When I was a little girl, snow was beautiful white stuff that fell from the sky. It was something to play with, create with—enjoy. If there was a lot of it, school was canceled. My love affair with snow lasted until I started to drive. Then the sighting of the white flakes became terrifying. Deadly black ice, remnants from the previous week’s snow, lay hidden under the freshly fallen snow waiting to send my car into a pirouette.
The occupants of the row houses where my family lived set to work at the first drop of snow. We knew that the snowplows would build an impenetrable usually three or four-foot wall of snow making it a herculean job to dig out each car. Thus, we literally parked our cars bumper to bumper at the first sign of snow. The lead car was the one that left for work first and the last was a stay home Mom. And, as predicted, when the Department of Sanitation buried our cars, we were prepared. All we needed to do was clear our hoods and windows and then together, we dug out the first car. At night, after all of us were home from work, we parked in the order in which we left for work. It took a while to maneuver to the right morning departure time after each of us returned from work, but it was much easier than digging out five cars. To make sure no stranger dared to park in our spots before we returned, garbage pails somehow seemed to block their entrance.
Snow took on a new meaning when my children were born. I relived the joy of my childhood through their excitement, but grew to hate dealing with the melted snow in my front foyer. At this stage of my life I was a fancy suburban Mom with an automatic garage door. Instead of a thin strip of a sidewalk to shovel as we had when we lived in our row house, Hubby and I now had a 60-foot driveway that resembled a ski slope. Snow blowers were not yet the “in” thing.
Then we moved to Florida in ’73. Snow was replaced by monsoon rains and flooded streets. Instead of fearing skidding on black ice, I feared pulling into my driveway and having a water moccasin wrapped around my wheel axle. (Folks deny this, but it is true. It can and does happen if the manmade lakes overflow—and that only happens when some engineer forgets to lower the water levels of neighborhood canals and lakes before big rains. The purpose of all the man made lakes in these areas that were built on land formerly called the Everglades is to catch the monsoon rainwater and “ship” it out to the Everglades preventing flooding.)
Today, as I read all the complaints from my Northern brethren on Facebook about the latest blast of snow, I really would like them to consider moving to Florida. We have it all, but without the snow. I cannot mislead you. It does get cold here. Today, when it dipped to 55 degrees this morning, our outdoor water aerobics class was canceled.