As a child growing up in the South, snow days were the stuff of pure magic. In Georgia, we were lucky to get a scant inch of snow per season, but when that snow day came around school would definitely be cancelled, and a day of outdoor play in the sloppy, wet goodness provided a season's worth of wintry fun.
Having spent my last twenty years in Colorado, I came to know snow on a more intimate level. I clearly remember the first snowfall of my first winter in Denver when the mile-high city woke to eleven inches of snow. I'd never seen that much snow. I was still driving my 1975 VW beetle then, and while I'd once had a lesson on driving in snowy conditions, this idea of commuting in it was a whole new way of life.
I was nervous and excited as I cleared off the car and got ready to head to work that morning. As I pulled out of my on-street parking spot, I knew I was in trouble. The tires on my beetle immediately started to spin, as they tried to inch up the icy hill. My breath started freezing on the inside of my windshield. With a cassette tape case at the ready to scrape off the ice, I made it approximately ten blocks away from my apartment when I sideswiped the curb, and decided I best be turning my little bug around. I arrived back home, called my boss at the coffee shop, and told him I wouldn't be making it to work.
It took me a few winters to get the hang of driving in the snow. I became well-seasoned to winter travel, but I was always rather annoyed by the idea that when it snowed I still had to go to work. Huh? My inner Southern child excitedly watched the frist flakes of each storm fall, until I remembered that I would still be expected at work the next morning. On time.
Up here on the eastern continental divide, we definitely get more snow than the winters of my childhood, but this winter has been nothing like a Colorado winter, to be sure. Many mornings we wake to flurries and maybe an inch of snow, but it has yet to stick around past noon. Granted, our neighbors tell us this has been a very mild winter, and in fact, it's not uncommon for our hood to get several feet of snow. But, I'm okay with these mild winters. I do love the idea of snow - even a big dump - if I have no where to go, but this, our first winter in these Southern hills has been mild and absolutely...awesome. I'm not a child of the winter, and while I appreciate a change in the seasons, the coldest of months are not my favorite.
Here, I love that even on a cold day, I'm still usually comfortable in just a fleece. I like how it often looks way colder outside than it actually is - always a pleasant surprise. And I suppose soon enough, my Colorado kids will actually transition into being Carolina forest children. Born in the Rockies, raised in Appalachia.
Yesterday we woke to this wintry wonderland. And by noon, it had all melted away. In the morning, we went sledding. In the afternoon, we played in the creek.
Have I mentioned that I love our backyard sky?