Yet another Christmas in the south has passed with no snow. And I get less and less excited about the slightest possibility of it each Christmas or even winter. I don’t know why I get mad. The weatherman said the likelihood of us getting even a trace of snow on Christmas day is .001%. And we only average 2.5” per year of snow, but the last time we got at least an inch of snow was in 2015, FOUR years ago.
I’m sad for my daughter who is starting to understand that every story surrounding Santa comes with snow but doesn’t understand why it just can’t snow here on Christmas. Or that just because there is frost on the windshield, baby doll, doesn’t mean that it’s gonna snow.
My childhood in Indiana was FULL of snow. I miss snow. Although my mom argues that I don’t remember snow. Snow after it’s been on the ground for two months and is black and a nuisance or the cold that comes with it and freezes your boogers and doesn’t allow your car to start for weeks at a time.
She’s probably right. But what I do remember is all the fun we had in the snow as kids. Snow Days called for being outside in the snow as long as your little piggy toes could stand it before getting frostbite. Jumping in five-foot deep snow drifts in the ditches of the road and not having to worry about cars coming because a snow plow hasn’t been seen for a while. (Except we were actually one of the first roads in the county to get cleared because we had bulk tanks full of milk that needed to be hauled.)
Dad would use the skid steer to clear a path around the farm and that meant HUGE piles of snow that we would dig tunnels in and act like we were Eskimos. Although I would rarely go in said tunnels because I’m scared of tight places.
We didn’t have many hills to sled down since Indiana is as flat as my chest but what we did have was a recipe for a broken neck: a 4-wheeler, a LONG rope and a grain bin lid. Grain bin lids make the best sleds. Durable, slick as snot, utilitarian all around. With permission, we’d take the 4-wheeler onto cleared soybean fields (NEVER a hay field unless you wanted to be murdered by my father) and my sister, who always seemed to be the driver, would put you in a tailspin pulling down more G’s than a Russian cosmonaut, until you where flung off ultimately damaging your body for life (which is why I can’t get out of bed at near 40 without groaning).
Another memorable moment is when she ran me into our lagoon bank (a place to hold lots of cow poop). I landed with my head stuck into the snow and my hands between my legs, with my butt in the air. My gloves were still stuck to the rope that was attached to the 4-wheeler that was now out of sight because you can never really tell when someone falls off the sled and as the driver, you just keep going and don’t look back. You may ask why someone wouldn’t just bail off BEFORE something that could break your neck happens and all I can say is….I was dumb.
And we didn’t just hurt siblings. We had a foreign exchange student from Germany who thought she’d brave a 4-wheeler sled pull. Germans are tough…and understand snow. She ended up in the yucca plant in the front yard. Which subsequently died later that summer. The Yucca plant, not Sabine.
I’m sad my children won’t get to experience this every winter like I did. The memories of eating snow, of traversing our land in eight layers of coveralls and socks, like we were explorers crossing Antarctica and laughing, side-splitting laughter, on that grain bin lid is something I hope I can recall on my death bed just before I see the light. And I do hope my children get to make those memories for themselves. They won’t have as many, but I’ll drive their little keisters to Indiana to sit on a grain bin lid if I have to.