It happened yesterday and only lasted for a few hours, but for Central Texans, it was an event that stopped traffic and closed schools. Yes, it was that wonderful weather event that school children dream about and adults dread yet secretly love. It snowed in Austin and it was beautiful! While Central Austin didn’t get as much snow as our neighbors in Pflugerville, Round Rock or even North Austin, we had enough white stuff to cover the ground and stay put for several hours. And as I stood on the balcony of a new home in Mueller development in East Austin, I was amazed at the snow covered roof tops and the tranquility of this gentle dusting by huge globs of snow falling from the grey sky. It was a Norman Rockwell scene to be sure.
You see, I’m from North Central Texas, on a latitude equal to Fort Worth and Dallas, but closer to Lubbock…. so snow and winter sweaters were something that I grew up with. We had snow almost every Christmas, and plenty of times during the winter…and I loved making snowmen, having snowball fights and, my favorite, eating snow ice cream! If you haven’t had snow ice cream…you haven’t really enjoyed the full benefits of a fresh fallen snow event.
I was out showing homes during the height of the falling snow and while my friend who was along for the home search had her doubts about braving the weather, I found it to be so exciting; it was like being back in my childhood. The flakes were so huge they looked more like snowballs falling from the sky! Seriously, the falling globs were the size of half-dollars and seemed to land on the ground with a tiny splat. Children stood outside on the sidewalks catching snow on their tongues, and adults stood by with cameras and helped make snowmen.
If you’re new to Austin, you may not understand the excitement and pleasure we all derive from these infrequent events. Those of us who have lived here many years recount past snowfalls by the decade… the snow of 1984, or the big storm of 1989. There was even a snowfall in 1971 that I still remember. I was in college and during the very early morning hours when everyone was still sleeping and Austin was a much smaller city, my friends and I got in our cars and drove to Lamar Boulevard between 24th and 29th Streets and made snow doughnuts in the street. We’d get a little speed, throw on the brakes and squeal as the car did doughnuts in the early morning silence. The cars would spiral down the street and we’d laugh until it hurt. Of course, we weren’t going fast enough to jump a curb, so it was pretty harmless, but the police may have had a different idea if they’d happened by. I can tell this story now because I’m sure that the statute of limitations has long expired. In the past 20 years, there have been few snows to trigger any long term recollections…. We just don’t get that much….and this one probably won’t make the memory books. But we’ll take what we can get, and love every minute of it!