Why I love North Carolina Snow Storms

snow-day-2017I grew up in Maine. I know snow, and I remember what a snowstorm is supposed to look like. We had a long driveway that my father had to plow, sitting high up on his open-to-the-weather tractor. I remember him trudging into the kitchen, kicking off his snow-covered boots and removing his frozen-stiff coat. His eyebrows were frozen with little icicles hanging from them (yes, REALLY!) On one such day, I waited breathlessly listening to the radio, hoping to hear a snow day announcement for my school. Of course, I continued to get ready because the chances of a day off were very small. (I might add here that I lived 10 miles from town on a single lane dirt country road. Oh, and it was in the 1950s…) As I continued listening, I looked out the front window down the road. It was a virtual white-out that day. Around the bend, from that ethereal cloud of white, came the snowplow. Right behind the plow was the unmistakable bright yellow school bus punctuating the landscape. There would be school this day. In Maine, it snows, but life must go on. It was a way of life.
I now live in North Carolina after living in Florida for 30 years. I really missed the four distinct seasons of the north, so looked forward to experiencing them again, but in a milder form. We do have an occasional snow storm where I live in the Piedmont area of this beautiful state. Yes, people really do buy up all the bread and milk in the grocery stores and clean out the shelves of batteries. I know northerners make fun of this, and we laugh too. But it is sort of a tradition here, and grilled cheese sandwiches really taste better when you look out the window at a snowy landscape. We have the obligatory news report about the trucks going out to prepare the main roads (salt brining them) to help keep them dry. We see pictures of the salt barns, and are reassured that everything is under control, while being warned against going out on the roads. We split the firewood, check the propane tanks, and hope that the electricity won’t go out, praying that we will be blessed with getting the brunt of the storm! We WANT the snow! It is NOT a hardship to us here in North Carolina (I realize that I do not speak for all…) and we look forward to it with great anticipation. You see, here in the South, snow means time stops. It is an enforced Sabbath for a large percentage of the population. My heart goes out to health care workers and others who must get to their jobs, but there will be no school, and any business that can close, will. All is quiet and no one goes anywhere. Cocooned in our homes, we putter around, bake, read a good book, or enjoy family time without guilt. Kids pull out their sleds for possibly the only time this year. And, yes, you can make a snowman in a couple inches of snow.
Why, you ask, doesn’t life continue here just like up north? Are all southerners wimps? Well, no, that is not the issue. We only have snow a couple of times a winter. Our low yesterday was at close to 0 degrees. On Friday it will be 70. We will have been snow-bound for 4 days. Then it melts. Life resumes as usual. The purchase of all the necessary snow removing equipment is not economically sound here, and no one has snow tires. Also, when we get snow, it is usually preceeded with ice. “Just stay home” is the wisdom of the day. And the problem is??…
So next time you hear about snow in the south, just picture all of us getting ready for the sweet gift of snow days and remember: we like it like that.

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