remember snow.

During my childhood, the Tarheel blue skies of North Carolina forgot how to snow. I lived in the foothills, though people east of Hickory would say that I lived in the mountains. When Josh would introduce me to his friends that grew up with him in Winston-Salem, he would tell them that I was from the mountains. I would correct him every single time, because I did not grow up in the mountains. I grew up in the foothills. Then I realized that he was just making fun of me, because moutain people are to be made fun of. Well, he's the one dating the mountain woman.

Anyway, even in the foothills, it should snow. It should snow several times in the course of a winter, and at least one time, there should be enough accumulation to get us out of school for three days or more. That shouldn't be too much to ask for, not in the foothills. But there was no snow. The TV weatherman on WBTV, Eric something-or-other, would promise winter weather events, but it would just be cold. The closest thing we got to snow was rumors. This being my formative years, I came to be skeptical of snow. Sure, the forecast might say it was coming, but I knew better. I would have to get up and go to school just like every other day.

We had some family pictures around the house from when I was very small. There was clearly a great big snow, and my brothers built an igloo. I was little and cute in my mismatched hand-me-down winter gear, oblivious to the years of snow deprivation ahead of me. I don't remember that actual snow, I've only seen the pictures. As far as my memory was concerned, it had never snowed in the foothills of North Carolina. Seems like we had a couple of ice storms. There was one in particular where my mom didn't come home until really late because she'd gotten stuck somewhere after her mail route. I don't remember the specifics of it, though I do remember my sister yelling at me for laughing at a TV show when our mother was surely dead in a ditch.

I got more than my fill of snow in college in Boone, because, as anyone with any actual knowledge of North Carolina geography can tell you, Boone is in the mountains. To get to Boone from my hometown, you had to climb a mountain. One thing I learned at college was that I pretty much hate winter. The campus at Appalachian is the kind where the walk to class is actually uphill both ways. When I left town for the last time, I was trying to get away from winter. Every time I hear on the news that the skies over Boone have dumped another foot of snow on the students walking to class, I cackle inside. Suckers.

It must have been while I was at school, but the skies over the rest of North Carolina must have remembered about snow. It snows now even in Raleigh, which is definitely getting to be flatlands. A couple of weekends ago, I looked at the afternoon sky and thought it looked like snow. You know, sort of gray without being dark. I thought it was weird, because my childhood trained me to not even really believe in snow. Even when it started coming down, I didn't think it would stick. But it did - two or three inches. We stayed home in the warm, venturing outside only to walk around the neighborhood holding hands. Then it all melted away the next day. This is the kind of snow that I can get behind. As long as I don't have to go anywhere and it's all gone the next day, I am A-OK with snow.

Yesterday, a coworker said he needed to get snow groceries, which means milk and bread. Why milk and bread? I don't know. I don't think anyone knows anymore, they just know that's what they're supposed to get. It was probably all started years ago by the Wheat and Dairy Council. His comment was the first I'd heard of any snow, because I don't pay a bit of attention to the weather reports. I scoffed. Later, my boss sent out an email tellings us that the office would go by the Wake County Public Schools' ruling in terms of delays or closing. People left the office yesterday evening saying "See you Friday!" Still, I would not allow myself to hope. Don't they know? It doesn't snow in North Carolina.

I woke up this morning at 7 AM, and there was a fine white dusting on the ground. I used my phone to check the school closings without leaving my bed. Half an hour later, I got an email from my boss saying that the office was closed, and still I was in bed. Wohoo! Snow day!

Of course, snow days aren't the same as they were when I was a kid, or rather as they would have been, had there been any snow days. But I slept a little later before going downstairs, making some coffee, and then logging onto my computer to work from home in my pajamas. I can play my music without bothering anyone, and I can pause to admire the Christmas tree. It is not the snow day I would have dreamed of when I was a kid when I still had hope for snow, but I've got to admit, it's pretty dang nice.


MOM said...

I still remember the unexpected ice storm when it took hours to get home from my mail route. I was hungry and stressed but warm in the car. I listened to a basketball game on the radio. I knew my family was worried about me. I was safe but couldn't let them know. It was right after that we got our first cell phone.

Carla said...

I remember you and I sitting on the floor in front of the laundry closet hugging each other and crying because we thought something awful had happened to Mama. I don't remember yelling.

I'll never forget the BIG ONE in Raleigh. End of January 2000, we got 20 inches. Greg Fischel was beside himself and so was Doug. He had left for Colorado the day before and when he got back a week later most of it was gone. When I talked to him on the phone and told him how much we had he did not believe me.

Sandra said...

Yeah, I remember sitting in the floor crying, too. What year was that anyway?

I remember when it snowed so much in Raleigh and not in Lenoir. Seems like I was pretty irritated about that.