It’s hard to imagine right now, since we’re looking at a spring-like weekend, but a week ago we were talking about a winter storm.
And for a lot of people in the Charlotte area, even the slightest chance of snow can signal hope.
Take my daughter, for example: Last Sunday night, she pulled up the weather app on her iPhone, saw that the snowflake was still there next to the letters “MON,” and once again conjured up the image of a blizzard of end-of-days proportions.
She didn’t click through to see the detailed forecast, which – as per usual here – said something like “possible chance of flurries, with total accumulations measuring less than an inch.”
Instead, she crossed her fingers and turned to the most trusted weather forecaster she knows. Not one of the local TV meteorologists. No. She came to me.
If you have kids, you’ve heard this question before: “Do you think it’s going to snow tonight?”
And by that they mean: “How much do you think it’s going to snow tonight?”
And what they’re really trying to say is: “Do you think it will snow so much that school will be delayed tomorrow?”
Translation: “Do you think it will snow so much that school will be canceled tomorrow?”
Which, in actuality, can be interpreted as: “If school is canceled, can I go to (insert friend’s name here)’s house?”
Of course, the implied question there is: “How early can I go to (insert friend’s name here)’s house?”
They’re also suggesting this: “Would you be able to drive me to (insert friend’s name here)’s house? I know the roads will be pretty bad, but we can just go real slow.”
As well as: “Would you be able to pick me up at the end of the day? I’ll bet a lot of the roads will be nice and plowed by then.”
And something to the effect of: “Can you wash my (insert article of clothing here) tonight so I can wear it to (insert friend’s name here)’s house tomorrow? I know it’s 9 o’clock, but if you start the machine right now you can have it in the dryer by 10 and be asleep by 10:15.”
Which, naturally, also insinuates: “Will you help me find my winter boots? You know, the ones that give my toes frostbite and have gotten so small that they make my feet ache 25 minutes after I put them on? By the way, I need new ones.”
Although what they mean to say, frankly, is: “Can you get the sled out? It should be in the garage. If not, it’s in the attic. If not, I may have left it at so-and-so’s house three years ago, the last time it actually snowed enough for sledding. But please check the garage and then the attic. And the basement. Or the shed. Please? It’s only 9:30.”
At this point, I snap out of it. It’s been three full minutes since my daughter asked me whether I thought it was going to snow tonight. She’s still standing in front of me, now with her hand shoving the iPhone with the weather app into my face. “Well? Come on, look at this. Dad. DAD!”
“Just hang on a second,” I say, pulling my cellphone out of my pocket.
It’s worth a shot. I quickly find my boss’s number in my contacts list and fire off a text message:
“Do you think it’s going to snow tonight?”