The Detective’s Daughter — Snow! Snow! Snow!

Kim, in Baltimore, watching her cement steps crumble under layers of salt.

When I was about seven years old, don’t even ask me what year that was, we had an incredible snowstorm. The snow was piled so high we had to tunnel through it. Now granted, I was a little kid, so the snow banks might not have been quite that impressive to the adults, but it was bad enough that everything in Baltimore was shut down and the National Guard was transporting all medical personnel and law enforcement to work.

Nana, Mom, and I stood at the door and watched as Daddy climbed up into a truck that had wheels almost as tall as my father. You see these over-sized trucks everywhere today – don’t even get me started on that! – but back then, other than a tractor trailer, people did not drive these types of vehicles. A man inside had to help pull Daddy in. I remained there as the truck drove away, its tires crunching across the ground breaking the cold silence.

The snow days of my childhood were thrilling, filled with hot chocolate, popcorn and endless hands of 500 Rummy. If Daddy wasn’t called into work, he would pull me on my sled or we would walk our St. Bernard, Barney, to the park. I can’t recall one time my parents rushing out to the grocery store or any of our television programs being interrupted by a haggard looking weather forecaster predicting doom.

My family loves snow, though we don’t get very much of it here in Baltimore. Just seeing the snowflake symbol pop up on my phone brings a smile to my face and I rush to my pantry to make sure I have our snowy day essentials. Coffee, cocoa, popcorn and the ingredients for a hearty soup or dumplings are always available.

Now my own children are grown. They no longer sit on the stairs anxiously awaiting to hear if their school is closed. They don’t need any assistance with their coats or boots and mostly know where they’ve left their gloves and hats.

Last Saturday night I sat near the window, my coffee mug in hand, and watched as heavy wet snowflakes dropped from the sky. The yard was empty, but in my heart two beautiful children ran with their dog and flung themselves on the ground to make snow angels.

One of my favorite movie scenes is from White Christmas. Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney, Danny Kaye and Vera Allen are on a train headed for Vermont. While sitting in the dining car they create a winter wonderland on their table and sing of their love of snow. That’s how I feel. While others may be counting the days to spring, I am hoping for one more snow day.

Dear Reader: Do you love or dread snow? What is your fondest snow day memory?

35 Thoughts

  1. I love snow! It was a rarity when I was growing up in the South, so it is still a thrill. I love a good blizzard, too. I have many memories of my years in Western Pennsylvania with two little children and four feet of snow in our yard.

    1. It has been a hard adjustment for me to enjoy the snow without children. They just seem to go hand in hand. There are no other small children in my neighborhood so I have no one to fret over. Louis is now in Pennsylvania and experiencing much more snow. He loves it like me.

  2. It belongs in the mountains. Crazy drivers, hungry insurance companies looking to increase your insurance. The quality of cars is poor. My wheel got stuck in snow when I moved the car to let the complex plow clear the parking spaces. The snow pulled out the bumper as I tried to back out of the snow. I have never had a car stuck in snow ruin the bumper. Pretty in postcards, the movies and the ski resorts. I love them singing the snow song. My favorite Christmas movie is Holiday inn, White Christmas and the 1938 version of Christmas Carol. Looking forward to 70 in February, even though this is Verrrry Weird. 🙂

    1. I have to agree I’m not a fan of driving in snowy conditions. People here in Baltimore go nuts if it’s just raining so you can imagine what they must act like in snow. I remember my dad putting chains on our tires, but that was years ago. Do people still do that? And you also mentioned all my favorite movies as well. All involving snow, of course!

  3. Back in the last millennium (when we lived in Pennsylvania) we had a serious snowfall. Thanks to the arrangement of roofs for our house, a lot of snow collected in a corner and funneled to a huge pile on the ground below. It was enough that my sister and I made an igloo large enough for us to crawl into (one at a time, anyway).

  4. I’m okay with snow as long as I don’t have to go out in it. That is mostly due to the inability of too many fellow citizens to cope with slushy, snowy streets and sidewalks!

  5. Unfortunately, I’ve never lived where there was REAL snow. Growing up my Dad was stationed in California where we moved the yard to look nice just before Christmas. Since being back in Arkansas there have been significant snows that I can count on one hand. This last year we moved to the northern most part of the state and I was hoping to see a pretty snow for a chance. However, this year has been rather uneventful and dry. Guess I’ll have to pen my hopes on next year.

  6. Grew up in Massachusetts with lots of snow. Loved it as a kid but didn’t like the extra days of school in June, even one Saturday morning! Learned to drive in it and generally thought New England drivers were good at it. I have to admit that I learned not to trust a lot of drivers in snow in other states! A snow in eastern North Carolina a few Christmases ago proved that my fear wasn’t misplaced! They just weren’t used to it. And no one plowed! All the way up 95 thru North Carolina here was nothing opened until I reached Virginia! We had a line awaiting restrooms!

  7. Funny that you mentioned the trucks with the huge tires. I used to work at a newspaper years ago, and during one blizzard I was convinced I’d get to stay home. Nope. They sent the snow cat for me!
    I have the same feelings about snow, Kim. There’s always a small part of me that’s longing for that snow day. My kids used to do a “snow day dance” around a bowl of ice cubes – I have no idea where that ceremony to the weather gods came from. The old saying here in CT was, If it’s cold, it might as well snow, that way the kids have something fun to do.

    1. We didn’t have a snow dance, but we would put a statue of the Blessed Mother on the windowsill facing out. I guess that’s a Catholic thing. My kids also would wear their pajamas inside out if they wanted it to snow. I can’t explain it, but for some reason this almost always worked.

  8. You make it sound so lovely. But I’ll pass. I don’t handle cold well at all. All these years of living in California, especially Southern California, have thinned my blood too much. Even when I go to visit the snow, I wind up too cold and miserable.

    So you can enjoy enough for both of us. 🙂

  9. I do like a couple of snowstorms each winter when I can make a fire, make cocoa and have that cozy hibernating feeling. I do hate driving in it though! It can only show when we have no place to go!

  10. I love a December snow. I especially love being inside and doing some mundane task like folding the laundry and watching the snow fall. But a little bit goes a long way, which is why we decamp to Key West for January through March.

  11. I seem to be in the majority of liking to look at snow but not like being out in it. I have no great snow memories, but lots of war stories about being stuck in the crap for days on end. I’m so grateful we retired to southern Pennsylvania where, for the most part, the snows are moderate or non-existent. Give me sunshine and 80 degrees any day.

    1. It was 70 degrees here in Baltimore today and it’s my understanding it will be 75 tomorrow. It seems to me it always gets warm right before the final snow of the season.

      1. Oh, yeah. I don’t put the snow shovel away until April. Must of our worst snows have been in March.

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