I grew up mostly in New England and Ohio, where snow in the winter is common and no one got excited unless there was a big snowstorm, and “big” was defined as anything over a foot of snow. Moving to the South meant giving that up, I thought.
My first January here, though, it snowed. A lot. For thirty minutes late one night the flurries steadily came down and every student at Columbia International University who was still awake grabbed their coats and mittens and went outside to run around, take pictures, and try to catch snow flakes on their tongues. It was one of many things that first year that cemented my love of living here.
As time passed, I added more favorites to my list. Here is what I especially love about getting snow in the South.
- It unites us in a spirit of anticipation. Everyone is looking for it.
- It creates a fun sense of competition. What? You got snow and we didn’t? SO jealous!
- It knocks all the other nonsense off the headlines so we can focus on our “winter weather event.”
- It does the same thing to your Facebook feed. Forget politics, everyone just wants to know if it is snowing where you are. “Flurries in Elgin!” a friend shared. “Here, too!” I shared back.
- It’s all the fun of a snowstorm with none of the work. No need to shovel, because it will all melt in 24 hours. Just relax and enjoy it.
- It’s educational. You discover the difference between a “dusting” and a “trace,” and you learn all about weather forecasting, models, and low pressure zones.
- It gives you a reason to use your fireplace.
- It gives you something to talk about with total strangers. “Think we might get snow?”
- It creates its own holiday. Schools close, people stay home.
- It helps the local economy. How else would stores sell out of bread, milk, and hot chocolate in less than 24 hours?
- It defines people, making anyone who drives in the weather a fool or a hero, depending on why you are going out in it. (First responder? Hero. Driving to the store for the milk you should have gotten yesterday? Fool.)
- It brings out the inner child in most of us. Everyone wants to play in it!
- It’s fun for the local meteorologists, both professional and amateur, who get to say, “See? I was right!”
- It gives your kids a reason to watch Frozen again. (Wait, this was a list of good things, right?)
- It justifies your purchase three years ago of the parka, snow boots, sleds, and a snow shovel that you got the last time it snowed.
- It helps you keep track of the years. “Don’t you remember? The last time we saw her was two years after that January snow.”
- It’s pretty.
- It feeds our Southern pride because so what if the northerners think we’re being silly about a little snow? It’s our snow and we like it.