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Thursday, January 17, 2008

Deep Freeze in the Deep South

My sweet Southland got a nice little blanket of snow last night. Aaaaaaw!

You'd think to me, the transplanted Mid-westerner out here on the prairie, where snow's as common as rain, only with a two-day clean up, two inches of snow falling on my native land'd be duller than dishwater. But it's not. Actually, even with a thick shower of the white stuff swirling down right outside my window this very minute, the little light dusting of snow I picture in my parents' back yard makes me more homesick than peach cobbler with homemade ice cream ever could.

Down South, snow's not just another element. It's an all-out E-VENT.

Allow me to illustrate: By the time the ground was covered well last night, I'd gotten an excited! email! from Nana down in South Carolina. TWO INCHES ALREADY! My nephew Daniel blogged about his adventures sledding (FAST!) in his backyard in Virginia yesterday, my pal Katie in north Georgia wrote about her own magical night before the sun came up this morning, and my childhood best friend Marie, who lives with her family on the border of SC and Georgia, was on top of the story by lunchtime today, talking about getting her kids out in it to scrape together snowballs off the grass before it all melted. When the South gets snow, Southerners lose their minds take notice. Grocery store shelves are EMPTIED at even the most slim-chance of predictions, and schools and businesses close up tight in Georgia upon the sighting of the first flake in Eastern Tennessee.

And POOF! everyone South of the Mason Dixon is a kid again. A giddy, whoopin', hollerin', cafeteria-tray-sleddin', plastic-bag-on-their-feet-wearin', snowball-wieldin' kid.

Y'all, lest you think that I've become jaded up here in Alaska Illinois, allow me to confess right here that even now, two years into this prairie life, I am still no exception. I could sit for hours watching snow fall, and every single time it does, I get that same happy, Christmas-morning feeling inside and I'm secretly desperate to run out into it screaming and laughing like I'm twelve again.

It's just that up HERE, I do not have Nana, who will whip you up a cup of hot cocoa before the first flake hits the ground (WITH marshmallows, thankyouverymuch). I don't have Marie, who even as a self-conscious adolescent never even batted a pretty green eye at the notion of hopping around on my driveway in fuzzy, striped socks and my sister's discarded Candies™ slip-ons as we did our traditional Southern kid snowdance, and then jumping up and down squealing when the sky ptooey'd down a stray flurry as if in mocking answer to our humble pleas. I also don't have forty-leven people in the grocery-store line in front of me buying up all the milk and bread on the shelves like they might not be able to get out of their houses again 'til Spring thaw.

No, up here, snow's just something to shovel, blow, plow and scrape. Nobody seems to notice it much at all. Business is transacted as normal, even when you can't see your hand in front of your face for the blizzard, and last year there were snowdrifts piled up past the windows of the elementary school for most of February, but those darn kids were all in there, day after day, the buses running right on time past my house, with me inside shaking my head, muttering, "Mmmmmmmmmmmaaaaaaaan, what a buncha killjoys."

Have fun in the snow, Southland! Frolick and play the eskimo way and throw an extra snowball for me, wouldja?

31 comments:

  1. Hee hee, too true! I just told Reece about how we would snow dance and that we would close all the blinds and curtains when it was snowing because a watched snow never falls. Then he said, "No wonder it stopped snowing last night" Giggle.

    Marie

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  2. Oh, I KNOW - it's snowing again here, which just has me frowning at my window and worrying about driving conditions. Too much of a good thing, my friend.
    (and have I ever mentioned that my family came from Illinois? Yep.)

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  3. This is crazy! I live in the DEEEEEEEEEEP South and it's not snowing. I have my air on. It's so unfair. It was only really cold here ONE stinking night. ONE night it dipped below freezing.

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  4. I live in NC and we got maybe an 1/8th of an inch so of course the schools were closed. About 10:00 this morning it started to rain so almost all of the snow is gone. Oh well...it was nice while it lasted!

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  5. It's been two years since we've seen snow -- we're due for some. I want it as much for my kids as myself. And this is coming from someone who moved all the way to the South from Alaska to get away from the snow!

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  6. Have I told you lately how much I love you? NO?????

    well, I do! Love this post! really love it!

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  7. I already miss the snow from Montana...and we only lived there for 4 years, and have been gone since November. There truely is no place like THE SOUTH!

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  8. I laughed at this post because Andy is in Virgina now and he texted Bob yesterday that "it is sprinkling snow here and everyone is going crazy!" I think it's cool that snow brings excitement to the south! I'm too jaded (plus I hate to drive in it.)

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  9. Forty-leven is still my favorite number.

    Yes, adults actually get out of their houses and try to catch snowflakes on their tongues down here. We all get a bit giddy. And so disappointed when it melts. It's our one big snow, we hate to see it go!

    It was Jack's first snow memory, so it was a fun night in our household. Hot cocoa all around, and a roarin' fire to boot! What I'd love is a week of your snowy weather, and then... back to normal! I think.

    Stay warm up there!

