Remember When a Southern Snow Storm was Fun?

Posted on February 13, 2014

Remember When a Southern Snow Storm was Fun?

By Sherri Simmons, President and CEO

When I was a little girl, we lived in a rural area of Georgia. Snow was rare, but always celebrated – by my brother, sister and me, that is. School would close, we would pile on the cold weather gear – the kind not really meant for cold. (If you’ve ever worn cotton mittens in snow or ice, you get it.)

We would slide down our massive hill on cardboard boxes, traipse through the woods and get lost in the snow drifts, stomp back in the house when we got cold – then head back outside.

In fact, when weather below 32 degrees was expected, we would spend hours on end phoning “Time and Temperature” to find out if there was even the slightest possibility of a flurry. (For those who don’t know about “Time and Temperature,” you really missed out.)

I never understood why my parents didn’t get as excited about the snow as we did.

Of course it had nothing to do with fact that the power would go out, the pipes would freeze, and, low and behold, the phones would go down and we couldn’t call Time and Temperature to make sure the snow would stick around. Or that my dad, who was a banker, had to go in to work, regardless of the weather. And my mother, bless her heart, was stuck at home with three rowdy children.

But after coming home from work, my dad would help us create better sleds (metal garbage can lids) and make a snowman, just like the ones we saw on television. You know corn cob pipes and two eyes made out of coal. He would even park his truck where we could jump into the snow drifts. Mom would have some fabulous dinner waiting – one she just whipped up without the aid of Georgia Power. Dining by flashlight was exciting – and the candles were even better.  (Sound like a Southern Norman Rockwell painting?  It was.) 
 
We had a blast. Nothing like the recent snow and ice storms Atlanta is experiencing.

I’m writing this blog post, not to lament the toll of our current winter storms, but to help remind me of how much fun a Southern snow storm – and even ice – can be.

During the past two winter storms, we have either left our cars on the Interstate stuck between massive trucks, or hunkered down in our homes – not wanting to venture into what looked like pristine snow – but hid dangerous layers of ice.

As I sat working from home via laptop, listening to the news, grasping the terrible economic impact of our winter storms, the thousands of people without power, I understood why my parents weren’t necessarily as thrilled as we were with snow days.

Nevertheless, my husband started the morning skiing through our very hilly Atlanta neighborhood with our very boisterous dog, Bela – more fondly known as Biggie B. He thought she might pull him up the hills – but the sticks brought down by high winds were of much more interest and enjoyment to her. (BTW, the caveat for the skiing adventure was that his life insurance be up to date.)

I avoided the ski exploit – and instead took Biggie on a slippery walk. Children were sledding down hills, engaged in the inevitable snowball fights – and parents were finally outside enjoying the extra time with their kids. There were even a few snowmen. (A Southern Norman Rockwell all over again.)

Now, I remember why these winter storms really can be fun.

But thank heavens, our power didn’t go out and the pipes didn’t freeze. Our dog is now exhausted, my husband didn’t kill himself from city-skiing, and I have a big ole glass of wine to top off the day.

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