Winter in the South is kind of like seeing a mystical beauty that’s immediately striking, only to discover it is only skin deep.
Take the co-called deep freeze that gripped the Deep South last week. There wasn’t much to it. On Thursday, February 13, children and adults alike awoke to a winter wonderland in Huntsville and other communities across the region. Families emerged from hibernation, trudging through the beautiful layers of crystallized flakes, that atmospheric phenomenon known as snow.
As a Minnesota native who moved South to get away from these wintry elements, I am not typically among the elated when we have accumulation. It brings back memories of dirty snow, yellow snow, slush, and ice that sometimes lasted until May.
I am, however, entertained by Huntsville parents, including my husband (also a native Minnesotan), who experiment with makeshift sleds, from recycle bins to giant Tupperware lids. Few are effective — and David kicks himself for leaving our legitimate snow sleds in the Land of 10,000 Lakes when we moved back to Huntsville in 2009.
But a mom’s got to do what a mom’s got to do. So on Thursday, I took the dog, the neighbor kids and my own ecstatic daughters around the block. Jaded as I am, even I marveled at the resplendency of the untouched snow on the slope of Green Mountain where we live.
But no snow day for me. After our jaunt, I headed to work, leaving David — aka Mr. Mom for yet another day — to care for Serina and Sophia. Throughout the day, I got updates from home, complete with photos of snowmen and snowball fights (thanks, Sarah Grace!).
During last week’s winter weather, my inner-southerner kicked my inner Viking’s behind, and that Thursday morning walk around the block was the only workout I got.
Within two days, however, the snow melted and I was back in running mode. As for the snowman — well, you can see for yourself. (Olaf, if you really want to know, this is what happens to snowmen when temperatures rise above 32 degrees. Enough of the summer fantasies.)
The big freeze turned out to be no more than a big tease for children who wanted to build more snowmen, nail their siblings with more snowballs, and make more snow angels. The sun went into overdrive, melting the snow and revealing a southern winter’s true colors: tired grass and dull leaves, along with splashes of sun dancing on Huntsville’s humble waterways.
I’m okay with that. After all, the Rocket City’s beauty is more than skin deep, shining brightly through its people and spirit regardless of season