Boys: Demented & Dangerous,  Flashback Friday

Flashback Friday: SNOW!

I was trying to explain Alabama to someone recently, and I told her, “In lots of places, it’s harder to find a snowflake than it is a Democrat.”

With few exceptions I leave politics out of this blog, so suffice it to say that while I shiver when it’s below 70 degrees inside or out, I love some snow and spend much of January through March praying for just a bit.  A little or none is what we usually get down here.

I come by my love of snow honestly.  I have a faint recollection of it snowing when I was about five, and my mom dragging me outside to teach me a few things.  First she patted out a snowman.  We had barely an inch of snow on the ground.  My mom shaped the snow into two tiny balls and placed one on top of the other, but there were so many pine needles sticking every which way out of the snow that it looked more like a porcupine.  My mom was really proud of it and got out the Polaroid and I would kill to have a picture of that porcupine snowman today.

(I don’t tell this part of the story out loud very often because I say “porky-pine” and Bill feels compelled to interrupt and say it’s “por-cue-pine,” and a beautiful childhood memory inevitably ends in marital discord.)

My mom wasn’t through.  Next she showed me how to make two flavors of snow ice cream: the lemon kind where you got a bowl of snow and squeezed a lemon and sprinkled some sugar on top, and the syrup kind, where you mixed snow and syrup.  They were both delicious and I thought we should serve them at my birthday party.

Surely there was another snow or two in my childhood, but the next one I can document for sure occurred in 1990 or so in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  Bill and I were in law school.  I’d arrived at law school with long hair, but when Bill and I broke up one time I drove to Birmingham and got it cut short.  Compared to today’s styles it doesn’t look very short (in fact it looks quite bouffant) but it was oh so daring at the time.  More importantly, either the haircut or my sparkling personality lured Bill back.

I got the gold hoop earrings in Turkey and a friend of a friend stole them.  I sure would like them back– they’re real gold and I bargained for them myself at the Grand Bazaar.

This picture serves two purposes.  It proves the presence of snow in Tuscaloosa, and it establishes that the 80’s actually extended well into the 90’s, at least as far as fashion was concerned.


Few events have been as exciting as The Blizzard of ’93.   It was a Friday in March, and there were rumors of a winter storm, but we were skeptical.  I went to the store and purchased wine, fresh Parmesan and rosemary, and rum.  Late that evening the sky turned green and it thundered and lightninged and started to snow.   The power went out.  The next morning, we woke to over a foot of snow.


It was days before anyone could get around, and the temperature hovered around 25 degrees.  We tacked sheets over the window and doors and hunkered down in the den by the fireplace, our sole source of heat.  Bill cut down a tree in the back yard and we hauled it into the basement so it could dry out a bit.  Then he sawed it into logs which we brought upstairs so we could cook and stay warm.

We made grits for breakfast, cheese grits for lunch, and grits topped with garlic, Parmesan and rosemary for dinner.

After a day and a half we’d burned the tree and all the sticks we were able to find beneath the snow.  The previous occupants had left some ugly furniture in the basement and Bill cut that into firewood.  I have a sexy picture of him wearing only long underwear, sawing a chest into pieces, but I’m trying to respect his boundaries so I’m posting this picture instead.

You can see the furniture stacked on the right and all our wet socks hanging over the fireplace to dry.

We had to wait a long time before we saw any more snow, and then it was fleeting.  In 2000 we got about half an inch.  All three boys had come along.  Ever optimistic, I’d bought sleds one August so I’d be super prepared.

I realize no one looks very happy in this picture (you do know you can click on most of these pictures to make them larger, don’t you?), but the reality was even worse.  Both Porter (clutching Naked Baby) and Drew were gushing snot and were not interested at all in the snow.  Finn rode the sled with Bill a few times, then came inside and fell to the floor crying from exhaustion.  I put everyone in bed for a nap and watched the snow melt.  I cried, too, because I hadn’t gotten the chance to make the boys any snow ice cream and I was afraid that what with global warming and all I had missed my chance.

Last year we got a decent half day of snow when we were down in Gold Hill, and I wrote about it  here.  We did it up- snowballs, ice cream, the whole shebang.

And then last weekend, we got my favorite kind of snow.  No weather people hinted about it days in advance, only to dash our hopes with two flakes and a grocery store fresh out of milk.

This snow crept up on us all of a sudden, and we woke Sunday morning to covered ground and big fat snowflakes and a good five inches of outdoor fun.


Snowball In Flight

Innocent Fun?


The Moment Before Drew Kicked Porter In The Eye


It was exactly what I needed, and now I’m ready for spring.

Go ahead, add your Flashback! Directions and upcoming themes are here.



