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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

What Snow at the Beach?

This picture was taken early on Wednesday morning. While I was unable to get back to the beach before sunset, I feel comfortable saying that the snow is gone except for some shaded spots. We did get above freezing today, and as I write this the weathermen are calling for a high temperature of over sixty degrees Fahrenheit on Friday. Even the mid-fifties that we will see on Thursday will be a welcome treat. One of my neighbors confirmed that this was the first time in six years that the Crystal Coast has seen any snow. I guess dealing with less than an inch of snow once every few years is not much a burden to bear. After all there are plenty of other advantages to being here on the coast.
Unless you have lived in the North, it almost seems silly to mention these things. However, they are things that were part of life for many years when I worked in Northern Virginia and Canada. I never left home in the winter without some type of snow tool to clean my car.

There is absolutely nothing more frustrating than coming out of a meeting in your suit and overcoat only to discover that you have nothing to use to clean the snow off your windshield. I have used plastic store cards to scrape ice from the windows of my car.

Then there are always those fun times when the locks on your doors freeze solid.

In Canada we always carried a couple of bags of sand for traction. In fact that far north it was common to have a sleeping bag and several other emergency items in case you launched your car into a ditch full of snow. We always carried a snow shovel for digging out the car.

Many trips I have come home from California only to find my car buried in an airport parking lot with a wall of ice almost requiring a jackhammer to escape from the icy prison.

Fortunately a move to the Crystal Coast can make all of those common daily events from the North just a distant memory.

Today I walked out my driveway to get the morning newspaper. I did not have to plow my way out like I have done dozens of times. There was no snow on the driveway, just a little ice in places. By 10 AM even with the temperature still below freezing, that Carolina sun had completely melted all traces of the ice.

In fact I did not even have to clean the windshield of my truck which was parked outside. By quarter to one this afternoon when I left for the office the sun had also taken care of that. It was also warm enough by then that my coat stayed in the truck just in case I needed it.

In a time when blessings are sometimes hard to find, not shoveling my driveway, not having to clean my windshield, and not wearing a coat, are definitely reasons to be thankful.

I know well what a pain real snow can be. Fortunately our snow did not measure up to Canadian standards. As someone said, there was not even enough to make a snowball.

As I went home from work, I stopped by the Tideland Trails at Croatan National Forest in Cedar Point. A great warm sunset was in progress. Even though the air was cool, the glow of the sun as it slipped behind the trees reminded me of the warmth I had enjoyed this morning as I watched the snow melt.

I have to give that Carolina sun a lot of credit, it cleaned up the snow in less than a day. We are back to being a beach community.

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