snow day

Snow Day in Houston

snow day

Snow day in Houston — an oxymoron, right? It never snows in Houston. Everybody knows that. Well, it seems this is the year of upsets. Hurricane Harvey. Astros win the World Series. And now this.

Rumors of the White Stuff Before Snow Day

First, I get an email from my friend in the Hill Country showing the weather report, predicting snow by 5. But that’s the Hill Country. It’s a long way NORTH of Houston. And, yeah, it’s been 45 degrees and raining for two days straight. Why wouldn’t it snow in Kerrville?

Around dark my daughter texts that she sees flakes in Alief. Then my girlfriend calls from the Galleria area after I’m in bed. Then my son from Axelrad Beer Garden in Midtown East texts a video of dark sky and says it’s snowing.

I don’t doubt that some flakes might come down, but it’s not freezing, so it’s not going to stick. I fall asleep. The sound of another text gets me out of bed a little after five. It says there’s snow on the ground. I look out the window, and there’s nothing white on the sidewalk or the street. Maybe it’s too dark. No, wait a minute. What is that in the yard?

A Wintery Morning Surprise and We Get a Snow Day

Whoa, that looks like a white blanket. How can there be snow on the ground if it’s not freezing? Check the thermometer on the back porch. It’s 34.8 degrees. That doesn’t make sense. But it’s snow, alright.

I don’t know what to do with myself. I try to stick to my routine, but what do you do when something this crazy happens? All through my morning writing, my phone is blowing up with texts. Everyone is exuberant. One shows a video of my step-grandson making a snow angel. His first snow! When he gets up, there is an angel shape, alright…clearly defined in the grass. That’s what happens when the snow is only an inch deep. I can’t write any longer.

Taking a Snow Day Pause

Now that it’s light, I have to get up and go out there. The big sculpture in the park across the street looks like it has “icing” on it. I put on my shoes and coat and go out with my camera phone. I feel compelled to document my surroundings.

All these things I take for granted every day look different today. Even the cars parked in the street remind me of New York or Colorado in the winter. There is a couple with two small children at the sculpture. Someone has written the date in the snow on the base of it, so the rust-colored steel shows through. It is surprising how sharp the letters look.

I had expected the “icing” to be more fragile. But I guess when snow falls on something as cold as steel, it really sticks. I took a shot from two different angles and started back home. When I got to my front walk, I noticed the security cop coming to an abrupt halt on the cross street. The patrol got out quickly and walked toward the sculpture like he meant business. I’d seen him do this before, but it was to get people who were climbing on the statue off of it. But these people weren’t doing anything like that. I began to do a slow burn toward the cop. But then I melted.

Cold Hands, Warm Heart on a Memorable Snow Day

He walked up to the foursome. The dad handed him the camera, and he backed away. He wasn’t giving them trouble. He had stopped for the sole reason of offering to take a photo of the four of them posed in front of the “iced” sculpture. What a wonderful gesture. He had seen a need for his services, and he jumped at the chance to help.

I turned and walked back inside realizing at that moment what snow does to Houston, Texas. We might be close to freezing on the outside, but it really does warm the hearts, minds, and memories.

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