Those of us born and raised in Charleston know her traditions. Less well known is the one that says it snows here every 10 years.

In the 1930s I remember it made my tiny feet wet and cold.

In the '40s my father took us to Anderson for three days to play in their snow and when we came home, it had snowed in Charleston.

In the '50s we could make footprints in the snow on the way to the Ashley Hall Christmas play at Memminger Auditorium.

Then I went to live in northern France during those legendary blizzards with temperatures 15 degrees below zero. In those years we never saw the ground between Thanksgiving and Easter, but the car got a long extension cord and a large electric blanket so it would start.

We were next living in northern New Mexico with its orange snowstorms of mixed dust and snow we called snust.

In the '60s back to Charleston, and it snowed the first year. The Grace Bridge made a four part ski run for intrepid skiers with several feet of powdered snow from Charleston to Mount Pleasant. Our children sledded in Hampton Park thanks to a 35-foot pile of construction dirt.

In the '70s we ice skated on the salt water of Colonial Lake, sat on the edges with our skates on the four inches of ice. I remember there were three small fires on the sidewalk to thaw your hands.

Salt spray had glazed the sidewalks and streets of both sides of Murray Boulevard and High Battery, and folks skated like it was the canals of Holland.

In the early '80s again the snow, and my friend Carole Duell took her children skiing on the terraces at Middleton Place. She said her peacock dragged their long tails in the snow until they got so heavy with ice that they could only stand and squawk for help.

Across the highway Ross Hanahan and I rode the horses on Millbrook Plantation to the cypress swamps near Wallace Creek. The ice was thinner there and they could stamp on it and get water to drink as the pipes and horse troughs had all frozen solid.

By the way, at James Island County Park, what is now the large parking lot was an ice rink. The gift shop was a skate rental place, and the sand sculpture was then an ice sculpture.

Then the third year, we ice skated there and the first night it rained, which ended the winter sports, and we saw those lovely lights.

Hugo then gave us the frosting of snow on our West Ashley tall walls of storm debris, and just in time for the holidays.

So be ready - Charleston clings to our traditions.

Molli McGowan Hartzog

Birthright Street