A few thoughts on our big blizzard to kick off the year:
- Yes, I know that five inches of snow isn’t a lot for much of the country. And yes I get that many people like to mock our (a) awe of the storm and (b) occasional ineptness in particular when it comes to driving. But I live in Charleston, SC, where we haven’t seen this kind of snow in nearly a decade. Congratulations if you live in a community that is prepared for this kind of weather and handle it without batting an eye. Please remember that we handle hurricanes and brutal heat quite splendidly.
- But speaking of driving, we in the South do kind of earn that reputation honestly. I tried to stay off the road as much as I could. However, once the roads started clearing, I did get out a few times, mainly for groceries and a doctor’s appointment. I consider myself a fairly good driver, and approach driving in winter weather with caution and patience. Other drivers? Not so much. Fun fact: A four-wheel drive is not magically designed for driving over ice. I watched one big truck try and take a turn and slide sideways into another car. I also witnessed another big truck tailgate me as I went down a road covered in ice patches. Guess what? I’m not speeding up.
- There really is nothing like watching kids play in snow, especially ones who have never seen it. We live in a neighborhood with a lot of little kids, and seeing them frolic and play was awesome. That said, there seems to be a pretty good chance you could take the wrong kid home, as they are virtually indistinguishable once they are bundled up and then covered in snow.
- International Snowball Fight Rules must be adhered to, or there will be chaos. Timeouts must be honored, even it’s your big sister calling timeout. I mean it. Seriously. Parker – she called timeout. Do you want to go inside? Parker!
- If you put gloves on your snowman’s arms, monitor them closely the next day. The gloves may be iced nice and stiff at first. But as the temperatures rise, the gloves may begin to melt. And once the four fingers not being supported by the stick arms melt, your snowman may inadvertently be giving one-fingered salutes to everyone driving by. Oops.
- Ponds around these parts rarely freeze, so we thought it was pretty cool to see the ones near our house with a thin sheet of ice on them. Knowing we couldn’t get on the ice, we pitched snowballs at them to watch them explode on impact. Over the last few days, I have noticed that most every frozen pond has snowball plops all over them. Good to see other people are as easily amused as we are.
- When I was a kid and winter weather approached, we had to watch TV or listen to radio and wait for the long list of closings to be read to see if our school was canceled. These kids today, with their smart phones and social media? Spoiled. And you can also tell when the announcement comes out, as you hear your two kids scream at the same time from different rooms when they get the alert on their phones about school being canceled.
So we have had our winter fun, and I am more than happy to let the rest of the country take on winter storms for the rest of 2018. I’m all for getting back to normal, and getting temperatures back way higher than my age. The snow was fun, but I’m good for one of these a year. Around these parts, I think it’s time to put our focus on what we’re best at: hurricanes and brutal heat.
Mike Gibbons was born and raised in Aiken, S.C. A graduate of the University of Alabama, he now lives in Mt. Pleasant. You can e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @StandardMike.