It’s going to snow here in the southeastern part of the U.S. Maybe 1-3 inches. Maybe ice. If you know anything about this part of the country, you know that the “S” word makes people a little crazy. It snows so infrequently here that we don’t have the equipment or people-power to manage it. Plus we have an abundance of transplants here so you’ve got wizened Chicago drivers on the roads with paranoid Floridians.
It’s not pretty.
Most of the schools in the area are closing early today and will likely be closed tomorrow. For 1-3 inches. Yes…I know. I can see my Canadian friends doing their best WTF chuckle and my northern U.S. comrades shouting, “Rookies!” at their screens. But when your child has been trapped on a school bus for 6 hours in a traffic jam and you’re home worried sick. Or when YOU’VE been stuck in a traffic jam caused by that person from Chicago trying to pass the Floridian and neither one can navigate the ice that has formed because we didn’t have enough salt and chemicals to treat the road…well…then I’m GLAD they are closing schools.
But even more incredible than the schools closing at the mere whisper of snow, is what happens at the GROCERY STORE. Even now I’m guessing that there isn’t a loaf of bread, a square of toilet paper or a gallon of milk in any store within a 50 mile radius of Charlotte. People are flocking to the store to “stock up” just in case they’re SNOWED IN.
Because that happens so often in this part of the U.S.
However, you really get a glimpse of what people value when you sit and watch a few hundred of them go through a check out line. New moms and dads have cleaned out the diaper and formula aisles. Teens and college kids have cleaned out the cookies and chips. Milk and bread have moved from the stores to the pantries of families everywhere. And on the way out they all grab some cocoa and marshmallows because what’s a snow day without cocoa and marshmallows?
Four years ago, if you had seen me in that checkout line, you would not have seen any of the above (okay…maybe the cocoa and marshmallows) because I’m from a little further north and I know that the likelihood of getting SNOWED IN falls squarely in the “no fucking way” category. But…you would have seen several bottles of Chardonnay (or maybe a box…or both) on my belt.
Some things are best not left to chance.
I would PANIC if I thought I didn’t have enough wine. I’m talking hyperventilating, racing heart panic. Of course I would never admit to the panic. I would call the hubs and toss a comment like, “Hi honey. On the way home could you pick up some popcorn and hot cocoa so the kids have it for their snow day. Oh…and grab a couple of bottles of wine too would ya?”
Since I worked from home back then, I got to enjoy a day where the kids ran in and out of the house precisely 3,465 times, got dressed and undressed a mere 845 times, drank all the cocoa, played every board game we had and watched every cartoon Looney Toons ever made. The sad thing was that in the back of my mind I would be thinking and waiting and waiting and thinking about what time would be a good time to crack that first bottle. Never fully present.
But that was then and this is now so I need to call the hubs and makes sure he gets the sugar free cocoa and the mini marshmallows and the ingredients for my chicken soup.
Cause what’s a snow day without chicken soup?