So the snow has come (yay!) and gone (double yay!). The South has survived, and I feel the need to reflect on The Great Big Super Duper Amazingly Fantastic Snow Storm Event of 2014 (I like that better than the one-word names).
- We get it, North. We don’t do snow well. Maybe, just maybe, that’s because we don’t experience it very often. When you get heats sweltering in the low 90s this summer, don’t expect sympathy from us. We’ll just be sitting by the pool, sipping a cold drink, saying, “Y’all think that’s hot? Cute.”
- Freezing rain prior to snowfall is not, in fact, snow, as many of the neighborhood kids seemed to think. While the snow eventually did arrive, jumping on a trampoline in a cold rain and screaming, “IT’S SNOWING!!!” only lends credence to northern criticism of how we handle winter weather.
- Dogs’ reactions to snow are directly proportional to their heights. My boxer saw the snow as an exciting new wonderland to sprint and frolic and play. My Dachshund gave me a look that said, “It may only be two inches of snow, but look how deep that is for me. I’m coming for your throat in your sleep.”
- To the Northerners who now live here and think it’s just comical how Southerners can’t drive in snow – you may know how to drive in snow. That lifetime Southerner careening toward you out of control? He doesn’t. Unless all that time driving in snow comes with a force field, you’re not safe.
- If snow is approaching, you do not need the weather on TV or the web. Simply employ your nearest 10-year-old. You will receive live updates every 11 seconds. “DAD, THE PORCH IS FROZEN!” “DAD, THERE’S ICE ON THE GRILL.” “DAD, PRETTY SURE I SAW A SNOWFLAKE!”
- I may be 41 years old, but taking my Star Wars action figures into the snow to teach my kids “Lessons from Hoth” is not a childish errand, as my wife’s look would have told you. Rather, it was an important teaching moment, both about Han saving Luke on the ice planet, as well why they are not called INaction figures.
- I am very fortunate to have kids who are now old enough where they don’t need constant and direct supervision outside. Fast fact: Did you know that when it snows, it’s really cold outside? While I played for a while in the snow with the kids, it was nice to be able to retreat inside, pour a hot cup of coffee and watch them be cold from the comfort of my 72-degree den.
- Icicles are quite possibly the most fascinating thing for a child. Every neighborhood kid was constantly breaking them off and gnawing on them. Because nothing says “delicious” like frozen roof drippings.
- Here’s a little PR tip to all you school districts out there – make a call. Any call. Even if the call is “We haven’t made a call yet.” My guess is that roughly 75 percent of all internet traffic last week was people refreshing various school district’s websites waiting for the next update. A simple, “Our next update will be at 3 p.m.” would have done wonders. Even if that update is “Yeah, we’ve got nothing. Check back at 4 p.m.” They could have saved the internet from the crushing weight of neurotic refreshing by parents and students alike.
- The snow was not that much and was rather powdery, making it difficult to make snowmen and snowballs alike. That said, you have to give it to the sticktoitiveness of kids who made the best snowmen possible and, when the snowballs failed to come together, opted to simply smash handfuls of snow in their siblings’ faces. American ingenuity at its finest.
So the snow was a lot of fun. Glad it happened. Kids loved it. I loved it. Half of my dogs loved it. Good times. Now go away, winter. I live in the South for a reason.
Mike Gibbons was born and raised in Aiken, S.C. A graduate of the University of Alabama, you can e-mail him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @StandardMike.