Saturday, January 30, 2010

North and South: Same Country. Different Attitudes

A disgruntled blog about snow

OK, I have to admit, I do miss snow once in a while. Not the snow itself as I miss what snow brings: comfort food, the excuse to somehow consume millions of calories - mindlessly, working from home, fireplace going, mashed potatoes, and naps. A lot of them.

The one thing I would rather do without when snow comes to North Carolina is the whole town going apey about it! Seriously, folks, the weatherman says we’re getting 10 inches of snow, not that The Great Famine is coming! The grocery stores on Friday looked more crowded than on Christmas Eve. Sure, business is good when snow hits the South, but as a pedestrian, a driver and just a regular consumer, I can do without the rudeness, frantic-ness, people forgetting the laws of driving and common decency!

My back patio, this morning

I cannot help but wonder: do families, however large, really consume 10 gallons of milk in a couple of days? Or do old people really consume 5 cans of the same WalMart brand veggie soup, in the two days they’re stuck in the home? Or how can cold milk and stale bread help you if your power gets knocked out and you’re freezing in the home? Just wondering!

I would love to see how much leftover stuff people have in their homes after a snow weekend. You could probably feed a small nation with the surplus groceries of one small town!

It makes me smile, also, how snow is somewhat of a breaking news everywhere: people talk about nothing besides snow. Forget the war, politics, health care, job loss, latest news in entertainment, like what Angelina did this week, we’ve got snow! I swear, if Leno took over this weekend (and not two weeks ago, or whenever it happened), we, down here, would never know about it! We would have no way to find out! All that the TV talks about is snow, so does the local paper, on the home page, and the front page, you get no other “status updates” on Facebook from anyone other than: it’s snowing; we got 6 inches; thank God for whiskey in the snow; recipes for snow ice cream (really?!? Whatever happened with “do not eat snow!”?! ); kids cranky that snow’s not good enough for playing in it; cabin fever – you get the idea…

The little cynic in me doesn’t like it one bit how a seemingly natural and ordinary element like snowing is glorified to the levels of a show stopper like snow is in The South! After all, people, we live at 36 degrees Northern Latitude, not in the Sahara Desert! It’s a little bit more than comical. It’s bordering on the absurd, in my opinion!

I took a trip to Michigan a couple of weeks back, or as many call it, The Great White North. And I am telling you, it deserves the nickname. There is nothing but great whiteness up there. All the time. For six months, I am told. No blade of grass for that many months. The air even is milky with fog, most days … Icicles are as long as the frame of the home itself, and mountains of snow pile up in parking lots, taller than buildings at times. And then, there are the lakes. In the case of my visit, one of the Great Lakes – a big, wide, open sea of white. No water, well, no liquid water, in sight!

And somehow, life moves on up there, uninterrupted. Kids go to school every day, and traffic moves right along. Plows do their job and roads are clear. Waitresses wear shorts, and people don’t bother for a coat if they just walk from the car to the restaurant. In other words: a snowy day is just another day. Wait it out, it’ll melt! As much as I would hate the length of it, I really enjoyed the ordinariness of snow up there.

Not in the South. Barricade yourself and prepare for The Great Famine. Sure, it’ll melt. But what if not before we’re out of milk?! And stop sending Facebook and text updates on the snow! I have windows in my home. I can see it’s snowing. Use airwaves for something less mundane. Maybe.

In South Haven, MI, on the shores of Lake Michigan. Or where snow lives.
Please click on the picture for more Michigan winter shots

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