In light of recent kooky weather events, meaning the Great Lowcountry Snowstorm of 2018, it might be helpful to explain to those from elsewhere why Southerners are so giddy about snow.
You might not need this information for another 29 years, if you continue to live in the Lowcountry that long, but I offer it anyway – in case we get another freaky snowstorm like the one that surprised us Jan. 3.
You have to understand that some of us had not seen snow like that here since the Blizzard of Christmas 1989, which dropped about 6 inches of snow on Hilton Head Island, even on the beaches.
It was cold. The heat pump ran constantly. The roads were iced over so we couldn’t drive. We walked down to the beach and fed seagulls. We missed Christmas with our families out of town.
(By the way, we know we don’t know how to drive in snow and ice. That’s why schools, town government, and nearly everybody else closes. It’s a safety thing.)
We get all excited when the forecast predicts even flurries because we know everything will shut down and we’ll get a couple of days off school and work. Nothing lifts the winter doldrums like a snow day.
When recent forecasts showed a 100 percent chance of snow, we went a little nuts. Snow days were virtually guaranteed!
Our excitement turned to exuberance when we actually saw the white stuff falling from the sky. We saw heavy flurries at first; then the flakes got larger and they came down faster.
And then, heavenly days, we just got bonkers when it started to stick! The yard was covered with a beautiful white layer of fluff.
(Slight digression here, because this is when the thought occurred to me: What if snow was another color? Would it still be as pretty? Would everything look so lovely in pink? Purple? Black?)
Some forward-thinkers had already been on the standard run-to-the-grocery-store-before-the-storm trip. I would bet that born-and-bred Southerners picked up an extra bottle of vanilla extract along with the bread and milk. Why, you ask? Well, if the snow is going to stick, we’re going to make snow cream!
In our neighborhood, I was the first crazy person to pile on random outerwear (because we don’t generally keep snow gear handy; I did find a pair of gloves though) and wander out into the empty street. Even the little kids were still inside their homes.
After a precursory survey of our yard, and after snapping dozens of “Oh-my-gosh-this-looks-so-weird-with-snow-on-it” photos, I proceeded to build my first snowman in 29 years.
At that point, I was pretty sure the snow wouldn’t last, so I wanted to get right to it. (Boy, was I wrong!)
My little marvel was just 5 inches tall, but I thought he was cute. His hat was quickly made from cardboard, his scarf from Christmas wrapping paper.
Later, Facebook came alive with other snow photos from around the area. (See page 7B of this issue for some of them.)
What a fun day we all had. I can’t wait for the next one.