What is happening? There are these white, dusty flakes coming out of the sky. The temperature is less than 60 degrees. Am I going to freeze? We need to go inside. Is the world ending? I don’t know. But, what I do know is that I am not going outside again until this foolishness is over with. I have recently learned, in my two short years of living in South Carolina, that this is how most southerners deal with snow.
I am from Kansas. I was born and raised in a state where you can experience fairly substantial amounts of snow each year. I remember waking up to negative temperatures with the seemingly impossible task of shoveling the snow up to my knees ahead of me.
Now, I live in a state where panic arises when the slightest chance of snow emerges. Aisles in Walmart clear out, schools close down for multiple days, people hibernate in their homes and the state decides to change OPCON levels. This, mind you, was recently all for just two inches of snow. That amount of snow in Kansas would be looked at as a dusting. I would have been expected to bundle up and go to school regardless of the chilly temperatures and snow on the ground.
I remember waking up early on the days snow decided to grace our doorstep. I would hope and pray that my school district would grant us the opportunity to stay home when it was snowing, an opportunity that was rarely granted.
Schools that live in parts of the U.S. where snow comes frequently only have a certain number of snow days that can be used over the school year. If you have to use all of those days you won’t get anymore, and you will be have to attend school at the end of the year to make that time up. That is just one of the many downsides with snow, believe me. I once stayed in school until the beginning of June, a rarity where I am from, because we had used up all of our snow days.
Even if the schools close for a day, those with jobs still have to go to work. My mom, who spent many years as a home health nurse, had to commute to houses that were sometimes hours away in the ice and snow for days until the roads were cleared. She did it with a smile on her face. Mainly because if she didn’t, she would have gotten fired.
Because people in the South don’t grow up dealing with harsh winter conditions, they don’t have the opportunity to learn how to deal with snow like the rest of the world. It’s amazing how one’s life can differ when you grow up in a different part of the U.S.
I have found that there tend to be are two types of people in the South when it comes to snow. The first is the person that, instead of braving the winter conditions whatever they may be, decides to hide away in their home when the weatherman says there is a possibility of snow. The second type of person I have encountered is the one that decides to embrace the snow a little too much and go outside to take fancy selfies in prom dresses.
I understand that the South does not have the same resources as other parts of the U.S. when it comes to snow. The lack of resources can lead to the state having to change how it functions for a few days. However, do you really need to delay school when it is 30 degrees outside? Regardless of what you may think, the world does not stop when the white flurries decide to fall from the sky. We have lives to live.
The way southern states act about snow frustrates me almost as much as when someone slyly smiles and tells me, “You’re not in Kansas anymore.”
Because, no I certainly am not in Kansas anymore.