Well, its winter in Texas and that always means at least one or two days of freezing weather. Read freezing weather as chaos and mass pandemonium. Yes my friends, we in Texas are not prepared for the frozen tundra. I know our Northern neighbors poke fun at us for shutting down over a half inch of snow or panicking at the first snowflake but let me explain.
First of all, it’s true that we are not prepared to survive any extended amount of time in the snow and ice and that’s because we seldom have to. It just wouldn’t make sense to invest in things like snow tires and street plows when they would be used a handful of times over a several year span.
Secondly, let’s get one thing clear. We almost NEVER get snow. No, what we get is nasty, wet, freezing rain and sleet that melts into slushy, muddy, yucky crud. This is no picture of a winter wonderland with soft, fluffy snow for building snowmen and starting snow ball fights. No, you can’t throw ice balls at your neighbors. Well, you could, but it would likely result in an assault charge.
Have you ever seen Texas snowmen? When we do get a modicum of snow mixed with the ice, it takes your entire yard worth of snow to build one pitifully little snowman and it’s mixed with dirt and twigs and leaves. Think Frosty’s less fortunate, vagrant brother.
The reason we are locked in our homes for the duration of the ice, not snow, days is simple. We can’t drive on sheets of solid ice. Hell, we can’t even walk on them! I once fell 34 times traversing about 60 feet over a frozen solid parking lot. Seriously, do you think anyone in Texas, outside of hockey players, own ice skates?
So I know we may look silly freaking out over some freezing rain with a temperature dip to 31 degrees overnight, but we also have not lost the wonder of waking up to find ourselves frozen inside a snow globe.
I have a screened in back porch, looking out my sliding glass door at the ice sheets clinging to that screen and seeing the icicles gracing everything in sight is an awe inspiring moment. Watching my dogs skid across the frozen backyard is hilarious. Hearing my children shriek with delight as their father pulls them in a big plastic tub across the frozen driveway is heartwarming. Most of all, the silence is amazing and being frozen in with my family with all obligations suspended, nowhere to go and nothing much to accomplish is a wonderful, unexpected gift, every time.