  • ShortyMom

    Por-cue-pine here in Kentucky. Don’t think I’ve ever heard it any other way.

    A good snow is few and far between here. We got snow last weekend but we only got a dusting on the grassy areas. It melted the very next day. Your kids look like they had fun. Snow is always a wonderful memory!

    ShortyMom’s last blog post..Something Has Gotten Into Me

  • Kim

    Hi Anne! Too cute! I love the photo of you and Bill when you were in law school – you were just children!!!! =) I have to say – we live in Wisconsin and we get PLENTY of snow. I love how you’re romanticizing it, because that’s so not how I feel!!! Seriously, this winter when we were shoveling and snowblowing, the mounds of snow were so high that there was nowhere to put it. You tried to throw it on top of the mountains of snow and it just came back down! But your entry was really cute (and if you want to say porky-pine, go for it! =) All the best, Kim

  • Kathy

    My kids had fun this past Sunday, too! I grew up way north of here, so I am over the snow…don’t care to ever see any again. I remember the 1990 snow in Tuscaloosa and of course, the 1993 mess. Last year, we took the kids snow tubing in WV and they had fun. They were amazed that the high for the day there was 18. They didn’t think that was possible! LOL

    Now, on to baseball. We’re playing in Centerpoint this weekend! Yay!

  • Sir Nottaguy-Imadad

    Having lived in Ohio all of my life, I have seen my fair share of snow. If you would like, I could try to mail you some next time it snows here. It is supposed to be in the 60’s today, but knowing Ohio weather, it will probably snow next week.

    Sir Nottaguy-Imadad’s last blog post..Flashback Friday #28

  • Maria

    We, too, enjoyed Sunday’s snow. The boys had a snowball fight – I’m not sure who the winner was!!
    When I was 4, we lived in Germany where the snow came up to my waist (granted it was a lot closer to the ground back then!).
    And, we always had snow at Christmas with may grandparents in Tn and Ky – where they also said, “Porkypine”!!

  • Erin

    A couple things:
    1. Porky-pine all the way. What is wrong with people?
    2. When the picture of you & Bill popped up on flikr I couldn’t wait to know if it was late 80’s or early 90’s.
    3. It looks like the boys will have very positive snow memories just like you hoped.

    Erin’s last blog post..DSC04867

  • catnip

    I just blogged about snow a couple days ago. I’m soooo sick of snowstorms, but it is nice to see someone that can still get excited about it. I guess when you don’t get snow often it’s a lot more fun.

    catnip’s last blog post..yeah, more snow pictures

  • Karin

    I get scared when I hear the word “snow” (with all those porky-pines) because it brings back memories of “no electricity” around here. The blizzard of 93 was an experience indeed. We had a nine month old with an ear infection at that time. This past Sunday was fun though.

  • another "SAHM"

    Okay, only in the south would you here of snow flavored with sugar and syrup. I grew up on Long Island in New York. And we never did that- we did eat it off the ground, watching out for the already yellow parts. We did that through most of the 70’s until my Mom got all bent out of shape over the acid rain thing. We were not to eat any more snow after that. I think she thought we might start to glow or something.

    I did show my kids how to properly roll a snowman on Sunday. This was a necessity since my husband(from B’ham) told them to rake up the snow. What was he thinking?

    I moved here for my job in ’91 and was in Birmingham for the 93 snow.I do have some great pic’s. But I’m not very tech oriented so I don’t think I’ll be able to post them, but I’ll try.

  • Laura

    Porky-pine all my life, TN and KY…never heard otherwise! To me, it’s like “February” (who says anything but Feb-yoo-ary??; or “coupon”–it’s coo-pon, people! Not cue-pon!) My Southern-ness is showing, I guess. 🙂 Loved your pictures, and the tasty snow treats–how fun!!

  • Sir Nottaguy-Imadad

    Snow ice cream isn’t just a southern thing. We made it in Ohio every year. I hope you don’t mind that I threw a Flashback Friday that I did in December in Mr. Linky. Somehow I missed that the carnival was about snow. I guess you get a two for one this week.

    Sir Nottaguy-Imadad’s last blog post..Flashback Friday #28

  • Melissa Shelby

    I think that’s the first time I’ve read of a snowfall starting with thunder and lightning! I’m sure it did, though. Thunder and lightning seem to be involved in everything southern. It’s one of the biggest things I miss when I’m back in Alaska. No Thunder, no lightning. It happens maybe once or twice a year only in the height of summer and it’s like snow in Alabama — everyone drags their kids outside for the show!

  • Danielle

    Great post! What a wonderful way to think about snow. We are supposed to get 6-12 inches tomorrow; and I am not thinking anything nice about it at all!

    Just have to say “por-cue-pine” from a Minnesota accent.

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