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.


    i still do my snow prayer every "possibility of snow" night.
    bet you never knew your teachers were even more excited about snow days than you! :)

  2. Awwww, sweet little 'fluffy' bluebird. What a great pic of the little chilled fella!!!

    I'm sayin'...I'm not one to wish for the snowflakes to fall. It takes me about an hour to do what I need to just to get my chores done each mornin' no matter the weather. I just don't cotton to seven degree weather trudgin' through the snow. Just sayin'.

    Now, as far as the bluebirds go...mine seem to be most confused this year. Usually in the Spring/Summer the beautiful little creatures give is three broods here on the Ponderosa then go tuck themselves deep in the woods for the winter. This year they keep buildin' in the bluebird houses like there gonna nest at zero degrees. What's with that???

    Sometimes life is just bazaar!

    God bless ya sweetie and have a safe~warm day!

  3. I love that curmudgeony bird.

    Yes, we get hit with snow in Wisconsin, but we're prepared for it. We do kinda snicker when we see how the people down South just cannot handle a storm.



    HOpe your bird is singing a different song soon.

    And? Always a pleasure to see you. And? Thank you for younr lovely eval. I LOVE IT!

  4. Oh yes, be careful of what you wish am sure school children were cheering this morning...schools very rarely let out or close here due to the snow or cold...last friday it was -27 and they still had has to be -30 for our district to if schools close you know it's nasty outside. Since we only get a certain amount of snowdays, if we go over it means school attaching extra days at the end of the year and the farmers do not like that. :) Hope you enjoy your snow...that picture is beautiful! Stay safe!

  5. What a gorgeous bird!!!!

  6. Love that bird picture! The weather gods must be up there, just having a great time this year--surprising people.

  7. When we lived in Tennessee, I never minded the snow because as you said it was there briefly, we all stayed home and then it was gone. You are just not equipped to handle it there. Still, it is beautiful but only if you don't have to drive in it. Hang in there. Spring will be here soon.

  8. Love the bird pictures! I agree....the snow gods must be mad at us. Even here in Maine, where we expect snow, we're getting tired of it!

  9. lovely little bird...its sleet and ice right now...about to go rescue the littles from school...ugh

  10. I am sitting here in my office watching the snow fall at an alarming rate. The 7th. snow storm in 4 weeks. I HATE SNOW. The idiots who call themselves weather people said it was going to start snowing tonight - after 8:00 pm. It was already snowing like crazy at 7:00 am today. Now they are saying watch-out - the worse will hit after 8:00 pm. Worse than what? It is already a virtual snow tsunami. hmpf. I feel like that bird.

  11. Loved this post. Here in northeast Indiana, we really haven't had a lot of snow so far this winter. One storm dropped about five inches. That's been the worst. Maybe that little bluebird should come up here to winter. :)

  12. We got it today, but it was brief and started out as rain. And, it came during school the time school was over, the roads were just wet. When I got home, there was hardly any on the ground. It was really pretty to watch! Sounds like y'all got hit with it again!

  13. Gorgeous picture. We are having a lot of snow this year. Right now it is coming down like crazy. Kaishon is crossing his fingers and toes for no school tomorrow.

  14. We haven't had an excessive amount up here .. and it started pretty late, so I'm not complaining. It sure has been cold though. I hope you get some relief from your wishes soon. ;) And I love that pissed off little bluebird. :)

  15. That reminds me of when I was a kid and wished every day for snow. It never happened in California, unless we were up in the mountains. Now, I pray that it doesn't snow so I won't have to deal with it when I'm traveling around in it.

    What a cute bird. Hope it's able to find warmth somewhere.

  16. Okay so now I'm so going to have to Google a woolly worm. Your bird is hysterical! I love birds! And you changed your blog photo to a delightful cardinal when I wasn't looking....anyhow, I hate to say it, but I think Tennessee took Utah's snow this year.

  17. lol! I celebrated in my recent post, the weatherman's prediction - high 60's for the next 5 days! Woooot! It has been so blasted cold, and besides a flurry or two, only ice. I am a.o.k. with retiring my yearly let it snow mantra for this season. Go away Jack Frost!

    May the warm up hit you soon too!

  18. I love your new header shot, I'm sure it's one of your shots. I agree that time changes how one feels about the snow. I dread winter every year and feel about the same about our hot summers. Hang in there, it will be Spring before you know it.

  19. His grumpy little face pretty much sums it up :-) I have to say, I am jealous of your snow. I'd rather have something to show for all of this cold!

  20. Oh if that bird had a thought bubble it would contain such profanity that sailors, drunkards and rap artists might blush. What an expression on that little birdie face.

    Ethel, I'm afraid you and others have somehow been given all of Colorado (in the Denver metro area) snowfall. The mountains have gotten slammed this winter, but we've literally only had one snow that accumulated anything in our area.

    That creaking you heard was the snow gods' cackling and the creak of the skies set to open forth and then...the deluge, no doubt ;-)

    Stay warm and spike your cocoa, good lady! Or spike Fred's if he's a funny drunk.

  21. I guess you should never trust a worm. Did you take that bird photo? It's amazing! What a perfect shot!

  22. Y'all, I almost didn't publish the photo of the bluebird, because the lighting was so bad, it's not very clear. But he just looked so much like the way I felt about the whole snow thing...

    And I've been watching him the past few days. That perch he's on is on the birdhouse Fred and I knocked together this past spring for those awful starlings, before we found out how horrible they are. It's not weathering well at all, but that little blue bird and apparently HIS MATE have taken it as their home. I watch him bring berries and she pokes her head out, then he's off again. He's also been doing some renovations, with thatch and tiny twigs, and a few feathers. Quite the gentleman.

    And yes, the photo of the cardinal is mine, taken during one of last year's snows FROM INSIDE THE HOUSE THROUGH A DIRTY WINDOW!

  23. Calm down ethel, all this excitement isn't good for your blood pressure.

  24. Nor good for a post officer worker's temperament. I remember growing up in Minnesota, eager for the first snow, arguing with my dad that the frost on the roof of the house across the street was really snow. Oh, to be a child again. Now, living below the snow belt, doesn't bother me a bit to hear about all the snow above it. We get s sprinkling about every seven years or so. Thinking we're due. Might be the year.

  25. Oh my .. I know it's not funny, but I am laughing! You tell it all so well!

    Poor, poor little glum birdie. He should pop inside that birdhouse and keep warm. Sorry about Fred having to work so hard and so long out in all that chilly whiteness. I had heard about the snow in TN, and of course, if you are in a place which doesn't get snow often, it's always harder, isn't it?

    You did make me laugh with the mental image of Tennessee sitting like the hole in a doughnut! LOL!

  26. Two words: Climate change.


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