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Opinion
Each Monday, Tommy Tomlinson delivers thoughtful commentary on an important topic in the news. Through these perspectives, he seeks to find common ground that leads to deeper understanding of complex issues and that helps people relate to what others are feeling, even if they don’t agree.

A streak of snowy weekends still isn't enough to bury the coming spring

If you talk to some real Charlotte old-timers, they might tell you about the snows of 1960. That March, it snowed three Wednesdays in a row. The last of the three wasn’t much, but the other two were blizzards by Charlotte standards – 8 inches of snow on March 2 and 7½ inches on March 9.

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It ended up being the snowiest month in Charlotte history, and that year was the snowiest year.

This month we experienced something like it on a smaller scale. We had snow on the ground the last three weekends in a row. It feels like every week we’ve been running to the store to stock up on essentials — milk, bread, beer, Fritos, etc.

To me, it has always felt like Charlotte gets the perfect amount of snow — rarely enough to be dangerous, just enough to be a little thrill every time it happens.

I’ve been to the hinterlands enough to know what it’s like up there. I’ve been in Green Bay, Wisconsin, when the wind chill was 28 below and my butt just about froze to the bleaches in Lambeau Field. I’ve been in Boston when you couldn’t step off a curb without landing in 6 inches of slush the consistency of a cherry Icee. Those are beautiful places with beautiful people. But they can have that weather.

For a long time, I thought the ideal place for me would be somewhere like Key West, Florida, where you can wear shorts in February and there’s always an ocean breeze to take the edge off.

But I’ve come to enjoy that first sharp night in October when you can feel the snap of fall in the air. And I’ve come to respect those December mornings when the ground is crunchy with frost. You need the yin to appreciate the yang.

If you have nothing but golden days all year long, then gold is no longer special.

I’m still not much for tromping around in the snow. But I did notice something a couple of weeks ago just before the first flakes fell. The first little shoots from our daffodil bulbs had poked up through the ground.

They’ve been buried in snow three weekends in a row, but they’re still growing. Somehow, in the worst of the winter, their internal clock tells them to get going. Because we need to be reminded that even if it snows every weekend, it won’t be cold forever.

Tommy Tomlinson’s On My Mind column runs Mondays on WFAE and WFAE.org. It represents his opinion, not the opinion of WFAE. You can respond to this column in the comments section below. You can also email Tommy at ttomlinson@wfae.org.

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