Snow is great - for a day or so...

By John Toth

I hate snow, and I hate cold.

Why would anyone like either? I would give snow a second chance if it could be separated from the cold, but no other way.

I like warm, but not too warm, so that I can shut down the air conditioner and open some windows.
Unfortunately, we’re in cold season, so it can be pleasant one day and freezing the next.

As I write this, 71 percent of the country is under snow. The only state not affected is Florida.
For the most part, though, Gulf Coast winters are not too bad, although south Florida winters are better.

My buddy from high school lives in Florida, and he is basking in the sun when I am running the heater. My relative in Arizona is bragging about the pleasant spring-like day he is having.
He’s not bragging about the 115 degree temperature in July and August, though.

So, for the most part, give me some Gulf Coast weather year round, a little bit of freezing winter thrown in along with an occasional snowfall.

I have lived in climates where the weather was always predictable – predictably cold. One time I was hunkering down for a major snow storm and left my car parked in front of my apartment house. When I dug the car out from under all that snow three days later, I found a parking ticket on the windshield.

That helped me decide to relocate to a warmer climate.

That was many decades ago. Some of my friends up there say they cannot believe that I don’t miss snow. Well, I don’t, because snow is connected to cold.

Last week I had to wear several layers of clothing, and I felt like the Marshmallow Man. At the post office, I saw people going in and out wearing just a shirt. It’s 33 degrees. Why are you just wearing one thin shirt? Those guys must not feel cold. I do.

A while back I took the kids to Disney World for Christmas and right after we went back to the hotel room from the pool, I saw on the news that a cold front was heading our way. On the way back, I told the kids to bundle up because once we reach north Florida, it will be cold. They must not have heard me, because they jumped in the van wearing summer clothes.

Then we stopped for a bathroom break somewhere in the Panhandle – the shortest bathroom break in history.

I do have at least one wonderful memory of snow, and it happened right here on the Gulf Coast.
As a child I moved from country to country, winding up in cities where winter was really long and cold. But, I cannot recall a white Christmas anywhere I lived.

A lot of things have to happen just right for a white Christmas. I just wasn’t at the right location at the right time. In some areas, white Christmas is just another day with snow. To me, it would have been special to experience at least one.

I finally did, as many of you did also in 2004. We woke up Christmas Day along the Gulf Coast with a thick blanket of snow on the ground. At the age of 49, I saw a White Christmas in the most unlikely place of them all – the subtropical Gulf Coast. And, as many of you remember, it was beautiful.

My kids were jumping and rolling in the snow, saying that this is the best Christmas present ever. I wish I would have known about this earlier. I could have saved a lot of money on all those other, lesser presents.

We took lots of photos, and I asked readers to email their photos, which is how we got the Surfside Beach picture.

And, the best thing about all that snow, is that in a day or so, it was all gone, along with the cold.