Thursday, February 28, 2013

Snow Day? What is that?

Thursday, February 28, 2013
Houston, TX
69 degrees and Sunny
All my life I have lived in cities and towns where the weather is variable depending on the season and overall climate changes through the calendar months. Between the ages of 3 and 11 I lived in Ulysses, KS, which is on the south western side of the state in a plain area. We usually got several snow storms each year and I remember having snow drifts as high as the door handle several times. During the summer months we also had hot temperatures and lots of thunderstorms. Although I was only 8-11 years old, I do remember the temperatures and weather there. We had all 4 seasons.
When my family and I moved to Arp, TX in the summer of 1994 I was then thrown into the "Year-round summer" (or close to it) climate theory and thus began my years of not seeing much snow. Living in East Texas, we saw lots of warmer, hotter and even more hotter temperatures in the summer and unusually warm fall and winter seasons. I think in the 7 years I lived there, it only snowed 1 time (Maybe 2 times). During the winter it would be chilly but rarely cold. I remember shopping in the malls during the winter months and seeing sweaters and heavy coats and my family and I would laughing thinking "When are you EVER going to be able to wear that in East Texas". Usually this theory was accurate because in all those years, I think I wore a sweater maybe twice a year.
When I moved to Norman, OK for college in the Fall of 2001, I was then transported back to the life of enjoying all 4 seasons. I remember going to the 1st football game of the OU season and it would be BRUTALLY HOT and humid and then just 1 month later during a conference game it would be pleasant and cool. Then, once we were officially into Fall, the temps would be FREEZING COLD and I would have to wear hand warmers in my gloves and socks. And then of course, the next day would be 65 degrees. Oklahoma weather NEVER CEASED to amaze me! It was so polar opposite... OF ITSELF! I remember living in Shawnee and trying to clothe my newborn baby and having to purchase all types of clothes just for 1 season. This was a little annoying but enjoyable at the same time.
During our final years in Oklahoma, Chris and I lived in Shawnee, OK and the weather there was a predictable as any other Oklahoma town... meaning it changed by the minute. I do remember the terrible snow and ice storms that would come in the January and February months. In fact in 2009, 2010, and 2011 we had about 4-6 snow days each year. This was always nice because we could stay in and just relax and not have to worry about getting out. In fact, our driveway was so INCREDIBLY STEEP that it was nearly impossible to leave our house. I remember one year, Chris tried to drive to the grocery store, less than a mile away, and got stuck before he even made it out of the housing edition. The only downside to these snow days were they usually happened right before my District Band Concert Contest and I lost several days of rehearsal. However, each year that there were numerous snow days, I was still able to have my band perform at the Superior Level. It was amazing how they just knew they had to focus and perform their best. I was always especially proud of them on these years.
In my 6 years of teaching in Oklahoma, I think we used our designated 3 or 4 snow days each year. In fact, one year the entire state got an outrageous ice storm and the State Superintendent actually FORGAVE the days missed and we didn't have to make them up! When I worked at Bowlegs in 2005, they had a system where they built 6 snow days into their calendar as Fridays starting in Mid-April. If we didn't use them due to snow, we had EVERY FRIDAY OFF beginning in Mid-April. That was the ABSOLUTE BEST school calendar I have EVER worked under!

January 2006... Shawnee, OK

Over 6" Icicles

I felt like a kid again playing in the backyard!
Chris and I worked together to build two snowmen for our front yard!
Abbey LOVES the snow!
Shawnee, OK... December 2009
We added a member to the family since the last snow storm and she is all bundled up and ready to go outside and play!
Priceless memories!
We also added Oxford to the family... He likes the snow too!

Of course, now I live in Houston and it is "Year-Long Summer" once again. The summer I moved here in 2011 the average temperature through the months of June- September was 102. SERIOUSLY? Wow... But oddly enough that was the hottest summer in Oklahoma recorded history! The Fall and Winter of 2011-2012 were unusually hot even for native Houston-ians and I was disgusted at the daily temperatures. During the winter months of 2012 I think I only used a heavy coat 3 times. Only for about 1 whole months worth of days did I even need a jacket.
I love the mild weather during the winter months but I really do miss my snow days and the beautiful Winter Wonderland it created. I have many fond memories of playing in the snow. I really miss this about Oklahoma!
Y'all up there enjoy that beautiful Winter Wonderful and BE SAFE!
God is good... All the time!

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