At 4 a.m. it looked awfully promising today. (Credit: Timothy R. Butler)

Oh, Please Snow

By Timothy R. Butler | Posted at 5:14 PM

I’ve never lost the excitement of snow days. Remember anxiously anticipating the moment when school was called off thanks to that wonderful, fluffy white ice of freedom? Though “inclement weather” may do little to change my obligations now that class schedules are a distant memory, there’s still nothing like the feeling of being snowed in.

I really, really love when it snows. Call me flakey, but I cannot help but feel hope when snow shows up in the forecast. Why do we halt all the “snow songs” after Christmas? At least here in Missouri, snow falls far more frequently come January and February, one of the few winter perks after everyone switches off the Christmas lights. I’d happily listen to Dean Martin croon about a Marshmallow World in February.

In those often dark parts of the year, God arrays the world in its own sparkly splendor. A late January winter wonderland is an idyllic escape from the doldrums of midwinter. February bedecked by crystalline frozen majesty can serve as an opening act ahead of March’s first flowers.


Early last February we had an absolutely beautiful snow — a whole year of waiting and still no sequel. (Credit: Timothy R. Butler)

As a kid, a snow day was a double feature: no school and wonderful snow to play in. Sans the sled these days, just sitting by the window, looking out at it snowing, watching the world turn into a beautiful snow globe while drinking a warm cup of coffee is still magical.

I just wish it happened more often.

This year has been something of a contradiction when it comes to snow. After one surprise early batch of flurries to start November, the leadup to Christmas was a drought of wintery weather. Then, finally, the nationwide cold snap around Christmas was a reprieve that brought the first white Christmas to St. Louis since 2017. It was lovely and a small storm two days later even freshened up the snow a couple of days later to let the icy wonder continue towards New Year’s.

Toward, but not to. The temperatures warmed by New Year’s Day and ushered in our present month with multiple dismal rains — and even some thunderstorms.

Talk about gloomy. Rains without spring flowers and cool temperatures without winter’s white blossoms of frozen goodness leave the post-Christmastime rather flat. When forecasts for today started to suggest we might get as much as 5-10” of snow, I got awfully excited.

Originally, the forecast suggested just a light dusting, but as The Snow Day approached, our great regional tragedy of a muddy winter appeared about to end. After a warmish Tuesday, and a start with rain, the snow would roll in and finally bring a taste of the best this time of year offers.

I get so excited about overnight snows I almost invariably get up in the middle of the night to go check on “the progress.” At 4 a.m. things looked great: the rain had turned to snow and the world was already getting that freshly snowed look. The morning started just as promising with beautiful fluffy flakes coming down at 8.

But, alas.

Today reminds me of another disappointing snow years ago. Near the beginning of my graduate studies, I had a massive assignment that had taken far longer than I’d hoped and was coming perilously close to the deadline while I was still editing it. A snow and ice storm was headed our way and seemed a promise a reprieve by canceling classes. But it did not come. The pause in schedules was just a mirage.


One consolation prize: my collection of inflatable snowmen who — seasonally appropriately — remain up after Christmas can go up tonight since they aren’t buried in snow. (Credit: Timothy R. Butler)

Today I had no mad rush to complete an assignment because the snow fell short. Snow or not really did not affect me in any measurable way. I’d already rearranged my schedule with the plan to work exclusively from home and that works even without a major snow, but there’s something less satisfying about a mushy world where one could go places than that perfectly snowed in experience.

As I write this at noontime, the lovely clouds filled with beautiful cold weather décor have passed and temperatures several degrees above freezing have already started to claw away the comfortable, cozy white blanket.

There’s another possible storm next Tuesday. Back to hoping.

Timothy R. Butler is Editor-in-Chief of Open for Business. He also serves as a pastor at Little Hills Church and FaithTree Christian Fellowship.

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