Note to readers: The title should be sung in four part harmony as it is performed by Bing and the gang in one of my favorite movies, White Christmas. I am writing this in the midst of a historical snowstorm in Arkansas. The year is 2021. We have received 15 inches of snow during the week beginning Feb. 14 and ending Feb. 20. I am putting the dates down for future reference as I have discovered my memory is often cloudy when it comes to months and years. I know that we will tell this story in years to come. Patrick has been without water in Texas, but kept power while many in Texas have been without for days. Will survived a long cold night in Huntsville without power and then another few days without water. Here in Searcy we have been fortunate. Our power has stayed on along with our water. We have been sledding several times and taken many pictures of the beautiful snow. The week of my birthday, we received sleet and ice which cancelled school and provided excellent sledding. All together we have been out of school since Feb. 10 through Feb. 19. We had been scheduled for a long weekend due to President’s Day. Our 4 day weekend turned into a week long hiatus. It has been a most unusual and wonderful February!
Of course, I have many memories of fun in the snow! One of my earliest memories is from 1967 or 68. I am a preschooler sitting on a pink sled being pulled around the yard by my cousin Sheila. Jane is wearing bread bags over her school shoes because we do not own any snow boots. We have a video of this somewhere. Hickory Street was a winter wonderland! But as I have said, I am cloudy about the month and year. It seems like it must have been a huge amount of snow in my memory, but logic tells me it couldn’t have been more than 6 inches! Until this year, 6 inches of snow was considered a lot in southwest Arkansas!
I remember lots of ice storms growing up in Texarkana. We would pull giant icicles off the eaves of the house and eat them like popsicles. I don’t remember Nannie ever making snow ice cream, but I do remember eating lots of snow straight off the ground! I know it had to be full of germs, but it was so delicious!
In January of 1988, Searcy received 12 inches of snow overnight. Your dad and I did not own a snow shovel so Jim improvised to clear a path. He duct taped our metal dust pan to the wooden part of the broom and shoveled a narrow walkway with it. I walked to my job on campus… the snow was up to my knees…only to discover for the first time ever Harding had decided to close campus for the day! I walked back to our duplex a little disappointed, to be honest. Our apartment was pitifully insulated and cold. I remember being so mad when we received a $200 electric bill that winter. I am rarely cold, but I would wear three layers in that house and still be shivering! It was an adorable duplex with a cute little porch, but I learned a valuable lesson about housing that year…check out the insulation before you sign on the dotted line. The stuff you can’t see in a house is really the most important!
Patrick was born in December of 1988. We had moved to Ohio by then. According to Ohioans, that winter was one of the mildest winters in their state history. It was the most snow I had ever seen! I was terrified Patrick would freeze to death if we went outside! Patrick was about 2 and a half months old when Lori Deacon called and convinced me to meet her for lunch downtown. She informed me Patrick would be 6 months old before the snow thawed! I bundled him up in his baby snowsuit and somehow we both survived our trip outside! I never got to experience a harsh winter there because we moved back to Arkansas that June when Jim got his job at Harding.
The next snow I remember well happened when we lived on Ella street. It snowed on Christmas. The O’ Neal family came over and we celebrated with a huge meal followed by board games. Our house looked beautiful lit up in the snow. We had gone all out with lights that year. Not sure if it was that year or another when we built two snowmen in our front yard. One large and one smaller that Philip considered his. Philip had wrapped his own scarf around the smaller snowman’s neck and put his favorite pair of sunglasses on it. Jim had put his sunglasses on the larger one, too. They looked so cute! The next morning Philip looked out his bedroom window to discover our snowmen had been murdered overnight! Both snowmen had lost their heads! Philip was so upset! I was sure we would find the heads lying in the yard, but we didn’t. It seems a group of high school boys were going around town stealing the heads off of snowmen and throwing them in the back of their pickup truck for fun. Philip cried when he realized they had stolen his favorite sunglasses, too! I still get mad thinking about it! Such a cruel prank!
And then there was the blizzard of 2012! Jim had asked for a Flexible Flyer sled for Christmas that year. The boys and I laughed at him as we agreed to order it. We told him a serious sled like that was a waste in Arkansas! Well, Jim had the last laugh when it started to snow Christmas night! He grabbed up that sled and spent a good hour sledding down the big hill in our neighborhood. The next morning we learned that the wind speed was high enough for that snow to actually be classified as a blizzard! I had so much fun sledding with that fancy thing that Jim bought me one of my own a few Christmases later. We have put them to good use this year!
Snow is a rare and wonderful event in Arkansas. Because of that, my inner child comes out when the weatherman suggests even the slightest possibility. The excitement that comes with the anticipation of a snow day helps keep this 50 something young and hopeful. May it always be so!
Psalm 147:16 He sends the snow in all it’s lovely whiteness, and scatters the frost upon the ground.
2 thoughts on “Snow, Snow, Snow, Snow!”
thanks for leaving out the horrible storm Christmas 2000. I had a week old baby and I try hard not to think about that one! ha! great story!
Yes! We were celebrating our 15th wedding anniversary in Heber Springs while my in-laws were babysitting without power at our house. Texarkana looked like it had been hit with a bomb! That storm is not a happy memory for a lot of people! We never lost power in Hebert!