Snow not the same anymore

Published 10:36 pm Tuesday, January 5, 2010

When you’re a child, the words “it may snow tomorrow” rank right up there with “Santa Claus” and “it’s your birthday.”

When I was little, I remember going to bed with the snow word ringing in my ears, visions of playing in a powder-covered yard dancing in my head.

The next morning, my brother and I would pop out of bed and look out the window. If the driveway and yard were covered with snow — no matter how light a coating — we would turn on the television and wait to hear if our school was closed. The second we heard “Birmingham City System” included in the list, the celebration would begin.

Only then would we break out the coats, gloves and hats and head outdoors. We would gather enough snow to make a snowman, something that usually took most of the snow out of the yard. Once we had thrown a sufficient amount of snowballs and built our snowman, we would go inside and enjoy the rest of the day in our warm house. Usually, the snow was gone by lunchtime, but we always held out the hope that it would last another day. In the meantime, we enjoyed some hot cocoa and maybe some warm cookies.

That was a snow day back then. My, how things have changed.

Now, the mention of snow brings about a knot in the pit of my stomach and prompts a plethora of questions.

Do we have enough bread and milk? Do we even like break and milk?

What will we do if the power goes out?

What if I have to get to work and the roads are closed? Have they sanded the roads? Does Alabama own a snow blowing truck?

Do I need snow tires? Skis? A snow mobile?

Will the temperatures rise enough so that the snow and ice will melt? Will we be stuck in the house until April? Is this global warming?

There are no visions of snowmen and hot cocoa. Instead, there are concerns about keeping the house warm and the family fed, even if they are left with only that bread and milk.

I know as we grow older things must change, but it would be nice if the magical event of the “snow day” could live on. Then, maybe, we could enjoy sitting by the television just waiting to hear the word that — for at least one magical day — it was all about fun.