Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Weather I'm Right, or Weather I'm wrong.

It's been more than 20 years since I first stepped onto these lands here in the South.  Perhaps the one thing that has amazed me of this Southern realm, and amazes me still is the reaction to the weather.  The true southerner treats weather almost as a minor inconvenience.

In the heat of the summer, when it's 102° in the shade and humidity is enough to make it feel like you're swimming to the mailbox and back, the Southerner mows the lawn.  He builds a tree-house for his kids, or he just hangs out with a couple of good ol' boys, watching the world go by, standing out in the blazing sun.  When it's raining, he will sit on the porch, keeping watch on the rising river.  Perhaps, if the rain is not too heavy, he will go for a swim in the lake. Or Fishing.  

See?  A minor inconvenience. Almost.

The Southerner has a problem with ice and snow.  Well, most people do, but the Southerner and more importantly how they react are the real interesting part of this little blog today.  Not that my writing isn't what brings you here, but you are hoping for some insight and I hope I can impart the same. 

When the weather turns cold, Snow and freezing rain can make roads impassible for days.  The tall trees and growth in some areas keep the sun from shining and therefore keep the iced roads from drying out.  How does the Southerner respond?  They race to the grocery store and buy all the milk and bread.  Yes, that's right, Milk and Bread.  Why? Remember me?  I wasn't born here, so of course I have no idea why. It was probably some memo passed out during the years before I arrived and kept hidden since.  

Even more baffling is the fact that here in Nashville, they will cancel the school if they think it's going to snow.  Snow predicted? Close the schools now!  To a guy who grew up on Colorado, where they didn't close schools unless the snow was higher than the principals head, this is a funny proposition.  

During my first year here in the South, the schools were closed due to predicted snow.  I laughed. I called my brother Bubba who lived in Colorado (and still does) and told him and he thought it was the opening line to a bad joke. He told his students the next day and they laughed too. To a student in Colorado cancelling school is unheard of - let alone canceling of school when the roads are dry and you only heard of the possibility of snow in the next few days.  

But it wasn't just the one time. Every year thereafter, the schools again would close in anticipation of the snow or ice event and so, like some sort of yearly ritual, every year when they first cancelled school in advance of snow, I'd call my Brother Bubba. We'd laugh, tell stories of how high the snow was when we walked to school (18" deep, uphill, both ways) and then we'd go on with life. I would like to think that he started a pool for his students to guess which day would be the first time school was canceled out here in advance of snow, but being the good and well respected teacher he was, maybe not.

Maybe I can start a pool with my neighbor Bubba.  

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