Snow Line of Demarcation


As forecasted by local meteorologists, just before 11 a.m., snow started to fall on our little town. Soon big white flakes were covering bushes and trees outside, causing our two granddaughters to gleefully run around inside. The snow continued to fall, being blown by high winds that at times caused whiteout conditions. Excitedly, the Girly Girls scurried about getting ready for the big snow day.

“Do we have to wear a hat?” “Where’s my other glove?” “When can we go outside?” “You and Gigi going with us?”

“Yes,” “On the couch,” “In a little while,” and “Of course” were my answers as we watched the fat snowflakes starting to cover our back porch. For Georgia, there is a snow line of demarcation starting at I-20. If you live at or above that line, you get snow. The further north you go, the more snow. Anywhere below I-20, you can expect a trace — usually.

But gazing out at the winter wonderland rapidly appearing in our backyard, I knew this snow was going to be different. Soon the great snowstorm of 2022 would be another grand adventure our girls could retell to their kids one day.

All bundled up, we ventured outside to play. As the fat snowflakes continued to fall and swirl around us, we built two snow forts — just like the ones us kids built back on Flamingo Street.

Filling three buckets with snowballs using our new snowball makers, we had epic snowball fights pitting the Girly Girls against their Big Papa. They won each time, but in all fairness, it was two against one. To celebrate their victory after each battle, the girls made snow angels in the snow-covered front lawn and then fought about whose angel was the best.

For hours we tobogganed down the street in front of our house and laughed while throwing snowballs at each other on the long walk back up. On a couple of trips, the girls did a double ride, and once we did a triple.

I’m not going to tell you how that one ended, but a triple toboggan ride always ended badly with someone getting hurt back on Flamingo Street, and fifty-five years later, it didn’t come out any better.

Our epic snow day ended as we dried out by warming up in front of the living room fireplace with a chocolate chip cookie in one hand and a mug of hot cocoa in the other. This was how we enjoyed the snowstorm last Sunday … or was it?

Now for what really happened. The predictions were for snow, possibly as much as two inches. Around 11 a.m., the snow did start to fall at our house, and our granddaughters got so excited they started to dance around and pepper me with all the questions in the first paragraph above.

Fat white flakes did start to cover the back deck, and strong winds did blow them around so much it looked like a white out.

But by 11:30 a.m. the rain came in, washing all the snow — and the joy — away. The two crestfallen faces inside watching the steady rain outside made it clear it was time to get creative in order to save the rainy, dreary winter day.

First, we pulled out two Nuggets: giant couch cushions made just for kids to build indoor forts and more with. We placed a white sheet on the carpet and another on top of the forts to resemble snow.

Then, after a quick fight with the ever-increasing family of basement spider crickets, I retrieved three buckets of soft, indoor snowballs. Epic snowball fights did happen, and yes, I lost each and every one, but then again, I was outnumbered.

After each victory the girly girls made snow angels in our silver, super-soft living room rug. And yes, they did fight about whose was better each time.

We built cardboard toboggans and used them to slide down the long basement steps. Even Big Papa rode once or twice, but when we tried the triple ride, I discovered something.

Whether sliding down hills back on Flamingo, hills north of I-20, or a cardboard ride down the basement steps, a triple-seated toboggan ride ends up in a crumpled mass at the bottom, and someone always gets hurt.

Writer’s Note: our granddaughters were not injured due to this grand indoor snow adventure riding the triple-seated toboggan down the basement steps. They are healthy, running around and jumping as I write the end of this story. And I’m sure after a couple more weeks of physical therapy, I will be too.

[Rick Ryckeley has been writing stories since 2001.]