My dear wife learned something about me today she might have sort of known before today, but knows for sure now more than ever–when it snows, I regress in time and I seek to enjoy every single minute of it.
I looked out our bedroom window at 5:10 a.m. this morning and called my good friend from Dallas Schools who I knew would already have been out on the roads. He said it was snowy and it was pretty, but there was no reason to call off school. And at that point in the day, he was right. The temps were hovering at about 33-34 degrees and it was snowing pretty heavy, but the roads were okay.
So an hour later we got the kids moving, off to school and by that time we had about 2-3 inches on the ground. Thinking that maybe this might be like a typical Dallas snowfall, the kind we get once a year and you know, enough to make things white a little and would be gone later in the day, I decided I was going to venture out with the camera and get as much of it recorded as I could.
I took some nice shots of the house all colorful and white. A neat street sign covered in snow and then went for some of my standard winter closeups of trees, fire hydrants, etc.
Well, she delivered on that promise and later in the morning I went over where she, her sister and one of the other horse owners keep their horses and took some incredibly fun shots of the horses.
After that I made my way over toward Balch Springs' City Hall to do some historic preservation, went past the library, the fire/police department and then home to check on Kari.
I processed the first batch of my photos, about 500 at the time and was ready to get some lunch and venture back out into the snow. From the time it began about 3:30 a.m. today until even as I write this at 11 p.m. tonight, it has snowed at the same rate all day long–HEAVY.
At dismissal across the street at the elementary school, I stood ready for our daughter Ashleigh to come walking out of the building. I captured that moment she stepped out and of course, dropped to the ground to pick up her first scoop of snow. And then I took a string of other photos.
As the kids went on their way home, I stayed and took photos of some of the teachers and administrators from the school before they left for home. I even captured a snow ball fight of certain people. It was too funny.
At dismissal, one of the students out in front of the building approached the assistant principal and said something cool to her: "Today would have been a good day to have been Christmas." She told him he was right–and to him and thousands of other kids in North Texas, it might as well have been. And tomorrow is second Christmas.
Ashleigh finished her first Dallas snowman and then she and I took My Dog Molly for a walk in the snow. Molly has never been in anything like this ever before. Ashleigh and I also wound up helping the office staff at the school get the 8-9 inches of accumulated snow off their cars so they each could drive home. She was all about being a helper.
We then walked around to the back of the school to the playground. Ashleigh went straight for the swing and now at age 5 can boast that she's been on a swing in Texas during an all out Texas-style snow storm.
The joys of her laughter as she played and as we walked back home with her throwing snowballs at my back are sounds I never will forget. They were the kinds of sounds that I know I must have made about 35 years ago as I used to play so much in the snows of Northern Michigan. Of course there we had snow plows and we could make tunnels into the snow banks. No such thing here in Texas–they don't have snow plows.
I got to see one of my twin daughters as she walked to her mom's car today. This was the first snow storm since the girls were born that I haven't been able to play with them in the snow. And it being a record snow makes it all that much harder.
And so tonight I sit here. Exhausted. Sore from shoveling and all the walking. And I feel like I have wind burn. But I have some incredibly rich memories tonight and a harkening back to the days of my childhood and playing in the snow–memories I miss so much. And like in those days, tonight I sit in front of a window writing; looking out the window and seeing the blue-green lighting of transformers blowing in the distance. One time my dad and I were looking off into a snow night like we are now and we saw a bolt of lightning. He later told me that it was some sort of static electricity deal that had hit the control panel of an approaching B-52 in the KI Sawyer AFB pattern.
I've been outside a few times to peer at the street lights as the snow continues to drop like one of the Brady kids dropped the snow in the episode about making the movie with the pilgrims. I always used to do that when I was a kid–peer out the windows of our base housing rooms. If it was snowing like it is tonight, that meant we weren't going to school in the morning. And guess what, it still does.
My friend and the others like him in the 38 school districts in DFW already have wisely decided there is no school tomorrow. Seems like old times. Seems like in many ways, I'm still as young as I was oh so long ago.
I shot 962 pictures today. Fifty-eight of them already are on Flickr for you to enjoy.