Editor’s Desk

Column: Waiting and waiting for snow

January 12, 2014 

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TAKAAKI IWABU — tiwabu@newsobserver.com Buy Photo

I owe you an apology.

If you’re a snow lover, well, you won’t be seeing any for a while. And it’s all my fault.

I’m apparently to snow what kryptonite is to Superman: an element to be avoided at all costs.

I don’t care where I’ve lived, I’ve never been fortunate to see regular snowfall and most often when I do see it, it comes a few inches at the time, just enough to cover the grass, but not the wild onions in the winter yard.

When I was very little we lived in Delaware. At that point, I was too young to realize just what a curse I was. But we lived in Delaware, not too far from Philadelphia. We should have gotten snowed in on a regular basis. We didn’t. But I’d hear from my parents after their regular calls to grandparents in North Carolina about the snowfall that had settled over eastern North Carolina.

When we moved back to North Carolina when I was in elementary school - this is no joke - the first thing I thought was that I would see some snow now.

Un-huh. But you think it’s snowing in Philly and along the Eastern Shore? Oh yeah, buddy.

Only once do I remember a big snowfall during my formative years. That came in 1983, when a freak April snowstorm dumped 10 inches of snow around Wendell. I remember being released early from school with plenty of snow already covering the parking lot at East Wake High School.

As an adult, I moved to the North Carolina mountains, where my co-workers looked at me doubtfully when I told them I did not have a four-wheel drive vehicle.

“You better get one,” they said. “You’re gonna need it when it snows.” Ha. The most significant snowfall I remember during the three winters we lived in the mountains was about four or five inches. That was the same time Wake County got socked with a 22-inch snow. My mother called me to gloat.

“How much snow do y’all have up there?” she asked. “About four inches right now,” I said. “We have 20,” she responded. I swear I thought I could hear her tell my dad she was so glad I had moved so far away.

All this comes to mind because last week’s uber-cold temperatures brought a similar refrain from people I saw around town. “If it’s going to be this cold, we might as well have some snow to go with it.” I wanted to tell those folks it wasn’t ever going to happen. Not as long as I was around.

All that’s too bad, too, because snow has got to be one of the most beautiful of all the earth’s weather gifts.

We have about another five or six weeks of a snow window left this season and, ever the optimist, I hope many of you will be able to throw this column in my face at some point this winter when you’re trekking through 11 or 12 inches of snow.

Sadly, though, it’s just not gonna happen.

jwhitfield@newsobserver.com.

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