Friday, February 4, 2011

2-4-11 Texas Snow Days

I have been following with glee the posted snow pictures of my Texas friends on Facebook today. Most of them who actually got enough to play in are up around Dallas. And there are a whole lot of friends down in Houston who woke this morning with kids who got a "snow day" from school only to discover nothing but trace amounts of ice.

But it's only been just over a year since the last time Houston braced for the very mention of snow, in late 2009.

That's pretty amazing.

I can count on one hand the number of "snow" days I had and they came once every decade.

The first was January 11, 1973. I'm not being a savant here; I was only three, but it was the first time since 1960 that Houston had gotten more than "trace" amounts. And even the years of trace amounts hadn't appeared since '63-'64 -- so it had been an entire decade.

I'm going to have to dig around more to see if Dad actually snapped any pictures of it at our house on Kirkdale, but I can imagine this picture was probably how I looked on that momentous occasion:

And from there it was once every five years or so that we would get revved up over the prospect of actually having anything remotely resembling snow fall from the sky only to have nothing happen. The day they called off 6th grade early and Christina and I got to go to my house was epic.

I look at this picture now and then out my window from where I'm typing and just giggle. This is what "trace" snow looks like. You might have to squint to see any of it. But what excitement!

To actually pick up some of this snow/ice mix, we had to raid the little deposits at the base of our trees. The bit that collected in the rosebed bushes had all this mulch mixed in, not so good for throwing at each other.

And you had better be sure and get within three feet of one another because you had a very limited supply of snowball making material.

My freshman year of high school while we were on Christmas break there were reports of "snow" on the north side of town, but nothing for us.

And then nothing anywhere, until my freshman year of college, in Hunstville (Houston again got nothing). We got ice, not snow, potato/potahto, it's WHITE and at least enough to go tubing down the hill at the football stadium:

Which, when you don't have a lot of experience, means your late 80's perm is going to go full blown afro height on you. . .

Flash forward almost a decade and my kids had exactly one snow day in Texas, in January of 1997, the day after Nicholas' 4th birthday party, when no one came because of the terrible danger of snow. And this was further north, in Navasota.

These were remarkable events, happening so rarely and so sparsely, that whenever snow was forecasted and only a small pocket of the area got anything at all, the rest of us were ridiculously jealous.

But these days?
December 10, 2008 Houston recorded 1.4"
December 9, 2009 Houston recorded 1.0"
Feb. 4, 2011 Houston recorded the elusive "trace" amounts. . .

Today's Houston kids just don't know how good they have it. ;)