Its snowing Dad!
The year 1977 was a bumper year for the Lee family. In April a major flood entered our house on Kline Street in Denham Springs. After several weeks of grueling hard work we put the house back into tiptop shape. About that time I was offered a transfer on my job to Nashville, TN. After much prayer my wife and I decided to take the transfer. It meant an increase in pay that helped out raising five children.
Shortly after getting settled into the job at our new office location in downtown Nashville, some of the locals told me that it didn't snow that much but occasionally we could expect what they called "flurries". I wasn't too concerned when they told me that and I decided just to get snow tires instead of chains for our vehicles.
Being the first time we had lived any place other than Louisiana since our marriage, we were all very excited. There would be new adventures, new friends, new sights to see. We learned very quickly to love the country and the people who live there. Our house was on top of a small hill and we could see the Harpeth River from our front porch. It was a good place to live.
December came and we decided to stay home for Christmas instead of going back to be with the family at Caesar, MS. It seemed that the people in Franklin, TN where we lived enjoyed putting out Christmas decorations. The town was beautiful!! Christmas lights were strung out across the narrow streets and all the houses and storefronts decorated.
All day Christmas Eve the weather service kept saying that there was a chance of snow on Christmas. What did he know anyway, after all, the locals had said that it very seldom snowed and if it did the ground would barely be covered. The sky had been a dull gray all day and I had seen many days like that in Louisiana. We were not greatly concerned but if it did snow we knew that the kids would have a great time.
Christmas morning finally arrived!! The kids were up at daylight in anticipation of Christmas presents under our tree. My wife and I were just lying in bed enjoying hearing the laughter in the front room where the Christmas tree was located. All of a sudden the bedroom door burst open and all five kids came running into the room shouting, "Dad, it snowed." I thought they were just pulling a joke on my wife and me but they were insistent. I rolled over, opened the blinds on the window and too my surprise the ground was completely covered with snow. The kids were jumping up and down on our bed wanting to go out in the snow, at five in the morning, no less.
"You can't go out in that snow, you'll catch your death of cold or pneumonia!" my wife said.
"First, lets eat breakfast, then open the presents", I told them. My wife had put secret codes on each present so no one knew which was their present.
After gobbling down their breakfast of eggs, grits, toast, and good ole Country ham I told them to go get dressed very warmly. My wife gave me the eye that meant, "If them kids get sick, you are in big trouble".
After a few words back and forth I decided to just take the two older kids to check the snow out. There was a lake back of our property and the levee bordered our back yard. We took an ole piece of plywood that had curved up due to being wet. It resembled a huge sled. We got up on the levee, got aboard, and used the plywood as a sled. Sliding down the levee on the piece of plywood I happened to look at the house and there were three pairs of sad looking eyes pressed against the window looking at us having fun. I motioned for them to come on out and it sounded like a tornado hit the house, they were in such a rush to get outside.
Dreams are made of moments like these. After being in Tennessee for three years, I was offered a transfer back to Baton Rouge. I took the offer but will always remember the Christmas of all Christmases we had in Tennessee when it snow.
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