Monday, December 14, 2009
Suthunuz and Snow
When I first moved to the South, I had visions of Thanksgiving in sandals, outdoor barbecues on Christmas and basically spending all my time in short sleeved Hawaiian Shirts. I never knew it got so cold here! The first time I stepped out of the door and found a light dusting of snow, I thought I was having a flashback.
Yes, Nashville gets snow, COLD snow. When I left Colorado, I gave away my wool lined snow boots, my down filled parka and my heavy ski gloves and here I am now freezing my heiny off. (And I haven't got a lot of heiny to lose!) Yet another part of living in the south which I had to learn to love.
In Colorado when it snows you get this beautiful light powder. When it snows in the south, it gets ICY. The snow is wetter here and under that snow can be a sheet of solid ice that will knock you on your aforementioned heiny! (Again, not fun, very little heiny to land upon, and ouch!) The snowflakes are so heavy they don't glide softly down to the ground, they drop to the ground like soft hail, and can nearly knock you off your feet with the impact.
Now, if the weather is going to be bad, whether in Colorado or Nashville, you don't want to be on the roads, so it's a good idea to stock up on some comfort food before it hits, maybe some snacks, and of course, some movies. So, the wife and I head out to the store only to find that EVERYONE is at the store! But the only thing they are buying is Milk and Bread. That's it, just bread and milk. Seriously. Grocery Carts full of bread and milk. Really. Right after the announcement that the snow is coming the stores fill up, people buying 3 and 4 gallons of milk and matching bread. It's like some sort of apocalyptic (or is it apoplectic?) memo of which I was not privy.
Yet, it gets stranger. I turned on the TV that first fall and was watching the weather when I heard them say that the prediction for the next day was for snow. At the same time, they began listing those schools who would be closed. Did you catch that? They were closing the schools in anticipation of snow! When I was a kid in Colorado, snow would have had to pile up and cover the capital rotunda before they even CONSIDERED closing schools, and even then it was a coin toss. I was in awe of these suthunaz.
At the time my brother (Bubba) had just started teaching high school in Denver, so I had to call him and tell him all about it. He thought I was joking. It became a yearly tradition for me to call him the first time this happened each year. Every year he laughed. (He laughs at me a lot, but I'm sure it's just because he's so jolly...maybe.)
I have learned over the years that Nashville had a very bad ICE storm the winter before I arrived in Nashville. The storm came across so quickly and so heavily during the day that students ended up stranded in the schools overnight because the buses couldn't drive on the ice shrouded roads. The school district took it on the chin and made the decision to close the schools when the weather report looked bad. Can't blame them. (My kids had nightmares of school during the day. Can you imagine being told that they had to SLEEP there overnight?)
The only problem now is that Bubba has retired from teaching and when I call him about the schools being closed, he really doesn't care. He still laughs though. Go figure.