Monday, February 06, 2006

Snow Day

We talked to our friend Karen Palmer last night and the subject of snow came up. We shared some great snow stories. Back when we were kids, weather forecasting was limited to our neighbor watching squirrels gathering hickory nuts and running up the north side of a tree or maybe a turtle dove lighting in our chicken pen to snatch up a little cracked corn before the game rooster charged spurs kicking. Mr. Plunkett would study the "signs", scratch is chin, spit a little tobacco juice off the porch and say "Yep, we're in for some weather."
He read the almanac and carefully monitored the comings and goings of all kinds of creatures. He was our local authority. Sometimes he was right and sometimes he was wrong....kinda like modern day weather forecasters. But when he was right, we'd wake to up a world of snow. Thanks to Mother Nature, our drab surroundings would be turned into winter wonderland.
We'd put on our "long-handle" underwear, four shirts, three sweaters, a scarf, toboggan, two pair of sox and a pair of boots. Mamma would wrap our boots in plastic so our feet wouldn't get wet. We'd stay out riding homemade sleds, having snowball fights, eating icicles, and making snow angels. When we finally made it inside to stand by the old Warm Morning heater, mamma would make us a big ol' mug of hot chocolate with marshmallows as big as golf balls.
We always gathered some clean snow in a big dish pan. Mamma would take the snow and mix it with vanilla flavoring, Carnation Milk and a bucket of sugar. At bedtime (9 o'clock) we'd still be twitching from the sugar buzz.
Nowadays, we have the Doppler radar, satellites, and computer generated weather models to help predict the weather. You know what; they still get it wrong sometimes.
As I got up this morning, not to a winter wonderland, but to pouring rain I thought to myself, I wish Mr. Plunkett were still alive the squirrels would have told him for us not to get our hopes up about snow.

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