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
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