Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The weather is coming!

The weather is coming! The weather is coming! And, I must admit, I’m feeling rather anxious. I guess it’s natural since it comes just weeks after friends and family members were trapped in their cars on the interstate due to icy conditions.

 Fortunately, I was safe at home with a full belly and a comfy couch, and, most importantly, my children. The news was riveting; however, and the Facebook stories horrific. I spent a lot of time praying for those having to spend the night in their cars, and the hundreds of school kids separated from their parents.

There have been parodies on some comedy shows, including a pretty hilarious interview with fictitious Southern gentleman Buford Callaway, on Saturday Night Live who expresses horror over what he calls, “the devil’s dandruff,” but the truth is it was scary. Perhaps the worst story was of a mom who had to pee on the side of the interstate with everyone watching. Her Facebook post read, “Kill me now!” That could have been me, I thought. Heck, that would have been me.

While the predictions of catastrophic ice alone make me want to wet my pants, some of my fondest memories as a child centered on snow and ice storms, which back then, were equated with long power outages. I can remember one time in particular when it was out at least a week. Others may have suffered, but my dad had the wood burning stove roaring. In fact, we got so hot, we had to open the front door.

The best part about it was not the snow or being out of school, however. The best part was the food. Mom had cooked a huge meal the week before – turkey and dressing, sweet potato soufflé, mashed potatoes, squash casserole - and that is what we ate, heated up in aluminum foil on the stove.

While today, my family is outfitted in North Face and Patagonia, as a child, I used socks for gloves and an old Georgia Bulldog toboggan, which I still have today. Despite our lack of designer clothes, my sister, friends and I braved the storm for hours upon end, not wanting to waste a moment for fear it would disappear. We made sleds out of plastic swimming pools, cardboard boxes (as long as they lasted) and scraps of metal from heaven knows where, but our primary purpose was the construction of a snowman.  

Our goal was to make him as large as we could, and we worked for hours doing so. That year, my friend’s dad chipped in and helped us roll the base. I can recall feeling such elation. In hindsight, it was probably because the socks on my hands were soaking wet, and I could barely move my fingers. I don’t remember minding it then. In fact, it was exhilarating.

Eventually, though, my sister and I would go in the house and hang our soaking wet clothes out to dry in front of the stove. And, after a time, the power came back on, and the snow melted – all but our masterpiece in the front yard.

I can recall riding the bus home from school and feeling delighted that he still was. We played with what snow was left day by day, until one bright sunny afternoon we came home, and he was gone.

I’m not sure what this year’s (or week’s) snow and ice storm will bring. I don’t have any delicious leftovers nor do I have a wood-burning stove, but I hope we can find something to sled on, and more importantly, the desire to do so.

And, who knows, maybe we’ll bring Frosty back some day.

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