Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Rethinking Snow

"Please, please, please, please, PLEASE let it snow tonight, please, please, please..."

While most children knelt at their bedsides and requested the Almighty's blessings upon their family members and pets, I recited the snow prayer every winter night during my school years.  But as the Snow Gods rarely bestowed their favors upon Alabama, my pleas most often fell on deaf ears.

Once we moved to Tennessee, though, I could usually count on a snow day or two in January or maybe February.  Mr. Optimistic, our snow happy weatherman, predicted the white stuff at least two days every week, mid-November through March.  Even though I knew his track record was highly suspicious, I tuned in to Channel 2 every night, just to hear those mystical words: "probability of snow."

There was magic in those words, magic in the form of roads that might be covered with just enough slick stuff that the schools would close, and I would enjoy a day of freedom.  But week after week, I was highly disappointed and found myself sitting at my school desk, diagramming sentences and memorizing useless dates in history.

There was one night, though, when all the meteorologists in Nashville shared in Mr. Optimistic's confidence.  "It's coming," they agreed.  "100% chance, possibly four to five inches accumulation."  They promised, and school kids in the entire Middle Tennessee area stayed up late, forgot about their homework, and wrestled the lids off garbage cans for sledding the next morning.

It snowed alright, the promised four to five inches...

...but not in Nashville.  That system hit virtually every county in Tennessee and left Nashville sitting like the hole in a doughnut.

Dadgum rotten weathermen.

Funny how forty a few years changes one's perception of things.  Inevitably, childhood ended and reality set in - snow meant driving to work on slippery roads.  Snow meant traffic snarls and sitting on the highway for hours and being late for work - highly frowned upon by the Postal Gods.

I think they're in cahoots with the Snow Gods.

But, as I said, I do live in the South, and snow just isn't much of a problem down here.  On average, we get a good snowy winter every seven years.  And last year was our good snowy winter.

So why are we in the midst of our umpteenth freakin' snow storm of the season???!!!!

This is not supposed to happen in Tennessee!  It's supposed to be every seven years!!!  Didn't the Tennessee Snow Gods read the rule book?  EVERY. SEVEN. YEARS!  PERIOD!

And the woolly worms!  I have NEVER been let down by the woolly worms.  Last year I saw scads of them, and they were such a dark brown as to be almost black.  Dark = bad winter.  Very dark = very bad winter. 

This fall, I saw ONE woolly worm.  ONE.  And it was a delightful light brown.  Delightful light brown = delightful light winter.

Dadgum lying woolly worm.

Even as I write this, the snow is falling heavily, and I expect the phone to ring at any moment:  Fred will have to go into work early to begin salting the roads.  He'll most likely work a 24-hour shift.  Again.

Snow and ice, snow and ice.  And it's not even February.

My feelings exactly.

Fred and Ethel Go to Disneyworld


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