I woke up this morning and looked out the hotel window and saw a parking lot blanketed in white. It was beautiful and I drove to work listening to Christmas carols, grinning like an idiot. I arrived at the school, amazed with my ability to actually drive in the snow, hopped out of the car and was greeted by students and staff gripping about the snow.
This is not about them. They live in snow, they have a right to complain about it. This is about me. I’m a South Texas boy, born and raised. Snow is rare. So rare that it stands out in my memory and all of the memories are good.
One of my oldest memories (I must have been 3 or 4), is my Mother taking me to a second floor apartment balcony to show me the neighborhood covered snow. Something completely new, and cold, to me.
Flash forward 16 or 17 years later. It is my first trip west of I-35. We drove all night and when the sun came up, right in front of me was the Rocky Mountains, covered in snow. It’s one thing to see mountains in pictures and on TV. But when you see them for the first time, when you have lived your entire life at sea level, the size and the temperature change blows your mind.
Jump forward another 10 years and I’m a Houston area principal, when one of those rare snow falls occurs during the school day. I got on the intercom and announced a 30-minute recess for the entire school. South Texas teenagers who had never seen snow before were running around trying to catch snowflakes on their tongues. I remember telling a group of boys that were afraid to step outside, “Don’t be babies, go out and play.” It was a good day.
During this long winter, as some of you curse the snow, know that there are people out there who can’t believe how lucky you are.
Have a safe and happy holiday. Merry Christmas!