NORMAN — It was June 1972, I was in the Air Force and my family and I had recently moved to San Antonio.
My wife had bought an old sled at a garage sale for our children, ages 3 and 2. When she took it out of the car, our neighbor started laughing and said, “Where are you planning to use that?”
When my wife said, “Here,” the neighbor really laughed because snow is rare in San Antonio.
That winter, we got a little snow — enough for our children to get a taste of sledding, and they loved it. Of course, the pitiful little snowman they made looked as much like a straw man as it did a snowman because of all the dried grass and sticks that were imbedded in the snow, since there was only a half inch of the white stuff.
Both children were excited when I got transferred to New Hampshire a couple of years later. They knew they could expect lots of snow up north. As Christmas approached in our new home, both kids asked Santa for sleds, since the garage-sale sled had expired.
The long-range weather forecast for Christmas included little chance for snow. The kids had asked Santa to bring them sleds for Christmas, and we tried to prepare them for the very real possibility of having no snow for sledding. But they were convinced that, since we were living in the North and Santa was bringing them sleds, they would have lots of snow. Nothing we could say convinced them to have a back-up plan.
On Christmas Eve, we anxiously watched the TV weatherman who said he had received many questions about snow for Christmas. His answer was that there was absolutely no chance for snow.
He reiterated, “No snow, zilch, nada. Don’t waste your time wishing for snow, because it just isn’t going to happen.”