February 6, 2004
I cain't remember the last time we had snow," Mel commented, following the recent blizzards in the Northeast. "Li'l Jeffrey's five years old an' ain't never eben had a snowball throwed at him er seen a real live snowman."
"How many real, live snowmen have you seen?"
"You know whut I mean. Our grandson has never got to slide down a snowbank on a inner tube, er a upside-down trash can lid, er got to make snow ice cream...none of that stuff. Why, he wuz three before he ever seen it rain!"
Although it seemed strange that my husband should complain about not having a foot of snow dumped on us like our Yankee counterparts, I kind of understood how he felt. It has been years since we've had a respectable snow covering in Central Texasthe magical kind of blanketing that evokes memories of White Christmases and snowy winters past.
My mind drifted back to Indian Lodge on Lake Whitney, where I grew up. I remember one especially dramatic snow. The buses couldn't run so the school shut down. Our whole family spent the day outside, building snowmen, having snowball fights, and playing in the snow. Our dog Pepe even got in on the act. The Brazos River was transformed into a winter wonderland of glistening powder and sparkling icicles dangling from trees along its banks.
"It's the infrequency of it that makes snow 'special.' If heavy snowfall came every year, we'd get tired of it pretty quick. I'd hate to think I had to dig out of my driveway every morning," I told Mel.
I drug out a box of old photos and started sorting through them until I came upon some pictures of Eric, when he was just about Jeffrey's age, standing in front of our house. Next to him was a lopsided snowman holding a KCLE sign. The local radio station ran a contest encouraging kids to build snowmen and they sent judges out to pick the best ones. I looked at Eric's tiny face peeping out from his ski cap. How time flies...
It snowed heavy several times when we lived at Cranfills Gap. In fact, one of those times, we had to go to and from our gate on our bulldozer, the snow was so deep. I found some snapshots of the snow-covered valley beneath our mountaintop home.
"Snow wudn't always fun," Mel remarked. "I can remember walkin' to school in the snow an' my feet nurly froze off..."
"The earliest snow storm I recall was when I was two years old," I told my husband, explaining that my parents had left my baby brother, Curry, with my grandparents while we attended a party. "When we came out, it was snowing hard. We were midway down the road between the Concord cutoff and 917, between Joshua and Godley, and the car slid off into a snowbank. Mama was squealing. We had to get out and trudge through the snow. The wind was blowing ninety to nothing. I was so mad at Mama for making me wear a pair of ruffly cotton panties over my head. The indignity of it!"
"Musta been preshrunk," Mel snorted. "I always suspected there'd been an oxygen shortage to the brain sometime er nuther."