When was the last time you made a snowman?
Last week as I drove through Georgetown, Texas in a blinding snowstorm, I wasn’t thinking about stopping to play in the snow. Actually, I was shocked, disoriented, and a little bit grumpy.
“You’ve got to be kidding me,” I said to my friend sitting in the passenger seat. “SERIOUS SNOW IN AUSTIN?”
Goosebumps covered my bare skin. I flipped the heat onto high; suddenly, my tee-shirt and cotton khakis seemed all wrong.
Snow has been tagging right on my rear wheels sInce mid-January. No matter where I drive across this country, clouds follow, the sun disappears, temperatures drop, and the white stuff starts to fall.
Friends and family now request that I hold off visiting until the summer; it’s easy to blame the rare arctic weather on the girl driving around town with a dog sled on top of her car, and an Alaskan Husky sticking his head out the window.
South Dakota, Kansas, Indiana, Ohio, Texas and everywhere in between - this is one winter impossible to escape.
After a blizzard in Cleveland, I was thrilled to head south to Texas. I dropped off most of my winter clothing at my parents’ house in Indianapolis. Thankfully at the last minute I decided to take my snow boots, a fleece, parka, ski hat, and gloves. It was an easy decision because I needed to wear it. I crawled out of Indy in a line of 20-mph bumper to bumper traffic during one of countless snowy squalls of the season.
I couldn’t wait to finally get to Texas. I’ve traveled to Texas for the last 5 years during the winter/spring months, and my dogs and I always enjoy a month of sun, heat, and surf while we’re there.
Last week as I drove through Georgetown just north of Austin, something began to fall from the sky. At first, I thought it was ash from a fire somewhere, but the chill in my vehicle was an instant indication that Old Man Winter had caught up with us.
I expected the tiny white miracles tumbling from the Texas sky to come and go in a matter of minutes, seconds even. But the snow kept coming and the flakes kept growing. My friend and I noted this at the exact same time. “What huge, fluffy flakes!” we said. It looked like billions of pieces of tissue paper floating down and covering the green grass.
At first, Jack Frost’s wintry treat was just a huge annoyance. But then I saw my first snowman.
I have never seen more snowmen in my entire life.
When it snows in a place where it never snows, people run from their houses, businesses, and schools, and they play in the snow. Young and old - it doesn’t matter. If just a skiff of snow sticks to the warm Texan ground, people drop to their knees and start rolling.
My friend and I drove through the Texas blizzard for hours.
“There’s one,” I said, pointing to a snowman with a carrot nose and a bucket on his head.
“Look at all of those,” my friend said, pointing to one snowman after the other standing proudly in the middle of yard after yard. They were massive snowmen too; every inch of snow that made it to the earth was utilized. In Texas, you don’t waste snow.
To top it all off, my Iditarod talk ended up canceled because the Texas school was closed for a snow day.
So instead of working, my friend and I drove around town, admiring the new population of snowmen and watching everyone truly enjoying and appreciating one of Mother Nature’s greatest gifts.
As they say in Texas, let it snow!