Winter in the North Carolina Mountains means something different for each person. Tourists love seeing the beautiful white snow cover the ground, while local farmers pray they can tend to livestock during the snowstorms. For me, snowfall in the mountains brings back many wonderful memories from my childhood. To this day, snow days are the setting of happy moments for may children. Children can be seen making snow angels or sledding down hills. Snowball fights ensue, and often lead to wrestling matches. These are some of the best times that many people still remember and cherish today.
However, growing up on a farm brought a whole new meaning to the word snow. My father and I would always stock up our wood pile and make sure we had enough dry logs for several days or longer depending on the weather reports. My father would then test the generator, and chuckle to himself, confident that it would endure if the power where to go out. My mother and sister could be heard upstairs preparing for the storm- making sure the candles, blankets and flashlights were available if needed. My father and I would then tend to the horses and laying hens. My father brought the horses into the barn I topped off the hens laying boxes and freshened up their coop. The final task was making sure the snow plow was hooked to the tractor. After our winter storm preparation was complete, all we could do was sit and await the arrival of the snow.
The next morning a glistening white coat of snow covered the ground and trees. I would run down the stairs and quickly put my on ski bibs preparing for some snow time action! Before I could make it to the door, I would catch a whiff of breakfast from the kitchen. On snowy mornings my mother would always fix my favorite meal- gravy biscuits and country ham. She would smile and say, “You’re going to burn a lot of energy today- you need a hearty breakfast!” And boy was she right! After putting on several layers of coats, and already being drenched in sweat, I would make my way outside and grab my sled. I was quickly joined by my loyal companions- my family’s two Australian Shepherds Ruby and Pearl. The dogs were always as excited about the snow as I was. All day my sister and I would sled down the hill over and over. I would occasionally look up to see my mother watching and laughing at us through the windows in the house. My sister and I would take turns pushing each other in the sleds. We would pretend that we were arctic explorers and that Ruby and Pearl were sled dogs. The dogs were not as excited about this game as us and opted to ride with us in the sleds instead. We would ride and play for hours before we would head back to the house.
My mother would see us heading back and would open the door to ask us to come in through the basement. Once inside, snow began to melt from our clothes and the warm air from the wood stove thawed our cheeks. My sister and I would hang our clothes next to the wood stove to dry and then made our way upstairs. We were greeted by my mother’s delicious snickerdoodle cookies and milk. As my sister and I chowed down we told her about our sledding adventures. “Now it’s your father’s turn to play in the snow.” my mother said. “He’s sledding too?” I said with a puzzled look. All of the sudden the tractor could be heard being fired up and my father was seen driving down the driveway. She would laugh and say, “See? Your not the only kid who enjoys playing in the snow,” and with that she sent my sister and me off with a kiss on the forehead.
I will never forget days like these and the wonderful memories that made them so special. Like I said before, winter in the North Carolina Mountains means something different for each person, and for me there will always be something magical about those beautiful frosty mornings.