Snow is something we down south don’t see a lot of. Long after the flakes have melted away, the memories remain. On a sweltering July day, one loves to cling to the happy memory of the frosty flakes falling to the ground. In my fifty-something years in my little southern town, I have seen all the snow days that came to be. I do believe I can remember every single one of them.
The first snow I remember I was three and lived on West Jackson in Tupelo. I remember my sister in law wearing my dad’s big rubber boots out in the yard and bringing in snow for cream. There was one snow that came during the Mississippi Alabama Fair and Dairy Show that came to town in October. My daddy carried me out of the fairgrounds all bundled up. I cried and wanted to stay and ride. Later there was the “Big Snow” of 63. I was five and my mother told me if I went out and played in the foot or so of snow, I would die of pneumonia. I didn’t go out.
I remember the snow days when I was a little older and more rebellious and did venture out and play in the white stuff briefly with dear friends in East Tupelo. I remember watching it fall out of my classroom window at Lawhon School. I remember the slow ride to Tupelo High with my dad and sister down frozen Gloster Street. I remember waiting on my ride and watching it snow from the door by Pasquale’s Pizza at the Downtown Mall where my mother worked.
In later years I remember my own children’s snow days. I let them play out and they never caught pneumonia! The slid down the hills on cardboard and soaked in every moment of the slushy white bit of Heaven we were so blessed to receive. Then my memory skips ahead to my grandchildren and ice storms that weren’t so nice to the power lines, but again they loved it and could have cared less if they had to eat viennas by candlelight for dinner after a long happy day of snow games in my yard at Auburn.
Last year all my grandsons and I got to go to the Memphis Zoo on a snow day. During their spring break, we watched the animals play in the snow. I told them it was a once in a lifetime kind of thing. They loved it. We made such happy memories that I know they will hold on to and tell their grandkids about one day. My oldest grandson was actually born on a snow day - January 10th. He is 19 now. Every year on his birthday I tell him his snow story. “It snowed the day you were born!” His response always, “I know.”
Today is January 14th, four days after my grandson and I discussed how it had snowed the day he was born. No, it isn’t snowing. Why is it I am talking about snow on this sunny January day reminiscing about what was? You see this too was a snow day twenty-two years ago. I was working at Palmer’s. It snowed just a little, just briefly. We kept on working. Cars kept on whizzing down the highway. Then we heard the sirens. Then we heard the news. A young girl had been killed just a short distance from the store. The kids who worked there knew her. The cashiers knew her family. I cried.
Through the years I checked her mom’s groceries out often and wondered, “How does she go on?” I would pray for her. I often passed her house and I would pray for her. In later years I saw her perform in passion plays at church. She played Mary, mother of Jesus. I wondered, “How does she have the strength to do that?” If it were me..... could I? If it were me.... what would I do? In recent years I have seen her on fb. Her posts have shown me how she does it. She has Jesus. He is her strength. He is her reason to go on.
To everything, there is a season. A time to be born and a time to die. Be grateful for your memories you have to hold on to and take the time to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. Things that bring you joy, could bring them sadness. Life is like that. Pray for one another.