Southern snow tales

Can you believe how cold it is? I could live with piles of snow if the temperature was a bit more tolerable. Right now I want to put on Eric’s Ice Armour and wear it non-stop until spring. It’s too big for me, so I’d walk around looking like a camouflaged Michelin Man, but I don’t care. I’m cold.

I was talking to my cousin in Portland, Ore. last night, and she was telling me how crazy things were when they got a couple inches of snow. I laughed at her.

It reminded me of the time it snowed in Norfolk, Va. while Eric was stationed there. We lived in a couple of places around the naval base, but when Maggie was about 3 years old we were living on a little peninsula called Willoughby Spit in Norfolk. One day it started snowing, which is the only time it happened with any real results in the couple of years we lived there. Sure, every now and then a few snowflakes would fall, prompting schools and businesses to slam shut faster than fast.

But this time it actually accumulated. Maggie and I made a snowman while other neighborhood kids watched out the window. I don’t know if they were afraid the scary white stuff would hurt them or if they just didn’t have snow clothes, but there were a few noses pressed to the window. Maggie and I tossed snowballs at each other, made angels, and built a dandy of a snowman, complete with poker chip eyes, candy corn mouth, carrot nose and a pink and purple scarf.

When Eric got home from work, we all jumped in our little Toyota and drove around so we could watch people drive badly in the snow. If we had a 4-wheel drive truck, we could have made a fortune pulling people out of the ditches. It was fun.

We experienced snow in Florida once also. Courtesy of Hooters.

I don’t remember exactly what the event was, but the Hooters in Pensacola, Fla. sponsored some kind of kid-friendly snow day thing. Hooters? Kid-friendly? I know, it boggles the mind. But we happened to be driving by, so we stopped to check it out. Which means their gimmick worked.

The Hooters was on a corner lot of a busy intersection. There was an empty lot between the business and a hotel, so they blocked the whole thing off with snow fence (clever) and filled it up with…well, snow. They used a snow machine from some resort up north and had about a foot of snow covering the ground inside the fence, along with a little hill for sledding.

It was shortly before Christmas, and all these kids dressed in jeans and t-shirts were running all over, tossing snowballs and mak-ing little snowmen. To be honest, it was one of the funniest things I ever saw. Most of the kids didn’t even know how to make a snowball. They were just picking up handfuls of the stuff and tossing it around without packing it into a ball.
While they played, most of the patrons sat and watched. The Hooter girls must have felt a bit bereft that day, because all eyes were on the kids.

Maggie wasn’t quite as entranced with the snow experience, probably because she had played in the snow quite a few times in her five years of life, but she had an advantage over the other kids. We had a pair of mittens in the car, left over from a school project. When the other children started to complain about how cold their hands were, Maggie’s were still warm.

Eventually she got soggy and cold, so we plucked her out of the fenced area and treated her to some buffalo wings, then headed for home.

And there you have it – my southern snow tales.