Several days ago, my wife Nancy called me to our large front door to view the first snow fall of these winter months. A sprinkling here...a sprinkling there...not the white Christmas that is sung about I thought, but a white touch to the new year. How special it has always seemed to see the first snow flakes of winter. [The picture to the right shows our house at its first dusting.]
Having grown up in Kentucky, you were always uncertain as to when this event would happen. It might even happen before Christmas, but often it would wait until January. However, twenty five years of experiencing snow falls in Kentucky did little to prepare me for my first Iowa snow fall. Here it seemed that winter snow started around Thanksgiving, and the ground stayed covered with snow until Easter! Piles and piles of it, blown by the snow plow to stacks that at times seemed 10 feet tall. [Rough estimate from this UK Big Blue disciple!]. Natives frequently started our conversation with..."You're not from here, are you?" [Perhaps my chattering teeth gave me away.] "I am from Kentucky", I would say. "Oh, you're from the South then", often came the reply. Five Iowa winters taught me a lot about hard working folks who knew how to turn winter into play time. [My three daughters were all born in the corn fields of Iowa!]
Then moving to Alabama some years later [Roll Tide!] I looked forward to Alabama winters. No snow, no plows, no icy roads were in my expectations. Not! [As was frequently said!]. My first Alabama winter was spent at 6 degrees below zero (Fahrenheit)! "...You're not from here, are you..?", was often asked. "I'm from Kentucky" was my reply. "Oh, you're from the North", came the response. What!? North!? I thought I was from the South! Who would have guessed! I could be from both the North and the South!
Wow, I thought...maybe that is what it means to be from Kentucky. Our State Motto is: "United We Stand, Divided We Fall". Perhaps we need to spread it around a little bit. Funny what the first snow flakes of winter will bring to mind.