Thursday, January 28, 2010

What Wintry Mix?

Living in the South, I've come to expect all kinds of weather. For instance, today it is 61 degrees and absolutely gorgeous outside. Tomorrow, however, the forecast is calling for 30 degree weather and what we southerners call a "wintry mix." That's the weatherman's way of saying I have no clue what you are going to get, but something is coming. Of course most everyone is hoping for snow, except for the wonderful people who work for the NC Department of Transportation. My first favorite man in the world used to work for the NCDOT. When I was little and the weatherman was calling for snow, I would go to bed knowing that if the phone rang in the middle of the night and my dad had to go to work, school would be cancelled. (You know everything stops in North Carolina if we get a little snow.) If the phone didn't ring during the night I would wake up regretting the fact that I didn't do my homework because I thought it was going to snow. My daddy did not like getting that overnight phone call to go to work. Several years ago when he retired, my brother stood up at his retirement dinner and asked just one question-"Dad, is it okay if it snows now?"

I remember being a kid and loving the snow. We would go out and play in it for hours, only coming in to take off the frozen jeans and multiple socks we were wearing. We would lay them across chairs near the wood heater in our house, warm up with hot cocoa, and then head out again. We never had snowsuits. It never snowed often enough to justify the cost. We would go sledding with our neighbors on the hills beside our house. That worked out perfectly as long as we bailed out of the sled before running into the barbed wire fence at the bottom of the hill. We worked so hard pulling the sled back up the hill. My children have never experienced the hard work of sledding since their dad drives the four wheeler down the hill to pick them up after they have completed their run. Children these days have it made!

I guess my favorite thing to do when it snows is to just sit and watch it fall. There is nothing more beautiful and peaceful than the gentle drifting of snowflakes to the ground. It is like heaven opening up to reveal a small portion of the beauty that must be kept in storehouses somewhere up there. Maybe this time we will get lucky and our "wintry mix" will not be a mix at all, but will be little flakes of heaven's beauty falling softly on our southern soil. Do you think it will hurt the daffodils and crocuses that are starting to emerge?

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