Let It Snow And Snow: Welcoming Winter Weather With Joy, Enthusiasm

Sunday, January 25, 2015
When I was a child, growing up in the mountains of Tennessee, my younger sister and I would check the weather forecast religiously during the winter, hoping and praying for snow.

If there was at least a 15 percent chance of precipitation, we would wear our pajamas inside out and backward, do a quick snow dance and then sleep with spoons under our pillows.

Sometimes our superstition worked. We usually got one good snowfall a year — if we were lucky.

On those rare, yet magical, mornings, when the snow gods answered our prayers, I remember waking up giddy with anticipation, running to my frosted bedroom window and gazing out to see a sea of white.

My own personal winter wonderland awaited me. I would then run downstairs to confirm that, yes, the city of Chattanooga had shut down for the day and — yes! — school was canceled.

After locating our snow pants, which we kept mostly for ski trips, my sister and I would head outside to spend the day sledding, throwing snowballs and making snowmen. As the day wore on and the snow melted, we would head back inside for hot chocolate and movie marathons, knowing that school awaited us tomorrow.

Later, I went to college in North Carolina, where it snowed even less than it did in my hometown. So my internship here at the Valley News is my first chance to live in a real winter climate, with real snow.

It’s been an adventure. I bought my first snow tires. I learned that the windshield wiper fluid I bought in Tennessee will freeze solid when the temperature falls below freezing — and stays there.

I’ve already fallen on the thick sheet of ice that covers the sidewalk outside my apartment. (Luckily, I didn’t break anything.)

I’m learning that, around here, snow isn’t rare — it’s constant.

Still, when I think of snow, I am reminded of the elated feeling I had as a child, waking up in a winter wonderland one day a year.

I remember joyfully exploring my small world, suddenly covered in white.

To me, snow is something to be treasured, to be enjoyed.

I may not put a spoon under my pillow anymore, or wear my pajamas backward. But I’m not wishing for the snow to disappear.

Every morning, when I wake up and open my blinds, I want to pinch myself to prove the snow I’m seeing is real.

I refuse to dread the snow. I choose to look at winter weather with a child’s enthusiasm.

This is my new world to explore, covered in a blanket of white.

Sarah Shaw can be reached at sshaw@vnews.com