To say I’m disappointed is an understatement. To blame things on the weather forecasters in the area is going over the top. The bottom line is I woke up this morning and expected to see some white stuff on the ground. Instead, all that came to view were puddles of water and soggy grass. The explanations of weather systems not moving into the right positions fall on my deaf ears. I want—I need some snow! All of us in East Tennessee need it.
I well remember the snow days that came when I was a boy. My brothers and I never had proper snow attire. Mother made us put on a couple of layers of clothes, and then we covered our old shoes with pairs of socks. They did little to keep out the dampness, but our feet stayed just a bit drier.
Some years we had some deep snows, and those were the best. We’d build snowmen and bombard each other with snowballs. On one occasion, the boys from next door joined in and we built an igloo. The work we put into the project kept us plenty warm, and the cold temperatures preserved our ice house for several days. It was large enough to accommodate two of us at a time. Suddenly we became “Sergeant Preston of the Yukon” and Royal Canadian Mounties.
After long afternoons in the snow, we returned home to strip the soaked clothing from our bodies. Mother fed us tomato soup and melted cheese sandwiches. Afterwards, we went to our rooms and drifted off into long afternoon naps. As night began to fall, we made another trip outside and discovered that falling temperatures turned slush into ice, the perfect conditions for riding shovels and trashcan lids down sloping pastures. The ends of those days were topped off when Mother made a bowl of snow cream, something almost as good as homemade ice cream.
Snowfalls provide many people with much needed days away from work. There’s something wonderful about waking up, discovering snow, and burrowing under the covers again. Those times provide some of the best sleep that a person can experience. The remainder of a day at home is spent idly in activities such as reading a book, watching movies, or mindlessly surfing the web for unimportant topics.
During the early years of my teaching career, Knoxville was hit with several huge snowfalls. In fact, we missed so much school that days were extended and Saturdays were added to the normal schedule. Still, those days out were beneficial. I had time to take it easy and drive Amy to her classes at U.T. In the evenings I joined the kids outside, and they gave me turns riding their sleds down a steep hill on which we lived.
The best snow days have been spent with my two children. We survived the blizzard of 1993, as well as a couple of ice storms. When they were small, I’d give them rides on a coal scoop that I’d salvaged from my parents house. They giggled and laughed as I pulled them up and down the driveway and the road. When we bought sleds, I’d pull them across the slushy snow and ride down the hill with them the next day when the stuff froze into a solid sheet of ice.
After a romp outside, we’d go back inside, and I’d pop waffles in the toaster or pizza bites in the oven. Those two children followed the same patterns that my brothers and I had traveled: eat and sleep. We sometimes sat together and watched for the zillionth time “Princess Bride” or “Goonies” or “Willow.” Later, they’d ask to go back outside, and I’d tromp back into the cold with them for one last time each day.
These days Knoxville gets maybe a total of two inches of snow each year. I declare it’s proof that global warming is real and has changed our climate. No, I don’t want mountains of the white stuff, but I’d like one snow a year so that I can look out the window of my office and remember the good times from years gone by. I’d especially like to experience one of those “snow days” during this last year of teaching. They bring about a time of quietness and stillness that makes our lives slow down for just a while. Knoxvillians need to put an ad in the paper: Wanted…SNOW!