Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Snowstorms and Second Chances

By Julie Coulter Bellon

Our area was hit by a punishing snowstorm this past week. It snowed for two days straight and driving was treacherous. The kids kept hoping school would be cancelled, but it wasn’t. It reminded me of being home in Canada---through mild or massive snowstorms, as long as you can tunnel to school, school’s ON!

I went to pick up my kids at school on the second day of storming, when the snow was packed and people were sliding all over the place, and my stomach was in knots the whole time. The lane that drivers have to go in to pick up kids is fairly small and with snow everywhere it felt downright tiny. I got in line and inched forward until I was finally at the curb and could pick up my children. When everyone was loaded, I got back in the moving line, but I had a monster truck behind me. The wheels were so large I could practically see the tread on them through my back window. Mr. Monster Truck was not afraid of the weather in the least. He kept revving his engine and pulling within a hair’s breadth of my bumper. Other cars were barely missing sliding into each other, but Mr. Monster Truck was unconcerned. People like that scare me, just like large snowstorms and icy roads and driving through that with my kids in the car scares me. Thankfully, he didn’t hit me and I went on my way.

I made it home, car and kids intact, and then we proceeded to make hot chocolate. We watched the snowflakes come down for a while, feeling the warmth of the chocolate and marveling at how cold it had gotten outside, but it wasn’t long before the kids wanted to play in the snow. You couldn’t see any distinction between the sidewalk, road, or yard, since the snow was piled up so deep, so everyone got their sleds and headed for the front of our house. Neighbor kids came out as well, and everyone had a great time sledding. They came in when it got dark and we ate a warm dinner, which I was very proud of because I felt prepared. I didn’t need to go to the store for anything, I had all the food we needed even if we were snowed in for days.

After dinner, we went back to the front windows and discovered a new game. It’s called, “Prediction.” This is how you play. When you live on a somewhat steep hill on a side of a mountain, during a snowstorm the roads become icy and snowpacked. Even after warnings to stay inside, some motorists do not heed these warnings. So, when you are watching these people in their cars, trying to make it up a snowpacked icy hill, you can “predict” which ones will make it and which ones will slide back down. It was a fun game, really, because the boys would be nodding their heads, “Oh yeah, this one’s going to make it. That guy looks like he’s got guts.” But after several runs at it, it was obvious that the driver may have guts, but his car didn’t. The driver would inevitably give up and the boys would shake their heads, “dang, it was a good try though.” It didn’t surprise me how many teenagers I saw in their little putt putt cars trying to go up that hill, but I was surprised at how many elderly people tried it. Needless to say, my predictions rarely came true. Trucks that I thought would make it for sure just slid back down like butter on a corn cob. There were several close calls when they would slide, too, and barely miss hitting the people waiting to try behind them.

I thought later that I missed a good opportunity. I should have gone out and told all of those people, “Go home. It’s snowing. Snuggle in front of your fire with a good book.” And then I could recommend a few good books, mine included, of course. Like J. Scott Savage would say, it’s always about marketing. Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, think marketing. Maybe next time. The weatherman says we’re going to be getting another storm this evening that could bring 6-12 more inches of snow. Maybe I’ll get my recommendations nailed down, in case I get another captive audience on my hill. Who says we don’t get second chances?


At 1/08/2009 6:52 PM, Blogger Stephanie Black said...

Julie, you make me very grateful that we don't get snow here!:)

I think you've hit on a brilliant marketing strategy. Set up a book and hot chocolate stand in front of your house!

At 1/08/2009 11:21 PM, Blogger Traci Hunter Abramson said...

Today there was a huge uproar in the cafeteria at the high school where I coach...because it was snowing. The kids are still waiting for their first real snowfall of the winter. Too bad the snow only lasted for about five minutes and nothing stuck. Then again, after reading what you've been dealing with, maybe we should be careful of what we wish for!

At 1/09/2009 8:38 AM, Blogger Sandra said...

Don't you love that it is snowing again? I said that sarcastically because in about 30 minutes I get to go try and park in the high school parking lot- one of those lots where your child goes to school and it really is a scary place when it snows!

At 1/09/2009 10:34 AM, Blogger Karlene said...

You should get you one of those things they use at ball games to sell food to the crowd--those things that you hang around your neck and you load up with stuff (what are they called?). Then put a stack of your books, some hot chocolate and granola bars and go out and make some moolah.

At 1/10/2009 1:48 AM, Blogger Stephanie Humphreys said...

Here in Canada, we've had the most snow and longest cold snap in years. This is the kind of snow I remember from when I was a kid. You're right though. School has yet to be cancelled. Not when it is -35 C with a windchill of - 48 C, and not even when the RCMP are recommending that vehicles don't go on the roads unless they absolutely have to. The kids still always hope for at least one snow day.

At 1/13/2009 4:30 PM, Blogger Marsha Ward said...

So much for global warming, huh?


Post a Comment

<< Home