless you count our mini-snowman who donned my winter hat, had a baby carrot nose, and green M & M eyes, and a red M & M mouth.) Listen people...I had to make due with what was in the house. My Kingsford charcoal isn't just sitting around. Anyway, I was talking about snowmen. These snowmen were decked out. I saw one lounging in a lawnchair wearing a bikini top wearing sunglasses and holding a martini glass. I saw one snowman that was actually a penguin (totally cool), and others with very cool wigs. When the snow falls down here, creativity sprang up in every neighborhood.

And you know what else? Instead of sitting inside playing video games or texting or twittering every 10 seconds, people were outside playing with their kids making snowmen, makeshift sleds, and simply having fun.

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