Friday, January 30, 2009

Snow Days - Southern Style

Last week the kids had their first snow day of the season. Schools closed, workers called in sick, people stayed home. There was about 3 - 4 inches on the ground.

That's right people, inches.

Back in the great white north, 3 -4 FEET doesn't even get you a get-out-of-jail-card-free. The local "Severe Weather Watch Team" television crew were pumped, spitting out reports, updates, news flashes and warnings. If I didn't know better, I would have thought it was Armageddon.

My crew were happy not to have to go to school but with dad working, were stuck going into the office with me. They brought books and toys and took it all in stride. Not surprisingly, a few staff members were late getting in, citing poor roads and traffic messes as the culprits. Before the first meeting got started, our boss went over company policy with respect to severe weather. And, as a former Yankee, clearly defined severe weather with just the slightest hint of sarcasm.

To be fair, drivers in the south don't do well in snow. They don't suit up their cars with all-seasonals, and probably wouldn't know where to buy snow tires either. Sand in the trunk, tire chains and extra salt are pretty much unheard of in the Carolinas, excluding the mountain areas, of course. Southerners also don't know how to break on icy roads, how to turn the car in a spin out or why extra distance is a good thing.

What they do know how to do is to prepare for a storm. They go buy bread and milk. One friend of mine recalled a story of a woman who nearly mowed her down at the grocery a few years back, in a fight to grab the last gallon of milk. I'm not sure why, but an awful lot of cereal must get consumed during a snowstorm. And toast. Maybe it's a breakfast thing...

The kids and I drank hot chocolate, watched the Inauguration and gathered icicles to save in the freezer as a reminder of winter fun. They played outside throwing snowballs, making snow angels and developing rosy cheeks. Sadly, I didn't serve cereal or toast and somehow feel I might have missed something.

Though it got warm shortly thereafter, the forecast is calling for more cold and possible snow this next week. Will we get another free day? Should I stockpile the dairy? I'll keep you posted on all the wintry fun, done Southern style.