I never thought I would say this - I miss snow. Since we moved from PA to South Carolina in 1998 and then to Florida in 2010, I have been away from "snow country" for 14 years. Oh sure, we had flurries in SC, but they melted as soon as they hit the ground. Once, we had enough flurries to coat the top of Jim's truck. We took pictures of that and sent them to our family.

Actually, the only time in the last 14 years that we saw snow in any great amount was during our trip to PA to meet our new grandson, Gage. There was a mini-blizzard the day we planned to leave for our SC home. We decided to drive even though the weather wasn't great for travelling.

During the trip, we suffered through heavy snow in PA, MD, and VA. In the bottom of VA, the snow turned to sleet. When we entered NC, it was freezing rain. At the bottom of NC, it turned to rain. And, when we entered our home state of SC, the sun came out, there were blue skies, and we both agreed that living in the South was a wonderful thing.

Living in FL has been lovely. The weather is usually very livable. Yes, it can get hot in July and August, but everything is air-conditioned. It can also get cold in January, but we don't worry about icy roads or heavy snowfall. The only weather worry for Floridians comes from June to November - hurricane season. But, with those storms, there is a lot of warning time.

But, as the title of this column states - I do miss snow. There is nothing more beautiful than a heavy snowfall on Christmas Eve. And, nothing thrills an educator more than hearing that school is closed for a "Snow Day"! Yea!

When we lived in PA our home was on the narrow main street - misnamed Broadway. Very few people had garages there, so everyone was forced to compete for parking on the street. When snow came, each driver had the responsibility of shoveling his or her own car out of the mess. The borough's plows passing by caused the snow to build up like a fort against the side of the car.

Many times, folks dug out their car and then put the car right back in the same spot. If they had to move the car, they would drag garbage cans or beach chairs into the spot to reserve it until they returned. Most locals understood this procedure and honored the "saving" methods. It was the outsiders who rudely pushed aside the blocking item and took the space. Then, when the rightful "owner" returned, she would be forced to shovel out another spot. Cruel.

I know it sounds as though I am complaining about snow. But, that's not entirely true. I also loved its beauty when it first fell. I loved the warm and cuddly feeling of watching a big storm from the comfort of my bay window. I enjoyed sleigh riding down our terraced yard. I also enjoyed walking downtown to the diner for breakfast through mountains of snow.

My present life has no snow in it. Florida never gets even one flurry as far as I can tell. Of course, I've only lived here for two years, so I'm no weather expert. I'll have to ask one of our neighbors who has been here a while.

When I taught a writing class for the local community college, I asked my class to write a descriptive poem. To make things equal, I also wrote one. As we sat there, thinking of a good topic, it started to snow and we watched the big flakes through the classroom window. That prompted me to write the following short poem. Hope you enjoy it.

SNOWSTORM

Cold, damp bonechill

Soft, white powderflake

Wild, blowing crystalspark

Bright, silent camelhump

Crisp, crunchy footfall

Dull, ashy tirespray

The poem was published in 1994 by the Amherst Society in their American Poetry Annual.

For those of you who wonder - no, my missing snow does NOT mean that I would ever move north again. I'm a true Southern girl now.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO CONTACT DR. SMITH, SHE CAN BE REACHED AT HER EMAIL ADDRESS: JSMITH1313@CFL.RR.COM [1] OR IN CARE OF THIS NEWSPAPER.