Few things can whip people into a heated frenzy like frozen precipitation. At least here in the South, anyway. Let a meteorologist at a local Southern television station even mention the possibility of snow and watch the parking lots at the groceries fill up while the bread and milk start flying off the shelves. The gluten- and dairy-free diets go right out the window when snow is in the forecast.
There’s the joke that in the South schools close at the threat of snow. I heard that one at a recent conference. Coincidentally, later that very same evening, I received a message from my daughters’ school system informing me schools would be closed due to the threat of snow. I guess there is some truth in humor. School is not the only cancellation. Many businesses often knock off early for snow, too. In fact, the threat of snow is a great excuse to get out of something you didn’t really want to do in the first place, and no one will think badly of you for putting safety first.
Truthfully, the prospect of a snow day is exciting — that is if you have nowhere to go and nothing to do. Driving to the office or feeding cows in 12-degree temperatures takes a lot of the joy out of the event, but even then, there’s something special about a snow day.
Maybe it’s the rarity of a good snow. Maybe it’s the short-lived nature of a winter landscape blanketed in white that makes us appreciate it all the more. Maybe it’s the snowcream (my 8-year-old’s contribution to this article).
The first big snow I can distinctly recall fell the day my parents moved into their forever home. I was 6-years old. We had eight inches that day and it made a lasting impression. As the adults lifted furniture and boxes, my siblings and I played outside. The big piles of dirt excavated when the home’s foundation was dug were transformed to snow mountains, which we scaled and rolled down more times than we could count.
There’s a great picture from that day. My younger brother and I atop the dirt pile in coats, toboggans and what look to be men’s work gloves. I’m smiling. He’s sobbing — having just been pelted in the face with a snowball. It was quite possibly the greatest day of my life to that point. And it was at least 10 years before I saw that much snow again.
Maybe we do get a little silly about snow in the South, but I don’t think I would enjoy living in a place where it was part of the mundane routine each winter. I like living where snow is exotic and where childhood snow days are logged as distinct memories.