When my family moved from Texas to Colorado Springs in August 1967 we saw a thick white blanket of snow on Pikes Peak as we drove into town.
“Holy shit,” I thought. “It snows here in August.”
We knew something about snow, having lived three years in Ottawa, Canada. But Randolph AFB, Texas, was “a whole other country,” as the slogan has it. It snowed just twice in our five years there — about a zillionth of an inch each time — and the whole place went batshit. Schools closed, non-essential personnel stayed home, and we scratched our heads, wondering what all the fuss was about.
That glimpse of Pikes Peak was a reminder that in some places, it actually does snow enough to cause a fuss. By arriving in summertime we had been spared a massive winter dumper that had set folks in our new suburban neighborhood to heating with ornamental fireplaces and cooking over camp stoves in the absence of utility service.
I’ve seen plenty of the white stuff since, including a four-footer that had us snowshoeing up and down our road in Westcliffe and a couple lesser storms that let us ski the roads and parks here in Bibleburg.
But it’s been a while, and lately even rain is scarce. So I’m always happy to look up and see a little snow on the big hill. We may catch fire down here, but at least we’ll have water to drink, and something to scare Texans with on the first day of summer.