Count the gnomes outside the home of the Gray family in on snow for Christmas. (Photo: Candace A. Gray)

December 22, 2022: Three days until Christmas. I’ve been masking up. Tidying up. Waking up early. Preparing for a festive Christmas THIS year, as last year was a complete BUST! (#ThanksCovid)

My cousin, Latricia, got on the road at 5 a.m. EST from Tallahassee, FL, determined to make it a Merry Christmas, as well. We’d been watching the weather for WEEKS, hearing that the frigid temps would make their arrival just a bit after hers.

Latricia arrived at my house around 3 p.m., after seeing her children in Frayser, where they had arrived earlier in the week with their dad, thank God.

Cousins: Latricia Johnson (right) and Candace A. Gray. (Photo: Candace A. Gray)

She always stops at Dodge’s Chicken on the way in for strips, jojos and their breaded wings. As we were catching up, eating chicken and putting the final touches on our gift-wrapping in my dining room, we heard the winds change and little droplets of ice tap-tap-tapping the railing on the porch. A little birdie was chirping as if he/she knew the jig was up.

Around 5 p.m., a couple of cosmos consumed, and the snow rushed in, just as predicted. Though we took the forecasts seriously, how many times are they ever really right? We were in SHOCK!

A white Christmas in sight? How “cool!”

My 3-year-old, who had been napping, woke up and saw the snow.

“I can’t believe it!”

I asked him what he couldn’t believe.

“The weather outside! It’s Christmas time, right Mommy?”

“Yes, son … it’s Christmas time!” The weatherman/woman made sure of it.

A white Christmas? Maybe! (Photo: Candace A. Gray(

As Latricia and I continued to catch up, sharing our shock and wonder, checking our weather apps to see just how much the temperature dropped, periodically we would look outside and continue to be mesmerized by how it just might be a white Christmas in Memphis; the first in years!

We tried to remember when the last was … 2014 maybe? Certainly not last year; it was 77 degrees.

We were just glad to be safe and thought to call our aunt and my husband to make sure they would soon be home. Because as we know, Memphians do NOT know how to drive in this mess. And, whose tires are equipped to handle sheets of ice?

Brrr! (Photo: Candace A. Gray)

When we felt a little draft, we looked out the cubby-hole window at the top of one of the dining room walls and saw blowing snow gusts. I walked up to my 109-year-old doors and instantly was reminded of the door seals that were thought of but never bought from Home Depot earlier in the year.

Well, time for a sweatshirt.

My son wanted to play in the snow, but I convinced him to wait until the next day when I figured the sun could help us out with a little warmth. He’d never seen temps like this in his almost 3.5 years on earth. BUT Mommy did have the forethought to snag some snow pants from Aldi a few months before. I couldn’t believe he would ACTUALLY need to use them two days before Christmas in Memphis.

Rosie, the dog, didn’t want any parts of it. She did her business and yelped immediately as she swiftly trotted toward the back door.

Denico Gray, aka “Hubby.” (Photo: Candace A. Gray)

Friday morning, Auntie had to head to work early, as Marco’s pizzas won’t make themselves. (I get it. If our house wasn’t already fully stocked, I’d be ordering pizzas, too!)

Hubby had to go out to take heaters to his employees, as the heat in their guard shacks went out. Lord, help!

I’m just glad COVID stayed away this Christmas! I’ll take the snow and single-digit temps over COVID any Christmas!



A COVID Christmas sets up prospect of a Happy New Year