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Geiger’s Counter: Southerners are mesmerized by snow

It’s funny how we Southerners are mesmerized by snow. When Sunday’s snowfall began, I watched from the choir loft at our church as all eyes strayed to the windows. With each passing minute, the flakes got larger and a silent buzz of anticipation filled the room. Down here, snow is an exciting prospect – at least for awhile. My nine-year-old daughter Livia Lanier had seen little snow in her lifetime. She was absolutely trembling with delight over the snow event and spent the afternoon and evening making a snowgirl she outfitted in a grass skirt and sunglasses and sledding down a small hill on a baking pan. She, her sister and the other neighborhood kids pelted every passing car with snowballs. Several motorists came their way intentionally just to ensure they had a target every so often. That scene was played out all over the area. Children everywhere were doing the same things, their faces flushed red under hats and hoods. As I traveled about taking photos, I noticed one cosmetic property snow possesses. It covers litter and for awhile our normally trashy roadsides were pristine under a blanket of white with only the yellow flash of an occasional frozen daffodil peeking out. Where snow is a novelty it inspires. Where it is common, it is a nuisance. The longer one is out in the snow, the more obvious its downside becomes. First, snow is cold and the big wet flakes we had were quick to chill to the bone those not properly outfitted for it. Snow also has an immediate adverse impact on the Southern driver. Vehicles routinely end up stuck or off in the ditch for no apparent reason. Thankfully, those with four-wheel drive vehicles seem to enjoy pulling the misfortunate back onto the pavement in order to show off their prized vehicular superiority. Snow, without question, gets old quicker than it becomes black sludge on the asphalt. By nightfall Sunday, all but the most hardy were ready for it to end. Thankfully, snow’s worst enemy- a bright Southern sun – dawned Monday to melt it all away until the next time when it will be welcomed with smiles all around once again.

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