Snow inspires greater connection
This past week, as snow fell to the ground day after day, I found myself experiencing quite a few things for the first time.
I’ve lived in Hartselle for more than three years now. Before being transplanted to north Alabama, I lived in several places in Alabama and Georgia – with Talladega being the furthest north I had ever planted roots. So snow, along with 13-degree temperatures, were rare.
I was thankful for this surprise snow, though, because the weather afforded me a lot of time to spend with my husband. This is the first time since we were married in June 2020 that we’ve been able to spend an entire week together. He’s been a bit stir crazy, coming to work with me and trying to find projects to keep himself busy. He’s a carpenter by trade, and he is not used to sitting still for long. He’s also a farmer, so not being able to drive back home and take care of his responsibilities has bothered him this week. I’m thankful for family and friends who have helped make sure he doesn’t have to be on the icy roads between Hartselle and Center Star.
Another first was snow cream. Of course, I’d heard about the tasty treat, but when Hartselle was blessed with more than three inches of the white fluffy perfect-for-snow-cream snow – not the hard, ice–like snow we get down south – I knew we would have to make a batch or two. I
t was great! It made me feel like a kid again, even if I didn’t get to sled down a snowy hill.
Something else I noticed about the snow, and have been thinking about ever since, was how it brought people together.
We live in a townhouse, and I’m a little ashamed to admit I don’t know my neighbors very well. If I pass them going to my car or to check the mail, I smile and wave, but I’m afraid our culture has changed so much that we don’t meet other folks the way we once did. We don’t converse with them or connect.
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is largely responsible for some of that, I believe. Even though I don’t count myself a social butterfly, I sometimes find myself craving that social connection with other people.
Well, when the snow started to fall Wednesday night and Morgan Street started to look like a scene out of White Christmas – the end of the movie, when they actually got the snow – something magical happened: People came out of their houses and watched it, and we connected with our neighbors.
We talked to them, we laughed with them, we built snowmen and marveled about how much snow was still falling.
There was very little talk about the things that divide us; actually, there was none. A family with a small child bundled in layers trotted through the white fluff, and I watched him experience his second snow as I was experiencing what felt like my first.
Of course, I made my husband take a selfie with me, and shortly after I pelted him with a snowball.
It was snow much fun. I remember thinking about how I didn’t even feel too cold because I was having such a great time experiencing something new and connecting with my neighbors.
Isn’t it odd what a little bit of snow can do to lift one’s spirits?