OK, now…this isn’t funny anymore…

9 01 2011

For those of you who live and fish up north, I know it seems as if it shouldn’t be that big of a deal. What’s 4-6 inches of snow, you ask? Well, I’ll tell you why it’s such a big deal when it happens. Or rather, I’ll tell you why the real culprit for all our worry and woes is such a big deal…

Here in the Deep South, when it snows or threatens to snow – people do get a little worked up. Don’t even think about going to the grocery store the night before snow is forecast. If you don’t already have your “bread and milk,” don’t worry – most of your neighbors do and you can always walk over and borrow some if you need it. Make sure you catch the late night news, so you’ll see your company’s or school’s name run across the bottom of the screen….as closed for the day. And if you haven’t sealed off the outside faucets, or in newer homes turned the off from the inside – you’ll be doing that after the news, before you go to bed. But in all this build up to the big event that looks to all the world ( or at least to the thirteen yankees still left in the north) like we’ve lost our ever-lovin-minds…it’s not the snow we’re worried about. Contrary to popular belief, we do have road crews and machinery to clear snow from the roads  – at least from Atlanta, northward to the state line. We don’t have enough of them if it’s a big snow, but we have them and they can clear the main arteries and highways near the towns. It’s not a lack of salt or sand or plows. And again, it’s not even the snow.

It’s the ice.

Snow and Ice mean Power Loss and Car Pile Up's....

And as you can see, it looks like we’ll “have us a bait of it.” ( That’s southern slang for “more than enough!” 😉 ) Well, anyway….when it snows here it’s really pretty and the kids go nuts because all the schools close. You really can’t have full school buses of kids careening all over town, into cars, guard rails, other buses, etc. And it doesn’t matter if you have 4WD or not. Lots and lots of people down here in the South own Jeeps and other 4WD vehicles…I’ve owned two jeeps myself and three 4WD’s over the years. I used to think that the fact that a 4WD vehicle just slides 4 times as much was something every yankee would know. However, I learned that it really isn’t the case. I also used to think that it was easy to understand why ice, and not snow, is what freaks everyone out so much. And now, we move on to the other issue that gets us Southerners all worked up over a winter storm…

We have pine trees.

Ice, Pine trees, and power lines. Not good.


And we have lots of them. And if there’s one thing other than a tornado that does not mix well with pine trees it’s ice. Ice is heavy and pine trees are the whimps of the tree world in the Deep South. Their branches break easily, and ice and wind can pull them to the ground in one big crash.

“So what?” you ask….”Are people afraid that they are going to walk outside and be killed by a pine tree falling on them?” Well, no.  They are afraid that a pine tree weighed down with ice and pushed around by the wind will either fall or lose a limb that will come crashing down on their power lines. And if you’re stuck in a house for 3 days because the roads are all iced up, and your power is out and it’s 25 degrees outside. Well, for us Southerners that are used to mild winters and hot summers, it’s enough to make some folks go a little nuts. But hey, it’s better to be prepared and cautious than brave and dead, ya know? You ain’t flyfishing in spring if you run your car into a patch of black-ice and off a bridge in winter….ya know?


Even so, not all of us go nuts and over-react about it. And not all of us panic if the power goes out. Some of us realize that we have gas grills for a reason and that we can, if we must, take the unused log rack out of the fireplace and wipe the 12 years of dust off of it, fill it with wood and make a fire. We may not remember to open the flu though. We’re not even sure if that’s how you spell “flu” in that context. But we do know to run to the store TWO days before the blizzard and get bread and milk. Why bread and milk? Who knows? Just because it’s going to snow, I guess. It’s as much a tradition as grits and ceiling fans and the summer fish fry. When we don’t have ice at all….except in our sweet tea.



Bacon, Toast, Bacon and GRITS! ( Not my hand, btw.)


So, hang on to your hat, fellow Southerners – and you yanks don’t look down on us too hard – we’re not as nuts as you think.

………and make sure you have that milk and bread by noon tomorrow if you’re gonna get it. 😉


OH, and if FFSBR is inactive for a few days next week, you’ll know I’m out back, sliding down the hill behind the house and making dinner on our grill, outside while we walk around like mummies, wrapped up in warm clothes and blankets.






6 responses

9 01 2011

Ice is definitely worse. In PA, we’re right in the middle so we sometimes get ice, and sometimes snow. I did fish in the storm today and actually caught fish, so you can always hit the water 🙂

9 01 2011
Quill Gordon

I’ll take snow instead of ice every time and I don’t laugh when winter weather hits places it normally doesn’t. Winter weather is dangerous. The people I laugh at are the ones who gnash their teeth, rend their clothing and swing wildly, looking for someone to blame for the inconvenience they’ve suffered, especially when they show up at Town Meeting and shout at the town road crew because their Range Rover landed in a ditch on a day the smart people stayed home.

Around here it’s not a matter of “if” a tree will crash and take the power out, it’s “when” and I have been known to brew coffee in an old camp pot on the gas grill. Some people think I’m a wild-eyed survivalist, with my stashes of food, water, batteries and candles but I’m just waiting for spring.

Hang in there and stay safe! (I want video of you sliding down the hill out back)

9 01 2011
Nate - Fishing In Pa

Good luck! We had our first good snow in Pa… Now I hope it never snows again! Too much work and not enough fun anymore. Oh well, at least the limestone streams don’t freeze – let’s find some brownies!

9 01 2011
Bumbling Bushman

Looking for snow, not ice here just east of Asheville. Either way, it’s gonna suck.

9 01 2011

The bread and milk run is on in Memphis… we’re supposed to get it tonight.

13 01 2011

Jeff, you need to put some cheese in those grits, dude! They’re buck naked!

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