My memories are my memories. I'm sure that there are inaccuracies and that others remember the same event differently than I do. But these are the stories as I remember them.
|Photo Courtesy of City Data: Taylors, SC|
It seems that every year was a snowy year when I was growing up in Greenville, South Carolina. Every snow day started the same way. There was the breathless anticipation as we sat by the radio listening to the news and the weather report. Surely we wouldn't have to go to school; didn't the superintendent see that it was a BLIZZARD out there?! Mom insisted that we have breakfast while we waited and there was a certain protocol to snow day breakfasts. We grew up with Mom in the home. Furthermore, Mom was a retired nurse of the old school. Therefore, nutrition was a big deal in our family. So snowy days we always had hot cereal (cold cereal was reserved for the week at the beach in the summer when the rules were relaxed), either oatmeal or Cream of Wheat. Trust me, it tasted worse than it sounds.
Eventually the call would come over the radio: NO SCHOOL!! Hurray!!!!
As soon as we were done with breakfast (and not a minute before!), the cage doors were opened and away we went out the door. Coat? check. Hat? check. Extra socks? check. Boots? check. Gloves? Gloves?? Mittens??? Anything????? OK, grab a pair of Dad's socks, pull them over the hands and let's get going.
First we had to walk through the yard, leaving our tracks. Of course we had to lay down while we were leaving tracks, so that we could make some snow angels. Then the five of us would grab the sled and take off. For a while we would be content to use the sled down the driveway beside the house. It was one of those old-fashioned kinds of driveways made of two parallel strips of concrete. The hill wasn't that steep, but it worked. When we got bored with that hill we would trudge a few doors down to Elm Street and then we would take off. If we did it just right, we could ride all the way to Grove Road. Then we would hop off and line up tallest to smallest (I was always at the end of the line) and march back up the hill with the sled on our heads.
As the day wore on, we would venture into other snowy day activities. Snowman building, snowball fights, face washing, etc. There would be frequent trips into the house for refreshment. We were the envy of the neighborhood because our mother made real cocoa; not just envelopes of hot chocolate mix.
I don't know what West Prentiss Avenue looks like these days, but when we were growing up the tree was lined with oak trees on each side. You could stand at the top of the street up near Augusta Road and look down and it was as if you were looking through a tunnel of immense, stately trees. When the trees were snowy and the road was snowy, it was a picture that Thomas Kincaid could not replicate.
Sometimes these days, when I find myself wishing for snow, I start a search on the computer for pictures upstate of South Carolina in the snow. I always seem to be looking for a snowy road that is lined with a tunnel of trees. I've found a lot of beautiful, amazing pictures. But none of them ever quite match the pictures I carry in my heart of West Prentiss Avenue, Greenville, South Carolina.