Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Let It Snow

Overnight, the city of Charlotte was dusted with about one inch of snow. In typical Southern fashion, the city screeched to a halt and schools were promptly delayed and/or canceled. Winter weather advisories scrolled across every television screen in town, and weathermen went into overtime talking about cold fronts, arctic blasts, and the possibility of black ice (which is, below the Mason-Dixon line, the equivalent of the boogie man).

I had to laugh at the pictures I saw posted on Facebook. Sweet little Southern children attempting to make snow angels in what looked like a bag of spilled flour on the ground. Snowmen made with more pine needles and leaves than actual snow. Puffy snowsuits and sturdy boots standing on barren ground, throwing "snowballs" the size of acorns. It's not just the weather to us--it is an event. Any Southerner worth their salt knows how to turn pretty much anything into a party, and snow days are no different.

My friend Whitney's son, enjoying a Georgia snow day.
What he lacks in snow, he makes up for in technique!
Millie and Myles managed to make themselves a snowman.
Granted, he doesn't have a lot of (frozen) ground to stand on....

Meanwhile, the Northeast has gotten a giant dose of winter weather--the mayor of Boston had to make a public announcement last week asking residents to please stop jumping out of second story windows into piles of snow in what people were calling the #BostonBlizzardChallenge. While it was fun (and hilarious), apparently it was a waste of the efforts of first responders, who had actual emergencies with which to contend.

This is another example of the differences between the North (the snow capable) and the South (who are paralyzed by frozen precipitation of any kind--snow-capped, if you will). When people in New York or Ohio hear predictions of snow, they check to make sure they have batteries in their flashlights, snow tires and chains for their cars, and firewood. Of course, down here, we revert to what we always do when we are happy, sad, excited, bored, or stressed: food. Every Southerner worth their salt knows that a winter weather forecast equals a BME alert: bread, milk, and eggs. Or, in more modern day cases, junk food, sweet treats, and wine. Hey, if we are going to have 1/8 inch of slippery stuff, we need sustenance to see us through. And let's not forget about snow cream: I'm not sure whose idea it was to add heavy cream and sugar to snow to make a sweet treat, but if we can manage to collect a bowl of frozen precipitation around here without grass clippings in it, snow cream is happening. (In the event that we can't, Mayfield makes Snow Cream Ice Cream just for that purpose.)

We don't meant to act so foolishly whenever a handful of the white stuff (there is a Saturday Night Live skit that rightly refers to it as "the devil's dandruff") starts to fall; it's just that we see snow so infrequently down here in Dixie that we get flurry flustered. My little dog doesn't really know what the heck snow is, and my husband has never, ever been sledding. Growing up, there was really no need for waterproof boots since our winters were generally mild, and I vividly remember my mom putting sandwich bags on our feet over our socks, so that we could put on our regular shoes and still play in the snow without "catching your death of a cold." Rest assured that anytime the temperature drops below 60 degrees, Southern women don their mink coats to stave off the frigid air.

The vast majority of us don't own generators, very few even have snow shovels, and none of us have any idea how to drive in the icy stuff. Most things shutdown--in fact, it's easier to just be notified of what's actually open since we know it's not schools or government entities, and no one is expected to do much of anything until the ground thaws out again. I've already decided that (among other reasons), it is by the grace of God I don't live in a state with large amounts of snowfall: I would be the most sedentary, overfed, atrophied individual ever. I just can't stand the thought of trying to carry on a normal life when it's that cold outside. When the weatherman says to take the necessary precautions, I assume he means watching a marathon of Lifetime movies and systematically eating all the food in the entire house. After all, don't survival guides tell you to conserve your energy when facing the elements?

There is another band of winter weather moving our way, and the Charlotte area is supposed to get somewhere in the neighborhood of three to five inches of snow by Thursday morning. As for me, I plan to dig myself out of this layer of white powder barely covering my driveway and head out for supplies: Chex Mix, gossip magazines, a back-up case of Diet Coke (just to be safe). Because if there's one thing we can all agree on, no matter where you live, it's that the key to surviving severe winter weather is being well-prepared.

1 comment:

Remember: brains and looks will only take you so far, but flattery will get you everywhere.