Here in Missouri, people boast about the unpredictability of the weather. “If you don’t like the weather, stick around for five minutes,” is a popular phrase in a lot of places. In Missouri, however, they mean it. The climate here really is completely crazy.
Still, there have always been at least a couple of certainties about Missouri weather: 1.) that it will be hot as hell come July, and, 2.) that it will not snow after April. In the more than 20 years I have lived in the Show-Me State, May 1 is the official line of demarcation for winter weather. I have seen a handful of April snows, but never in May.
Well, here it is May 2, and it is snowing. Hard. It’s been snowing since mid-afternoon and the snow is still coming down as I write this post. Yesterday, it was a sunny 80 degrees and I was hitting golf balls on the driving range. Tonight, it is in the 20s. Ah, Missouri weather.
This is, hopefully, the tail end of a long and trying winter in Kansas City. We have seen record snowfall this year, including a couple of storms that dumped a foot of snow. Since January, we’ve enjoyed only a few days of mild weather. This evening, I muttered a few swear words under my breath as my wife, son and I drove through rush hour traffic at a snail’s pace, snow and ice pelting our windshield, all of us thinking that this is only Thursday, and we will have to get up, get dressed and drive through this crap again tomorrow morning. Oh, and by the way, it is May. We should be eating ice cream on the back porch by now.
So, I was less than enthused when we got home and my three-year-old wanted to pull on his boots and march around in the freshly fallen snow. Where, I wondered, was this enthusiasm in February, when we had a foot of snow on the ground and all he wanted to do was stay inside and do puzzles? I reluctantly pulled my winter coat out of the closet and joined my son in the front yard, where he danced around as if seeing the white stuff for the very first time: “Look at the mailbox, Daddy! Look at the tree!”
I looked to where he pointed and I had to agree that it’s pretty amazing to see a leafy, green maple covered in snow. I stared down at the emerald grass, which had just been mowed two days ago and was now frosted with white.
“Can you believe it’s May and we’ve got snow on the ground?” I said.
My three-year-old gave me a funny look. He, of course, has no concept of the calendar, and the fact that the neighborhood pool will open in less than a month. Then again, maybe it wouldn’t. I scooped up some snow, made a ball out of it, and threw it at my son, who dutifully kicked it and squealed with delight.