Thursday, December 4, 2008

Southern Snow

Last Tuesday, we got up and began getting ready for school and work. I had to drag the kids out of bed by their heels, and they were still complaining and grumbling as they got dressed.

My phone began ringing, and I saw from the caller ID it was my brother's home. My sister-in-law and I carpool the kids to school, so I imagined she was calling about that.

When I picked up the phone, it was my brother, who works at the High School. I knew immediately we were out of school for the day.

He said, "Hey- Good Morning!"

I said, "You're kidding me! We're out of school?"

He chuckled and said, "Why, yes. And good morning to you, too."

"I'm sorry," I replied, "that was rude. Good Morning! Now, are we really out of school?"




"Huh?" I asked, peering out my window at... nothing.

"I guess the northern part of the county got really iced over last night."

"Hmmm. Okay, well, thanks for calling."

"Sure. Have a good day!" he said, way too chipper at this hour of the morning.

I found the kids in balled up lumps on the floor, still complaining about how tired they were.

"Fine. Put your pajamas back on and go back to bed," I said, hands on my hips.

"What?" Keith asked, eyeing me suspiciously.

"Just go on back to bed if you're so tired," I threw up my hands.

"Mommy, are kidding us?" Amy asked, eyebrows scrunched together.

"Nope," I said. "School's out today."

"Really?" Keith asked, wide-eyed. "What for?"


Three little pairs of eyes bolted to the window and anxiously looked for snow. They turned around and looked at me quizzically. I shrugged.

"Yeah, I know. Guess the northern part of the county got it all. Sorry. I guess you can go back to bed..."

"Are you kidding? This is the best day EVER!" Keith exclaimed.

Amy and Emma started jumping up and down like Mexican jumping beans.

"I thought you were tired," I reminded them.

"Well, now we're not!" Amy exclaimed.

We spent the rest of the day doing odds and ends that had been on our "to do" list for quite some time. And we played a couple of games and watched a little television. It was like a mini-vacation, which both the kids and I enjoyed immensely.

The next morning, Keith plodded down to our room before my alarm ever went off.

"Do we have school?" he asked sleepily.


"How do you know? Did you watch the news?" he challenged.

"No. But it is going up to sixty-five degrees today. You have school."

"Can you check?" he asked, ever the optimist.

We flipped on the television and watched for a moment. Not only were we not closed, no county in the state was closed for snow.

Keith was dejected. He slumped down a little more and grouched back down the hall.

This morning we had a repeat of yesterday, with the exception that it was cold enough this morning to have an ice patch or two in the northern part of the county. Still, it wasn't enough to call off school, so we were off and running.

My northern-raised friends shake their heads at our southern inability to function in cold weather. They swear that this fact alone made us lose the Civil War.

I try to explain that southern snow is different than northern snow: we have a sheet of ice under our snow. They retort that snow plows and ice can cure all. I remind them that the closest thing we have to a snow plow around here is a garbage truck, and that the salt is used primarily for the interstates and main roads for the northern transplants who refuse to comply with our southern "We don't do snow" rule.

Our northern friends contend that we really don't have "snow" compared to the northern portion of the country. I remind them that this was why they moved here.

On the other side of the fence, my grandmother had a friend come up to visit her from Florida. She was here when the sky was spitting the frozen stuff all over the place. Most of it melted, but not enough to have the kids go to school, apparently.

I was giddy at the thought of a little winter weather. It always makes it feel a little more like Christmas to me.

She glared at me and declared, "This is why I don't like the north."

"The north?"

"Yes. Any place that has the ability to produce snow is north."

"That kind of redefines the regional settings, doesn't it?"

She stared me down for a moment. "Whatever. I hate snow and cold weather!"

I suspect that tomorrow morning my kids will continue their snow vigil, ever-hopeful that there is just enough slick, wet, cold ice to close down the schools. I, on the other hand, wouldn't mind if it held off until the weekend.
And if it's going to snow, I wish it would really snow. I want enough to play in. The stuff we got recently didn't leave enough of a mark to even make a single snow ball.

I want to make snow angels, go sledding and have snow ball fights. Then I want to go in and sit as close to the fireplace as possible with a mug of steaming cocoa (with miniature marshmallows, of course).

My grandmother's friend will be home by then, so she will be able to avoid the "unpleasantness" of the cold. And my northern-raised friends will be able to play in a little bit of "home."
And, school will be "out," regardless.

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