Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 13, 2011

By Karissa Minn
Snow and freezing temperatures usually mean it’s time to bundle up — but not for one Granite Quarry family.
Instead of Christmas in July, Cindy Shelby and her family brought a bit of July to Christmas, posing for a photo lounging in their beachwear in the snow.
“People can get to feeling down in the wintertime … and we just like to have fun and laugh,” Shelby said.
Shelby’s son, Thomas, was in town for Christmas from California, where he had just received his Divemaster qualification in SCUBA diving. On Christmas night and the morning after, several inches of snow fell in Rowan County.
That’s when Shelby got an idea.
“My son had his SCUBA equipment with him,” Shelby said. “I said, ‘Oh please, come and let’s take a picture. It’ll be fun.’ ”
He agreed and donned his gear — with swim trunks instead of a wetsuit. Shelby and her daughter and son-in-law, Christy Little and Brian Little, also got into their swimsuits and flip-flops.
The family set out beach towels, chairs and toys on the snow, topping the scene with a colorful beach umbrella between two frosted trees.
Shelby said it took three minutes to pose and shoot the photo in the frigid air. Her husband, Daryl, was behind the camera.
“The minute we got done, I took off for the house in my flip-flops because I knew that they would start a snowball fight,” Shelby said, “and they did.”
Last year, Shelby posed by herself in a swimsuit in the snow. She said she was inspired by her own love of summer, warm weather and beach vacations.
“I don’t do cold well, and I don’t do winter well,” Shelby said. “My office has beach pictures in it. I have a happy room in my house that has nautical-like colors, because wintertime can be gray.”
Shelby encourages people who are feeling down this winter to take a silly photo of their own and spend time with their family or friends.
“You’re not going to remember that toy you got for Christmas or that little electronic thing three years later,” Shelby said, “but you will remember that picture and what you felt that day.”
Contact reporter Karissa Minn at 704-797-4222.