When we were kids, she was the first to know when schools would be closed on account of winter weather. She woke me up at 3 a.m. sometimes: Come outside! It’s snowing! Then she would bundle us up and practically push us outside to fumble around in the dark. I remember a tiny bubble of anxiety surfacing in the back of my mind: What if school doesn’t close, and I’ve lost all this precious sleep time because we assume it will? How will I function in class?
Hash tag: nerd problems.
We never owned proper snow attire. For one thing, it would’ve been a waste of money better spent on basic necessities. A good snow was rare, and there were 2 “blizzards” in my entire lifetime. (By that I mean more than 3 inches of accumulation – hey, this is the South.) We had jackets, of course, but still were never warm enough. To protect our feet, everyone knew the standard protocol: plastic bag (secured with a rubber band), sock, plastic bag #2, shoes. We had mittens but usually not the waterproof kind, so you just used your own judgment on that one. The plastic bag trick doesn’t quite work if you need dexterity for playing in the snow.
When the power went out for an entire week, my uncle wanted us to stay at their house. But Mom insisted we all stick together at home. She painstakingly boiled water in the stock pot (the one she uses to make pho broth) for our baths.
The snow would usually last a single day – two, max. The surviving drifts hid in shady pockets here and there for a while longer, clinging to our memories. And then they, too, were gone.