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Snow Day

Yesterday, January 12, winter dipped her icy fingers into the South, and we saw our first snow of the season here in middle Tennessee. Franklin received barely an inch, but it was preceded by sleet, so roads and streets were slick and treacherous. Schools closed, and everyone who did not need to get out stayed hunkered down, warm and safe in their homes.

Back in the summer of 1960, Robin and I moved from Shreveport, Louisiana, to Denver, Colorado. We wanted to live outside the South for a while to experience a snowy winter season. And did we ever!

It was the middle of October when I looked out my second grade classroom’s windows and saw gentle white flakes floating down. I was calling out spelling words, while my little students took their weekly test.

I’d better not say anything about the snow, I thought, or they’ll get all excited and lose concentration. I remembered the year before how my students in Louisiana had reacted at first snowfall.

“It’s snowing, it’s snowing!” They ran to the windows, hugged each other, and jumped up and down. I felt like jumping up and down with them. Soon, we’d all get to go home.

Now, I tried to stay calm, averted my eyes from the windows, and called the next word.

Too late. One of the youngsters looked up. “Oh, no! It’s snowing!”

A collective groan spread across the room. “I rode my bike,” one said, shaking his head.

By the time June rolled around, I could understand their reaction much better. That winter we experienced┬ámany large snowfalls, and the schools never closed. We drove between huge banks of the stuff, piled on the sides of the streets, and life’s normal activities continued. Even on the last day of school, remnants of dirty snow lay along the curbs. The only “summer” we had was in July and August. By September, the air had turned chilly again.

Today, though, I will nestle happily here in my cozy nest and enjoy viewing our beautiful “powdered sugar” landscape while I can. Monday’s highs will be back above freezing.

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