Usually, when snow falls in the South, schools close, roads shut down and CHILDREN CELEBRATE!
Do you hear that? Yes, kids are squealing because it snowed in Huntsville.
We actually awoke to more than an inch of snow in North Alabama Tuesday morning. Our daughters, Serina and Sophia, were beyond thrilled. Sophia saw the magical scene outside and started singing “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?” from Frozen. A friend’s child exclaimed, “Elsa made it snow!” (Yes, the Disney movie was a huge hit in Huntsville.)
Of course, mention winter conditions in the South and it still stings for some. This snowfall fell on the heels of the catastrophic weather event that struck the Deep South less than two weeks ago. What my fellow southerners in Atlanta and Birmingham endured was shameful. And by all accounts, unnecessary.
Fortunately, at least in Huntsville, this week’s snowfall is much more manageable. Superintendent Dr. Casey Wardynski called for a two-hour delay the night before and waited until morning, when the weather situation could be fully assessed, before deciding that classes would be canceled.
Area businesses encouraged their employees to use their own judgment. As I drove to HudsonAlpha, I heeded my boss’s advice to take my time and be careful. On the way in, I was impressed by other motorists who appeared to be doing the same. Sure, my commute time doubled, but I was in no rush.
Yes, there are thoughtless (lazy?) drivers everywhere and Huntsville is no exception. Let’s take, for instance, the woman who didn’t wipe the snow off her vehicle’s rear window. But I remember seeing cars just like that, and worse, when I lived in Minneapolis. Dumb drivers hit the road in every region and in all weather conditions.
When it’s not wreaking havoc on a major metropolitan city, or even a smaller one, snow is beautiful, another example of God’s handiwork. It’s the source of joy and laughter for kids of all ages, most of whom (like mine!) go out underdressed thanks to a lack of proper winter gear. They wear tennis shoes instead of boots; jeans instead of snowpants; and knit mittens that let the wet snow soak through before the snowman’s base is completed. (Thinsu-what?)
As a former Minnesotan, I know a couple of inches might seem like child’s play to hearty Midwesterners and Northerners. But for children who rarely get to experience the magic of snow, this is a Disney dream come true. It may get better — way better — with up to a foot expected Wednesday.
Wherever you are, in between snowmen and snow angels, remember to enjoy lots of hot chocolate with plenty of marshmallows. You may also want to conserve energy. Hint: Keep the heat down and cuddle with your kids — that’ll warm your heart most of all.