A Southern Snow(less) Day

I grew up where real winter happens. Snow typically comes in the late fall and can stay through spring. Last year, the snow didn't finally melt until the end of April.

As school kids, we would maybe get a few snow days per year. By "snow day," I mean school was canceled due to winter weather. If Minnesotans have a snow day, you know the weather is serious. In my estimation, there are two main reasons Minnesotans get a snow day:

  1. Snow is falling or blowing so hard that visibility is dangerously limited.
  2. The temperature is so low that children cannot be bundled up enough to wait at a bus stop. These are the snow days when the weather announcer tells you how fast frostbite can occur. By the way, frostbite could occur in five minutes at the current temperature in my hometown: -6 degrees. (Can you blame me for moving south?) 
My husband and I live in the South now, and today is a snow day for local schools. As I write, it is two in the afternoon. No snowflakes in sight. No freezing rain. If this is a typical Virginia snow day, local grocery store shelves are likely running low on bread, milk, and beer. You know, necessities in case people get snowed in for a few days. We laugh.

While laughing at the southern response to a snowy forecast, we have learned several lessons:
  • The roads do in fact get dangerous quickly here. While Minnesota roads are generally flat, roads around here are very curvy and hilly. Even "expert" winter drivers like ourselves can only do so much to combat sliding down a hill on a curved road. 
  • Virginia drivers get dangerous quickly here. We are scared enough of them on a normal day; add bad weather to the mix, and I would rather stay home. 
  • Minnesota's snow removal system is effective and admirable. The snowplow drivers get enough experience to become experts. Virginia attempts to keep roads passable, but they really don't have enough experience to do the job well. If it snows a lot, your mailbox may disappear in a mound of plowed snow. Or, you may wait for several days before a snowplow even comes to your neighborhood. 
  • If you hear a rumor of snow in the forecast, check the closing list before leaving the house. During law school, my husband ended up arriving alone on several snowless snow days.
After all of the "snow is coming" excitement, I hope snow actually comes. I like having an extra excuse to stay warm and cozy at home. Then, I will officially be ready for summer.
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