We had snow in Tucson several weeks ago. It is a big deal and kind of magical when it snows in Tucson. Everyone talks about it. Everyone takes pictures of it. It even makes the national news. Two people out of four in the writing group last week wrote about the snow. It makes a big impression on us here in Tucson. So the stories about the snow last week got me thinking about other snow days, days when I was a child.
I can remember going to bed at night and praying that the snow would keep falling all night so we would have a snow day. If the snow was too deep, the school district would cancel school and it would be a snow day. Usually when this happened, the streets would be covered in snow, so there would be little or no traffic. Both my parents would be home and it would be warm and cozy inside our house. And outside, the snow would have transformed everything. The world would be white. The quality of the air would be different. The outside would be quiet, that special quiet that only snow can bring. But the sound of kids playing in the snow after breakfast would soon be heard. We would all get dressed up as warmly as possible to try to keep the cold at bay and rush outside. We would make tracks in the pristine snow in our backyard. We would make snow angels. We would gather our sleds and go for hours of sledding in the big city park across the street from our house. We would come home, wet and cold from the snow, hungry and exhausted. But we would be ready to go out again after a meal and a little time to warm up. Snow days were a wonderful gift to us from Mother Nature.
Another memory I have of snow in my childhood involves sitting in our house and watching cars try to climb the hill in front of our house. We lived at the bottom of a big hill. When it was snowy, and especially when it was icy, cars would try to go up that hill and often slide right back down. I can remember one night in particular, sitting inside with a fire in the fireplace, eating popcorn, and watching those cars one by one try to go up the hill and then come sliding back down. I was so glad that my family was already home and that we were warm and safe and that I wasn’t in one of those cars trying to get home.
I think the downside of snow, as an adult, is having to get out in it and shovel it or drive in it, just having to live in it. As a kid, you really don’t worry about living in snow, you just think about playing in it. I was lucky, because I got to be a kid in the snow and then as soon as I got my driver’s license, my family moved to Tucson. So for my adult life, I haven’t had to live in snow, no shoveling, no driving, no getting stuck in snow. And the few times that it snows in Tucson, it just seems magical and I am transported back to being a child again and marveling in the beauty of the snow.