Friday, February 23, 2007

Snowfall [CCR]

By the time you read this tale our overwhelming snowfall will be gone. But today I am paying the price of living near the Great Lakes. I look out my windows and see a white fog surrounding me. A fog that is supposed to transition into seventeen inches of snow by tomorrow night. But, my little car seems to trudge its way along without concern, at least if the road is somewhat plowed.

The first year we moved up here Dad asked me if we had made any snow cream, a concoction Mom put together whenever we had an eventful snowfall in Alabama. I explained to Dad that I don’t think anybody up here even knows about snow cream. In fact, people may say they like snow up here but they don’t celebrate as we do in the South. In all my time living in Ohio I have only seen one attempt at a snowman. Why not more? I think they know the opportunity will always exist.

Dad always dreaded snow if we anticipated travel. He always had a set of snow chains with him in the winter. As a child I was thrilled to see snow, but traveling to work in the snow has dimmed my thrill beyond recognition. My children lasted about two weeks into the winter our first year here and then the honeymoon was over. Snow shovel in hand they plow their way through the driveway. No, I haven’t purchased a snow blower. If I do my company will move me South and it will rot in my garage. That has been my excuse for three years now.

One wonders if global warming has really taken a hard offense or if the weather cycles. As a child in Alabama I can remember some awesome snowfalls, even if they were infrequent. Maybe they still happen and I just don’t realize it. I can remember heading out to Mountain Springs to visit Granddaddy Daily in our old blue 1951 Chevy truck. Dad pulled over just as we reached what was Highway 72 at the time to attach snow chains to the tires. The snow was falling too fast. The chains would clink and rattle as the old truck eased along pulling itself through the snow. The vacuum powered windshield wipers worked hard to push away the frozen mush.

Snowmen weren’t so hard to build. We cheated. We had a birdbath in the front yard. If one gathered enough snow you could use the birdbath as a solid framework for the belly of the snowman. It was better than rebar in concrete. It was fun to see our creation, mostly built by Mom and Dad scooping the snow with Susan and I packing it. We admired our formation knowing the Alabama weather would transition quickly and the snowman would melt away faster than Frosty did in that greenhouse on the television show.

Of course we were used to Christmas without snow, but it could occur. I don’t remember it happening. Each year we sprayed our Christmas tree with the artificial snow. I guess that stuff has been around a few years now. It would foam and fizz blowing out of the can as it dropped and clumped on the tree. We had the old traditional Christmas tree lights, but we did have two special light bulbs. One was a snowman and the other a snowball. The snowman looked at home among his artificial snow. Eventually the bulb burned out but it stayed lit in my memories. I kept it in a box for years with my sentimental collection that would make a pack rat proud.

Now I must face reality and see if my little car will once again face the mountain of snow. With a little luck the snowplow will not have passed the house since the boys last shoveled the driveway. I’ll take a hot summer day down on the Tennessee River any day.