By DINA ARÉVALO
Port Isabel-South Padre Press
It was an early Christmas miracle — snow in the Rio Grande Valley!
Early last week, local television forecasters began preparing the Valley for an incoming cold front. It would come in at the end of the week, they said, and drop temperatures by a couple dozen degrees. The ranchlands north of us might get some snow, they said, but all we would get would be a cold, wintery rain.
Just a couple of days later, the forecasts had been amended to say that the westernmost stretches of the Valley, up in Starr County, might — just maybe — get a little bit of snow, but it wouldn’t really stick. By Thursday, things had changed again: snow for the Upper Valley, rain for the Lower Valley and the coast. For sure. Definitely.
But perhaps Father Christmas had a sidebar with Mother Nature for, together, the pair hatched a plan for a most perfect pre-dawn surprise. Snow. Everywhere, all over the Valley, in all four counties. Snow!
Not since Christmas Eve 2004 had Texas’ four southernmost counties seen snow. And before that? Why, it had been over a century since measurable snow had fallen.
But, as well all lay tucked in the warmth of our blankets Thursday night, a snow began to fall over then entire region. Come morning, a thin dusting of the stuff lay over many cities, including right here in Laguna Vista.
I practically ran out the door, cameras in hand, knowing that others would be just as excited as I was. As a journalist, I was eager to document how the people in our communities were celebrating the rare occurrence. As I walked to my car, however, I noticed it was covered in a blanket of fluffy, white snowflakes. I couldn’t help but build a tiny snowman of my own, adorned with delicate pink oleander blossoms from a nearby shrub.
As I drove around I saw quite a few snowmen. I saw gorgeous, mature mesquite trees with their sprawling boughs and branches topped in white. I saw manicured lawns dotted with snow. And I saw people out enjoying the morning and the precious gift it had brought with it.
Some walked their dogs, which happily pounced in the white stuff with wonder. Others watched as their children looked at the scene with unabashed glee.
And later, when I asked you, our readers, to share your photos with us so, so many of you responded with amazing photographs and even more amazing stories.
It seems everyone took a minute to simply enjoy the moment. For those few hours Friday morning nothing else mattered except an appreciation of something as simple and as incredible as the weather. For a moment, we were all childlike with wonder.
It was the best snow day.
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