HOME ARCHIVE 2017

My kind of snow: It falls, is enjoyed, melts in a few hours

By John Toth / Editor and Publisher

I snapped away at four in the morning, taking photos of the snow, thinking that by later that morning it would melt, and went back to bed.

When I woke up again, it was winter wonderland on the Gulf Coast, although a temporary one. By noon, it was back to green lawns. That’s my kind of snow.

I have seen plenty of snow as a child growing up in different countries and cities with four seasons. That means that it is warm in the summer and cold to various degrees the rest of the time. When I moved to Texas in 1979, what impressed me most was that we really have only two seasons here: summer and wait a few weeks for summer.

Living along the Gulf Coast requires that you like warm more than cold.

When I was very little, I went sledding with my cousins down a hill near our house where all the kids took their sleds after it snowed. My mother bundled me up tightly. It could have been minus 40 degrees out there, and I would have been sweating in all the layers of clothes she put on me.

I fell off the sled and could hardly get back on it. One of the cousins pushed me back, and we sled down the hill. When we got to the bottom, she helped me get out of half that gear, and I could move again.

Years later I went on a ski trip with my elementary school class, but I didn’t know how to ski. After a very nice bus ride to the resort, I got my skis and all the other rented stuff and proceeded to head to the beginners’ slope along with all my classmates, many of whom also could not ski.

I was doing well at first. There was nothing to it until I needed to make a turn to avoid a group of skiers holding onto a rope that was pulling them back to the top of the hill. I took out most of them. It was a mess.

Before continuing my skiing adventure, I asked someone how to make the skis turn. It made for a much better experience for the rest of the day. I decided to share my new information with my classmates because it was safer that way.

We got back on the bus after an incredible day of skiing, and it started snowing heavily. The roads and highways were packed. There was snow everywhere. I could hardly see out the window. When I could see something, it was more snow. It turned out to be one of the worst blizzards in history, or so I was told.

The bus arrived back at the school hours late. As we pulled up, I could see all the concerned parents’ faces. We didn’t know how bad it was. We had a good time inside the bus and didn’t mind the delay.

I never saw so many hugs as we exited the bus. The next day the entire city was snowed in, and the state throughways were closed for days.

That’s one of the problems with a lot of snow. It’s fun, and then it creates problems. It’s better our way on the Gulf Coast. We see snow once in a decade or so and only for a short time. Before it can create any problems, it melts, and the next day it’s sunny and warm again.

That’s my kind of snow.

Dear reader, have a great Christmas, even though chances are we’re not going to have a white Christmas like we had in 2004. Enjoy the memories, family time and celebrating this very special holiday.