In Alabama, when the weatherman mentions even a minuscule chance of flurries the entire population goes nuts. The stereotype is that we all head to the store for bread and milk, but in fact a savvy snow-shopper purchases grits, cheese and crackers, lemons and limes and plenty of wine, beer and hot chocolate.
I have no qualms in admitting that I lead the pack in going bonkers when there’s a possibility of frozen precipitation. It touches something primal within me, and I picture the family together, snuggling in front of the fire, sipping drinks and playing board games. Then it’s time to head outside and build snowmen, sled (requires at least 1/4 an inch of snow), watch the males throw snowballs (no hitting Mom or I won’t show you how to make snow ice cream) and then back inside to warm up. Repeat as needed, proceeding from hot chocolate to wine to gimlets as the day progresses.
Last week we planned to go to Auburn for MLK weekend, but as the chance of snow seemed more likely, I warned Bill that I certainly would not be heading south if that meant I’d miss the most exciting weather event in a decade.
By Thursday night, weatherman James Spann’s hysteria level was approaching my own, and he released a map
that indicated we’d be half a centimeter from the swath predicted to receive three to five inches of snow if we journeyed to the country house, but a centimeter and a half away if we stayed in Birmingham. We decided to plan to go to Auburn, but stay if the forecast made a sudden change.
We pray with our boys nightly, but that night we were even more imbued with the Holy Spirit than usual. I don’t mean to give Jesus short shrift, but we pray about him all the time, and sometimes it feels pretty rote. The last time we prayed for snow with a good chance of having that prayer answered was eight years ago, and it was thrilling to switch up the bedtime prayers a bit.
Friday, James’s certainty that some part of the state would be blanketed with white didn’t waver, and the snow swath hadn’t moved.
“You go, dude!” I screamed at the TV. “Come on, snow! Bring on the Gulf moisture and Arctic air!” I did a few high kicks and Jazzercise hip rolls for emphasis. The boys looked at the screen unmoved. They’ve seen green rain and red and yellow tornadoes on the weather map, but the area of pink and white meant nothing to them, no matter how much I sang “Snow, glorious snow!”
We loaded up the minivan and headed to Gold Hill.
Finn had seen snow once before, but Drew and Porter had not. They spent a few minutes inspecting the snowflakes, catching them and watching them melt, checking out those that landed on the ground, and staring into the sky and letting snow fall directly onto their faces.
Finn came up with the idea to save it in the white trash can, but long-time readers will have no trouble guessing which twin carted all the other crap out of the shed and set up a “system” so the snow could be “processed” before it was packed away for safekeeping.
You’ll recall that the other Mrs. Glamore never throws anything away, so no one blinked an eye when she marched into the shed and pulled out three rudderless water skis, circa 1950, which the boys turned into snowboards.
Other women may not be satisfied with just an inch, but it was more than enough snow for me.
Two years ago in My Tiny Kingdom: I’ve Come A Long Way, Baby