We don't get much snow in these parts of North Carolina. I guess that's why people move to the south, to get away from all the cold weather. (This picture I took last year from our one big "snowstorm" - see Sunniviews for more) We moved here for different reasons, so I guess that is what makes all the difference.
Every winter, I wish for snow. I have a big, cheerful snowman flag that I hang on front of the house with the words proudly announcing "Let It Snow!" The flag is my prayer, my mantra, my plea to the heavens. I long for enough snow to build a snowman just like like the one on my flag.
When I was about 7 years old, growing up in Pennsylvania, we had plenty of snow. One year, the family gathered at my grandparents house just after a fresh snow. We built a snowman so high, my dad had to haul out the 7 foot ladder to put his hat on. It was so astonishing, a reporter came out to take some photos for a special feature in the newspaper!
I have memories of waking up to a White Christmas, crunching through knee-high drifts with my snow boots, building glittering snow tunnels as though we were Eskimos building elaborate igloos. I can clearly remember an old photo of my mom in the 70's, standing beside a wall of snow plowed so high, that even on her tippy-toes, reaching as high as her slender fingers would allow, she still could not touch the top. Even though I don't necessarily need 10-foot drifts, just a foot or so would make life interesting.
Last week they called for snow. It was supposed to roll in at about midnight. If there is one thing I love, it's beautiful white flurries falling from a midnight sky. I was at choir a few hours before, my mind preoccupied with anticipation. I watched the moon for signs and went to bed giddy. The next morning, I woke to freezing rain and a 2-hour delay at my daughter's school.
But then, 2 days later, they called for another winter storm. This one was much bigger, the snow band descending on us like a great tidal wave. Oh, we were in for it. Four inches, maybe more! The snow would fall for hours, maybe all night. The best thing about this storm was that it was going to hit on the coming Saturday. No worrying about work, schools or traffic - we could enjoy the snow all day long! I dreamed of the snow. I imagined the soft snowflakes falling on my cheeks, landing softly in my hair. I imagined looking at a perfect snowflake perched on the tip of my gloved finger. I imagined a snowball fight with my daughter and snow angels decorating our lawn.
Saturday came. The storm was estimated to hit at noon. I was drawn to the news reports and sky gazing for some sort of sign. I started cleaning to get all the chores out of the way so that we could enjoy it. Noon came and went. The neighborhood kids started asking every 5 minutes when it would start. I looked at the sky and turned to the news. They re-estimated early afternoon, then late afternoon, then early evening. The kids went home. Finally, at dark, the snow began to fall.
Oh, it was lovely. Great big beautiful flakes swirling around the night sky. I enjoyed it for about 5 minutes before we rushed out for dinner at a friend's house. While we were there, I kept peeking over my shoulder out the window as the flurries became slower and slower, finally stopping just before we left. The accumulation was about 1/2 an inch on grassy areas and melted the next morning before the sun even had a chance to peek above the horizon.
I imagine if I lived in a place that got snow all the time, I wouldn't be nearly as fond of it. You know what they say, too much of a good thing... But I look at websites and magazines with photos of winter wonderlands: peaceful, sparkling blankets of snow falling like soft feathers from the sky. Ah, so beautiful - such a hallmark of winter.
Perhaps next year, I'll just accept the fact that the snow is not coming and book an Alaskan Cruise instead!