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Large white snowflakes falling from the sky – meandering slowly to the ground below. The brown grass below slowly turning snow white. People hustling to and from their cars into their homes and stores.
It’s beautiful! To a southerner. But as I found out this week, it’s all a matter of perspective.
A quick trip from my home in South Texas to my hometown of Batesville, Indiana provided some of that funny thing called perspective.
Leaving behind my shorts and t-shirts – and my 85 degree days – I arrived in Indiana to find temperatures in the 20s and a wintry mix of old snow (the icy, crunchy, messy kind) frozen mud and general frustration of the people in Indiana that winter just won’t go away.
The people are tired of the cold, tired of driving on messy roads, tired of the gray skies. I, on the other hand, am like a little kid!
I climbed into my rental car just outside the Indianapolis International Airport and immediately began texting my friends and family back home announcing that “IT’S 24 DEGREES HERE!!” Then, 30 minutes later, halfway to Batesville, it happened. New snow began falling. Text messaging isn’t enough now! One by one, I started calling people. “IT’S SNOWING!”
By the time I got to my mom’s house, the snow was heavy, the great big flakes made for great photographs! Much to the annoyance of my mom, I was running around the house taking pictures out each window. “Look! It’s snowing on this side of the house too!” Then – outside to the backyard. More pictures… of the snowflakes landing on my shirtsleeve… of the snow beginning to accumulate on the evergreens… of the flag flying partially obscured by the falling snow.
You see, I’ve only seen snow once in the last 20 years. For everyone in Batesville, though, the snow was nothing more than a pain in the #$%… a reminder that winter isn’t over. Not even close. One by one, I began hearing the locals complain about the never-ending winter. The treacherous streets, the heavy coats, the gray skies – when will it end?
I’ve only spent 48 hours in Indiana. And I’m not tired of the snow yet. But this coat is getting rather annoying. Studying the maps every day trying to determine how difficult my drive back to the airport is going to be – because the local weather guys are predicting an 80% chance of snow changing to rain as the temperature rises from the 20s into the 30s.
I’m thinking of the guys at the car-rental place washing all that road salt off the PT Cruiser I’m driving – that can’t be good for the car. I spoke to my high school buddy Steve as I was leaving town, he’s they guy who keeps the driveways and sidewalks clear at the primary school. He’s sick of spending his entire days on the snowplow.
I talked to my wife back home in Texas a few minutes ago. She’s at a tennis match. “It’s a little chilly this morning,” she says. She’s wearing a jacket. It’s 68 degrees at 8am. I’m starting to understand the frustration in Indiana. And I’m really starting to appreciate my weather in South Texas. I understand now that it’s not nice to tell my mom, when I call from Texas, that “my car is showing 85 degrees right now” when I know (as a weatherman) that it’s 24 degrees and snowing in Batesville.
I’m about to board the plane back to Texas. I came, I saw, I played in the snow. Now, for the sake of everyone in the Great White North, Let It NOT Snow!!
This certainly deserves to be more than an “aside” but I haven’t quite figured a tie to weather for this piece of information yet.
The reason I made the trip to Indiana was for the funeral of my grandmother. Grandma Smith turned 109 years old on February 17th. She passed away 4 days later. She was born inn 1899! She wasn’t the oldest person in the world, not even the oldest person in Indiana. But she was absolutely the oldest person I’ve ever known. And, she was truly one of the finest people I can say I’ve ever known. I say “one of the finest” because her sons and daughters, her grandchildren, her great grandchildren, her great-great grandchildren have all turned out to be amazing people too. Engineers, doctors, lawyers, teachers, ministers – heck, even a TV weatherguy! The funeral provided the opportunity to see aunts, uncles, and cousins whom I haven’t seen in a very long time. The memories came flooding back like a sea rising ahead of an approaching hurricane. At the funeral, the minister said he did some research and discovered, in the local paper, that the day grandma was born, February 17th, 1899, “the bluebirds returned to Greensburg (her hometown).” Today, Grandma has returned to grandpa who died in 1958, to my dad (2003), to her other children and grandchildren who preceded her in heaven. We love you, Grandma!
To read more about Grandma Smith, click here.
I’m a TV weatherman in south Texas. I get blamed for the bad weather, but I also get credit for the beautiful days. I absolutely love my job!