Sunday, January 9, 2011

No more praying for snow

There are times when enough snow is enough. But, our younger children hardly saw, or at least remember, snow from their early years. Although Laura was born on the cusp of the worst snowfall Kentucky had experienced in years, the infamous "blizzard of 78," she didn't remember any of it.

In 1982 we moved our family to Hilton Head, and, needless to say, snowfall there is indeed scarce. So, in December of 1989, just before we loaded up our family to go to Kentucky for my brother's wedding, the weatherman in Savannah announced a forecast for snow in the mid-west. The night before we departed Tim, age nine, prayed that it would snow in Kentucky. We didn't think much more of it.

However, the next day, as we traveled, I noticed Tim peering out the window of our van, anxiously watching for any sign of snow. Near the end of our 10 hour trip, near Lexington, Tim gushed, "It's snowing!" By the time we arrived at my parents' house in Georgetown, the ground was covered. We awoke the next morning to 6" of fresh powder. Tim was in heaven, even though we had to scrounge around to dress him to go play in the white stuff.

But then it got ugly. Friday night the wind picked up, and the temperature plunged to minus 10. We bundled up as best we could for the wedding on Saturday afternoon, but, after 7 years in the coastal south, we didn't have near enough in the way of warm clothing. As we arrived at the church and walked tenuously across the church parking lot, the cold snow squeaked beneath our feet.

When Sunday arrived we loaded and headed back south, anxious to get home to the warmer climate of coastal Carolina.

But, on Saturday, December 22, the very next weekend, the snow began to fall on our little barrier island, and didn't stop until nearly 12" had fallen. I hurried to church that Sunday morning to assist in the effort to clear the sidewalks and parking lot, but we were woefully ill-equipped. We grabbed what we could - pushbrooms, garbage can lids, garden shovels - and did our best to prepare for the arrival of our members and guests.

Of course, in that temperate climate, the snow melted almost as fast as it fell, and by Monday it was all gone. However, Tim's mom had seen enough snow for one season. She, in her role as the queen of the household, issued an edict. "No more praying for snow, Timothy."