When Houston freezes over…

And the snow fell. The news had been predicting it all week, but their record being what it is, no one really believed it would. It was too early in the season and it was too warm. Even if it did manage to produce a flake or two, it would melt immediately, because it was not cold enough to accumulate. But snow it did.

The morning saw nothing but the cold air as I drove to work. I had to go in early, so the traffic was lighter than usual for my commute. After I left my meeting, I passed a window and noticed the parking lot was wet, but there were no flakes falling. I went to my cubicle and started working and heard others entering the office and mentioning how it was snowing. Well, not wanting to miss the first snow since 2004, I ran outside and saw…nothing but rain. Are people so enamored with the idea of snow that they confuse old fashioned rain as a snow?

Back at my desk, I ignored the next few comments I heard, but then, after I had been there for about 20 minutes I heard someone mention that it was coming down pretty good. So I checked again. This time I did see snow. One snowflake fell amid the rain. I even stood there for a couple of minutes just to see if it would crank up a little, but nothing. On Facebook, my friends were all commenting on how much it was snowing in the part of the city they were in. I was jealous.

Later, about 10 or so, I saw someone walk in with obvious snow all over their jacket so I looked outside and there it was. Real snow falling in big flakes. As I worked I kept looking out the window to see if it had stopped, and it did for a while. But then it started up again with a vengeance. I tried to take a picture of it. Did you know it is almost impossible to get a good picture of falling snow with a camera phone? When lunchtime came around, a coworker and I decided to go to eat and the snow was falling heavy then. It was snowing so hard, that the grass was actually catching and holding the snow. It accumulated on cars and trucks and pretty much everything but the road (which is a good thing since no one in Houston knows how to drive in snow).

After lunch I even enjoyed a snowball fight and saw a miniature snowman sitting on a bench. Sadly, the snow stopped falling around 3:00 and the sun eveThe Snowmann came out which pretty much finished off the snow that had managed to stick. On the way home, I noticed several people sledding down a hill—an activity alien to this city—on the remnants of the snow. The traffic was non-existent. Rush hour looked like late night as far as traffic was concerned. I suppose a lot of people took off work early to avoid driving in the snow during rush hour. I’ll wager my commute was better than theirs. My wife, a school teacher, did not get to take a snow day much to her kid’s dismay. The first snow in 5 years and the students all were trapped in class.

So the snow is gone now. The cold is still here, though, and there is a freeze warning in place for the area tonight. The heater is on and the blankets are on the bed, so we are prepared to snuggle down and enjoy the early taste of winter. It helps get us in the Christmas mood. The sad thing is that it is unlikely in the extreme to snow again this year (or the next 4 or 5 for that matter) but at least we did get to have some to kick off the Christmas season.

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