GENDUSA COLUMN: It’s a snowy day in Georgia

Published 10:30 am Wednesday, January 19, 2022

It’s a snowy day in Georgia and much of the south today. A soothing comfort envelopes me when I watch the lacy flakes gently fall to the ground. 

As a child, when I noticed a winter Tennessee sky turn a pale grayish-white, I pulled my white rubber boots lined in red fur from the back of the closet. I dressed in two pairs of pants, multiple pairs of socks, sweaters, earmuffs and gloves, then bolted for the door.

“Lynn, it is not snowing yet!  Where are you going?”  Mom would shout when she saw me resembling a stuffed polar bear heading for the wild white yonder. 

“But, it’s fixin’ to!  And it’s going to stick too, Mama, so I want to be ready to sled!” 

The houses, full of young families with children, stood side by side on a long straight street. By the time my boots were barely damp, all the other neighborhood kids were outside, watching the sky in anticipation. Parents everywhere turned up their furnace, made cocoa, and searched for extra gloves and mittens. We yelled as we watched the snowflakes stay on the street and gathered in groups to go sledding.

By the end of the day, tired, wet children sloshed home, stood in front of the fire where socks and mittens lay across a fire screen to dry by the following day.

If they are still living today, I doubt anyone who resided on that neighborhood street would disagree that those days were highlighted as some of our best. For me, I wouldn’t take anything for the wonder of a snow day that brought laughter into homes everywhere.

Not much has changed since then except for my boots.  I never grew up, nor did my friend who lives next door to me today. I believe we are about the only ones on our street that pray for enough snow to cover a hill so we can go sledding.   The little kids look at us kind of funny, but do I care? No. You see, age has nothing to do with having fun. 

I learned that little tidbit of wisdom from some folks I wish were with me today.

One day in the early 1960s, a Tennessee snowfall began on a Wednesday. My father’s best friend was the town pediatrician who regularly took Wednesday afternoon off to play golf. It was an absolute, die-hard, must-do mid-week activity for Dad and Dr. Gene. 

The snow started to stick to the ground the minute it began. However, Dad and Gene were concerned that they might not see a white golf ball on white fairways.  They briefly wondered if playing golf was such a good idea.  As we know, good ideas and fun may not always go hand in hand. 

So, rather than giving up a golf day, they each took red and pink fingernail polish and painted dots, stripes, and stars on little white dimpled balls. They were the only proud souls on the course, of course,  because they assumed they had outsmarted the snow!

Soon,  the local newspaper staff heard about two undeterred gentlemen playing golf in the foul weather. The news crew quickly scurried to the course, and, sure enough, the boy’s picture was on the front page of the paper the next day.

The only thing these intelligent grown boys forgot was when the snow piled upward, the balls sank deeper!  Even as we laughed about their escapade for years, my dad would respond, “Hey, at least we got to play a few holes before we ran out of balls!”

The humorous, fun, playful things in life give our stay on earth the sunshine.  And no matter how old we are, we need to still play. We should laugh at ourselves and join the kids in frivolity.  Our sense of humor is just one of the best ideas God had when He built us. 

I would command everyone to quit putting their age before joy if I could!  Be the kid, be happy, be humorous, and don’t wear frumpy clothes.

Stay bold, stay relevant, and laugh. Take a moment to be funny, be silly, remember your childhood friends, and savor the memory.  How grateful I am for that long street where children gathered, dogs howled and smoked billowed from chimneys in a place called home.   Our days are numbered here, but someone might remember us and our goofy ways long after we are gone. It is then that you will still create a smile like my dad and Dr. Gene did for me on this snowy day in Georgia.