By Nita Johnson
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — The unpredictable change of seasons — that has taken place within a days’ time here recently — continued its trend as 2014 rang in last week. The tolerable temperatures that marked New Year’s Day involved clearing out my storage building and collecting all the Christmas decorations from my yard. For once, it was fortunate that I actually heeded the weather forecasts and put all the boxes and crates back safely inside the building that evening, or else I would now be tackling a massive heap of soggy and unusable decorations.
While I cannot claim any cosmic intuition or karmic abilities, I did find it ironic that the snow came just after I removed the Christmas wreath and replaced it with one that boasts of snowflakes and snowmen.
In my childhood and adolescent years, winter always brought an abundance of snow, perfect for tackling the steep hills of the countryside. Whether it be on sleds, plastic slides, or even sheets of tin, the winter season offered its own physical activities.
A sizable snow during my children’s teen years brought out my own childish trends with the construction of several snowmen in my front yard. One was decked out in Kentucky Wildcats apparel, from the scarf to the hat and included a sign promoting our state-favored team (sorry, Cardinal fans!). The other adorned the green and blue of North Laurel, where my children attended school.
Playing in the snow with the two oldest grandchildren is another tradition that I revered. But the absence of the beautiful white flakes of any depth for several years interfered with my opportunity to share those snow memories with Kynna. So when several inches of snow were predicted about four years ago, I trekked carefully to Corbin — amid snow, freezing rain and frantic phone calls from my husband — in order to get Kynna so I could share the snow experience with her as I had with Hannah and Sierra. The glitter of the sun on the new fallen snow the next morning was dim compared to the glow on that child’s face as she looked outside in anticipation of playing in the snow with Nana. We built two snowmen, went sliding on the neighbor’s sloping property and made memories that I, at least, will never forget.
The adult duties of going to work in treacherous weather definitely puts a damper on the joy of freshly fallen snow. The road crews in this area do an outstanding job of clearing the highways and by-ways, leaving me with little excuse to miss work due to road conditions.
But when snow accumulation is predicted, you can bet I’ll be hoping for a weekend so I can share the same snow experience with 3-year-old Autumn and hopefully, continue the tradition into the coming years with the new granddaughter due in May of this year.
For me, snow brings memories of childhood that I hope I never outgrow.