2017-01-12 / Opinions

Lack of snow last weekend was disappointing, making other glorious snows more memorable

By KIP BURKE

Disappointed, but not much.

If you’re a fan of snowfall as only a lifelong Southerner can be, you were disappointed this past weekend when the much-advertised snowstorm turned into a big bust, with just enough white flakes to let you know we could have had a great storm.

This time, though, I’m not complaining. The mini-snow came the day after my doctors’ reading of my latest brain scan shows that this ugly monster in my head has grown very little in the last few months, and six months into this brain cancer trip, I’m still alive and kicking, and feeling better and better as the chemo and radiation side-effects leave me. My short-term memory is still kind of mushy, and my stamina isn’t back yet, but there’s hope.

Waiting for medical test results is a little like waiting for snow in Georgia. You just don’t know what’s going on, and you wonder if the experts really know either.

Haven’t we all been through this a thousand times? Yet, here we are again.

Now, as I’ve written before, like most every other child raised in the South, my experience with winter weather was mostly a cold rain, miserable cold but not cold enough to become fun.

Sure, sometimes it got really cold, but it usually didn’t get below freezing until the rain cleared out, and phtttttht went the chance of snow. Again.

Occasionally, though, in my childhood, the cold and the clouds would overlap and the falling rain would take on chunky appearance, and an odd little snowflake would drift down if you looked hard enough.

When we were blessed with a real snowfall, one you didn’t have to strain your eyeballs to see, there was always the question of what would happen when the snow hit the ground. Often, the ground was too warm and it would melt, and survive for only moments on the grass and bushes.

I can still taste the disappointment that brought, especially since I felt it again Saturday morning when the snow started to fall thick and fast, dusting trees and bushes, before tapering off and quitting entirely.

That’s pretty typical of January snow. Sometimes, though, late in the winter when the ground was frozen, the snow would stick. It would actually accumulate on the ground enough to officially be a real-live Southern snow. Now, at this point, we would start to get excited, but not that excited, because it was still melting on the roads, and we knew that as long as the roads were clear of snow, we were probably stuck with going to school the next day.

Rare was the day we’d get to actually play in the snow while it was still falling, still accumulating, but when it did, we milked it for all the fun we could.

And then there were the few glorious times – and I can still count them in my memory – when it would really snow, snow hard and long, and cover not only the grass but the roads, turning our brown winter world into a snowy wonderland.

We’d bundle up, get outside as quick as we could, and play until we were exhausted.

On those wonderful days, we came home only for dry gloves and socks, and first aid, but it was never enough. We always wanted more.

So here I am, remembering snows past, waiting and wondering if it will snow again this winter. With any luck at all, it will snow, flurries or a winter wonderland, and we’ll have another Southern snow story to tell.

But this time, I’m not asking you to pray for snow. Y’all know what we need, and thank you all for your prayers and best wishes. I believe they’re working.

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