Well, it finally came last week. Snowmageddon 2014. If you lived anywhere from the Midwest to the south and east, you experienced some level of it. Here in St. Louis, Missouri, we had a minimum of 10 inches with drifts much higher. It was beautiful. Frankly, I was delighted!
I’m from Pennsylvania. I learned to drive in the snow. Wild winters were common. Snow fences abounded and most folks had tractors or snow blowers of some sort. It is easy to remember cars covered in snow drifts and all the neighbors of all ages with shovels in hand, helping one another.
On our back patio there we had a picnic table and I remember the year my brother was in Viet Nam. As our typical snowfall ritual, my dad went out, stuck a ruler into the snow piled high on that table and took a picture. There was maybe one inch of ruler still showing. We sent that picture to my brother. It was a picture of “home” for him, a sweet memory.
For some reason, it seemed that the major storms usually happened when my dad was away on a business trip, my brother at college and my other brother was who-knows-where. My neighbor would help me start our snow blower and I’d clear our long driveway. Then mother and I would start a fire in the fireplace and hunker down. It was a way of life. No, I didn’t walk ten miles in the snow to get to school! But I also don’t remember too many snow days. The bus always came. We built the best snow forts in the drifts around the mailboxes at the end of the driveways. They were the highest there – combination of plowing the driveway and the street. And, by the way, the postman always came!
There’s been conversation this year about the naming of snowstorms. When did that happen? And for heaven’s sake, why? I did a bit of research.
One reading said Twitter started it (with Snowmageddon) and The Weather Channel got jealous (coming up with storms with Greek names)!
But according to Wikipedia (so it must be right, right?), ‘Snowmageddon’ was first used in a children’s book in 2008. Canada used the word in 2009 and 2010 describing bitter storms and the US didn’t start coining the phrase until February 2010, after the first major storm of the year.
As for The Weather Channel and our most recent winter storm named ION, they began naming storms in 2012. The storm names for this winter were created by students at Bozeman High School, Bozeman, Montana. It was an assignment in a Latin class and basically all the names are from Greek or Roman mythology. Sounds like a fun class!? Wonder if they got naming rights.
It all seems rather silly to me. Hurricanes with names make a little more sense and are more widespread and memorable. I still remember Hurricane Hazel, circa 1954 +- which took down two giant willow trees next door and wires galore. My mother survived The Great Atlantic Hurricane of 1944.
But back to ION, or whatever you’d like to call it, I loved it! Everywhere one looked, it was pristine and white. The birds gathered at the feeders as the family gathered near the fireplace. Everyone was snowed in so no pressure to be anywhere. The only downside (for me) was the cold, the extreme cold. It was minus degrees way too long and even the weather people were telling parents to keep the kids indoors because it was too cold! How sad . . . snow you could see but not touch. Just doesn’t seem right. I was planning on making a snow angel and sending the pic to my grandkids to let them know I ‘still got it’. But apparently I don’t.
That’s what I missed most – the kids and me, playing in the snow.
“As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
so is My word that goes out from My mouth:
It will not return to Me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”