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  10. So true! I have relatives in Charleston and it's so funny to me (having lived my whole life in Maine) that they close schools down for even flurries. It's got to be an all out blizzard before anyone up here gets a snow day, haha.

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  11. Huh, no fair down here in mid-georgia we just got sleet, and slush, and a big muddy mud mess, with the warnings to stay off the roads, and the famous, DO NOT HEAD TO ATLANTA AT ALL COSTS on the news. ROFLOL

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  12. I'm in PA and you'd think we'd be used to it, but we're still pretty enamored. The little girl next door came over at 6:30 pm to ask my daughter to come out and play in the cold white stuff! They're 5! LOL. They went inside and had hot cocoa and cookies afterwards. I only wish I could have joined them. ;-)

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  13. e just got dumped on and I am less than thrilled. I hate the pressure to go out and play in it...although once I am out I love it.

    My three kidlets love it and I LOVE that they probably will be home with me tomorrow!!

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  14. Megan:
    I've been keeping up with the news on this! i can't believe it!!!!
    but, i'm a deep-souther transplanted to New England. and i've fallen in LOVE with the snow.
    glad y'all can have a beautiful blanket of whiteness down there.
    :)

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  15. So true! On our honeymoon to North Carolina in November, it snowed....we stopped at the only grocery store in town and someone (the owner) told us we could be snowed in the whole week! We bought everything we could see and firewood to boot. It never snowed another flake our entire honeymoon. But us Florida folk are easily fooled! :)

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  16. this is so true!

    The photo on the cover of this mornings paper was of a GROWN MAN running with excitement through the snow in a parking lot.

    blessings,
    K

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  17. When I went to CVS yesterday, the lady told me that they were going to sell out of batteries. Hehe!! Since I am the reversal of you, I get such a kick out of watching the full parking lots at the grocery stores buying all the milk and bread (just like you said). Unfortunately, we only got rain. I'm from the Midlands, though, not the Upstate. I really wanted a snow day!!! I do miss having them every once in awhile.

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  18. Loved this post. Not only is it well stated but I live it! Give me some snow and I WILL be happy!

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  19. Things sure change don't they? Spend ten years up here in Alaska (hee hee) and your perspective will change. Hope your family and friends are enjoying the snow. I'll be at your door tomorrow with hot chocolate--marshamallows included!

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  20. I love this post and I LOVE the snow!!!! It's snowed here in Southern Ind. too and I'm so excited I DO feel 12(and me a Nana!) I'm from Sycamore, Ill and ever since we moved down here to southern Ind. I've cried every year for snow. That's 39 times!

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  21. living in south florida, i think we are about the last people in the US to not have a single flake as of yet (which, ya know, probably won't happen AT ALL, nevermind the "as of yet" part!)

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  22. We're set for another 1 to 3 inches of snow in big "Atlanna" tonight. I love it!

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  23. As long as it doesn't snow in Orlando next week I'm happy.

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  24. I was in Charleston, SC in 1980 when we got some snow. Being from the Seattle area I thought it quite funny how excited everyone got over about 1/2 inch of snow! But then those in the Midwest think it is strange that schools are closed here in Western Washington when it snows a couple of inches - but then y'all don't have hills quite like we do.

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  25. Growing up in the South, I always look forward to the snow. I have found that peopel gripe about the weather no matter what it is; too dry, too hot, too wet, too cold, too snowy, blah blah blah.
    Let it Snow, Baby!

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  26. Hey there, I'm new to reading your blog & I love it! I'm a NW native but I adore southern accents & the way you write hits the spot!
    I totally identify with the snow thing...when I lived in Western WA everyone had similar reactions to the snow. I now live in E WA & get lots of snow every year but it still turns me into a 5 year old. I don't even mind driving in it! People here think I'm nuts cos I get sooo excited at the first snow of the year - it's just magical to me!

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  27. I absoLUTEly agree with all of this. Except you forgot to mention that not only do we lose our minds, we also forget how to drive. You haven't seen scary until you've seen a Texas behind the wheel of his Big Ol Truck on a snowy and/or icy day.

    All of my deep South friends have been going ga-ga and posting/sending pictures, too. What fun!

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  28. Yep...yet another reason for Yankees to look at us like we're "slow". My mom-in-law, who's from P.A, thinks I'm nuts when I tell her I'd love to see some snow (I'm in N.C. near the water).
    Hey, it's no fun to run the A/C in the winter...especially around Christmas! It kinda loses something when you're sweating over your apple cider. ;>)

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  29. Since being here in Africa we have seen the snow storms back home on the internet. My youngest said "What's that?"

    I almost puked.

    She doesn't remember snow. And it looks to be a good long while before we'll see it again. So throw another snowball for me too!!

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  30. Oh, this post sure makes me miss home. Deep South Florida, that is! My parents said that they may get a flurry or two. But, I'm here in Ohio, in 7 degree (f) weather, wishing I could hibernate til time to go home. sigh!

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  31. You could have at least shared just a LITTLE further south! All we got was terrible rain!

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Thoughts?