I used to be a snow snob. I was raised in Colorado where is usually snowed for 6 months out of the year. So by the time I left home at 18, I had racked up 9 full years of snow experience. I learned to drive in the snow. I went to school in the snow. Without exception. I think I may have had one snow day off from school in all four years of high school.
My first winter away from home in DC, I waited and waited for the first snow. When it finally happened, right before winter break, it was hysteria and I thought it was hysterical. I remember the weatherman on the news giving the forecast of 1-2 inches of snow and telling everyone to “stock up on canned goods.”
For the next decade that I was in DC each winter was the same. It would snow once and everyone would panic and act like this was the first snow. Ever. In the history of the world.
Then I married a southerner and the hysteria got taken to a new level. Adam was a card-carrying member of the hysterical snow panickers. I called him once to pick me up at the metro because the snow plow had pushed all the snow from the road onto the sidewalk making it impossible to walk from the metro to our house. He informed me that he had abandoned his car earlier in the day because it wasn’t safe to drive! In another storm I watched him dress to go outside. He put on almost every article of clothing he owned.
Now I live in the South. There are plenty of eye-rolling weather opportunities here. If the word “dusting” is uttered school closes immediately. Sometimes they close school if it is just cold. People definitely take the threat of weather seriously here. And I usually am smug and laugh at them.
But last year, Adam got snowed out of the state for the one and only big snow we had. I got caught in a storm without my hysterical snow buddy and it really was no fun. Being sarcastic by yourself isn’t that great. And without anyone to panic I really didn’t enjoy or experience the snow much at all.
So with that change of plans, I had a change of heart. Snow is as fun as you make it. And I LOVE snow so even if it isn’t much I make an effort to appreciate it. Now we do it up. Snow days start the day before with the anticipation. I head straight for the grocery store with the first prediction of precipitation. We run to get milk and toilet paper, because that is what sells out.
If it does actually snow we have ice cream for breakfast, because at most we have three ice cream breakfasts a year. And then we go out in the snow even though it is a lot of work to get two little ones ready for the elements. We pack on our snowpants and puffy jackets and winter boots. We improvise and have fun. This storm included a giant snowman and a canoe ride behind the tractor.
And it turns out that NC snow days are better than Colorado snow days, because they are actually observed. In Colorado it could snow and no one would even mention it. Or look up. Or go outside. In NC when it snows everything stops to respect the snow.
It is snowing as I write this (our third storm in two weeks). Adam has opened the door three times in the past 30 minutes to “check on the snow.” I am happy that I now know that it is part of the fun. After all, if a flake falls in the South and no one goes crazy about it how will you know if it falls at all?