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Snow Day

One year (it must have been either my 7th or 8th grade year, because I was still in middle school), the Beaumont school systems shut down for three days because of snow—the only time, in my life, when the school was closed because of snow.

You have to understand that snow in Beaumont is not entirely unknown. Even though Beaumont is near the Gulf Coast, it does freeze, sometimes for days at a time. When we were still living on 3185 Gilbert, we had snow one winter, but it did not “stick” because the ground was so warm.

This snowfall, however, was in an entirely different category. It snowed for an entire day and night, with temperatures well below freezing, leaving at least a foot of the white stuff covering every surface. Every surface, including roads, trees, and vehicles, since Beaumont was far enough south that it did not own a snowplow or sanding/salting equipment.

Nothing was moving on the streets, and there were sporadic power outages (though, thankfully, none in our area). My brother Mark and I hiked (in the snow) down to the local convenience store to purchase milk, bread, and whatever other necessary items we needed.

It was really impossible for a car to go out on those roads. We, of course, made snow angels and threw snowballs and all those other snow-related things that kids do, but with a sense of urgency that’s probably not nearly as common in, say, Boston or Chicago. We knew that this was a rare event, and we were determined to make the most of it.

For once in my life, I knew what a “snow day” was; the next day, it warmed up, the snow melted, and things were back to normal, but not without leaving a blessed chill in our hearts.

Glen Campbell
January 18, 2012