Then there was that time I made it snow

I was visiting my sister and her children in Stratford, Connecticut in the winter of whatever year that was. I don’t make it back to Stratford often so when I do it’s always a treat for my niece and my nephews and for me. My niece, Geo and my nephew, Noah, have this strange admiration for me. They just think I am the best thing since sliced bread and I do everything I can to support their faith. 

Anyway, it was a Sunday night and I had spent the evening dancing, singing, rapping, juggling, doing all I could to entertain and as bedtime approached, my niece and nephew began to grow unhappy. They wanted to stay up but my sister wasn’t having it. There was school in the morning and they needed to go to bed.

“If only it would snow tonight,” Noah said.

He explained that the schools closed on days after heavy snow and that if it snowed, then school would be closed and then he and Geo could stay home with me the next day. My sister crushed their hopes by informing them that the weather report said “slight” chance of snow and they had better get ready for bed. Both Geo and Noah looked turned to me. 

Feeling their pain and wanting to spend the day with them, I smiled then said, “I can make it snow.”

I told my niece and nephew that I knew of an ancient snow dance that I had picked up on one of my travels in the Northwest. 
“It’s an ancient ritual,” I said, “long forgotten by modern man but I’m sure it still works.” 

They were all eyes and ears. “What has to happen is that at the stroke of Midnight two males from the house must dance in the winter air with nothing on except something on the head, something on the loins, and something on the feet…preferably boots.”

“Does it work?” Geo asked.

“If performed properly,” I replied.

“Oh, please do it Uncle Seth,” Geo begged. “I don’t want to go school. I want to stay here with you.”

“I would be glad to Geo,” I replied. “But alas, the ritual requires TWO males and I am only one.”

“I’m a male!” Noah announced.

“Yes, you are. But you have to go to bed, right Sis?”

We all looked at my Sister, who gave me the look that one usually gives when they realize that they are on the cusp of authorizing some silly sh*t.

“You know what?” my sister began, “Y’all take your silly asses out there if you want. I hope you freeze your ass off and Seth, when it doesn’t snow, you’re waking up the kids and taking them to school.”

“And if it does?”

“I’ll make you pancakes.”


We spent the rest of the evening watching television and the clock. I dozed off and somewhere around a quarter to twelve I was awoken by Noah, who was already dressed for the ritual. 

Now, I have to be honest. I didn’t think little man believed me. And I damn sure didn’t think he was going to dance in the winter air barely naked. But he did believe me. Noah believed that I could make it snow and in the presence of such young, innocent, unwavering faith, I had no choice but to get dressed - or undressed rather - and prepare for the snow dance.

At the stroke of midnight, Noah and I ran out into the front lawn and danced. It was cold. Mighty cold. Really, really cold. But Noah and I danced and danced until we agreed that we had danced enough.

Once back in the house and dressed, Noah and Geo parked themselves by the window and waited for snowflakes. My sister, who had enjoyed watching us dance and freeze (she took pictures), was now brooding with concern for her children. No mother likes it when her kids and disappointment meet. 

I called them over to me. “Listen,” I said. “You can’t watch the sky all night. Faith doesn’t work like that. You know, watched water doesn’t boil?”

“Watched water?”

“Never mind. The point is that we did the ritual. Now, you have to go to bed and let the magic do its thing.”

“Is it going to snow?” Noah asked.

“What do you believe?” I asked.

“I believe it will.” he replied.

“And you, Geo?”

“I believe it will too, Uncle Seth,” my niece answered.

“Then go to bed.” I kissed them both and sent them on their way. As I prepared for bed, my sister came into the room.

“You know you’re a damn fool, right?” She laughed. “They love you and believe in you so much, I hope for your sake it snows.”

“Me too,” I replied. “Me too.”

That night, it snowed. 

It snowed something like 4 inches. Geo and Noah woke up screaming with excitement. We spent the whole day hanging out and playing in the snow and Geo and Noah told every kid on the block about the ritual performed the night before claiming both snow and no school as their handiwork. 

Now, you know it was coincidence. I know it was coincidence. But as for my niece and nephew…well, they think that I can make snow.

Oh, and the pancakes were amazing.