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I live in the south. I have for most of my life, except for the four years I lived in Maryland. I know, they are technically below the Mason Dixon line but they don’t consider themselves southern. The first time it snowed after we moved there, we got four inches.  (It was the end of October.) I assumed that everything would be shut down, but no, traffic was moving fine and the roads were quickly cleared away and everything was open. Even schools stayed open if the snowfall wasn’t too bad. Being accustomed to near panic when flakes begin to fall all my life, I chose to venture out only to the video store down the street  ( I rented 1776 and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. My husband was out of town) and to get some take out. I alternated between the musicals and episodes of Designing Women– I was desperate to hear someone else talk right.

In the part of Georgia where I live, in the southern almost suburbs of Atlanta, and below we joke that if someone tosses a popsicle in the street, then school shut down and the shelves at the Piggly Wiggly are immediately relieved of their milk and bread. (Exactly why people only eat milk and bread in a snow storm, I don’t know. I personally prefer something warm and more filling.) Yesterday at the school where I teach we let out early and cancelled Homecoming…for rain.

Back to Baltimore.  The storm they are describing on the news today for that region is exactly like what we experienced when we lived in Baltimore. The worst storm we lived through was when I was pregnant with my youngest son (who is now nineteen.) My oldest son, Ian, was almost two and came down with a stomach virus about the time the snow started to fall. By midnight I was also throwing up nonstop in danger of becoming dehydrated and the snow had not stopped falling. I wandered around downstairs most of the night, checking the snow in between puking. At dawn I went upstairs to try and sleep and my husband took Ian, who was doing much better, downstairs for breakfast. As they ate, Pat kept watching Ian’s Little Tikes slide- as it disappeared under the snow. By the time my stomach virus and the snow had stopped we had nearly thirty inches. We got a reprieve for a day and then it snowed ten more. We had to shovel our way out the doors. To get out of the cul-de-sac-(because it was an unfinished subdivision we didn’t get plowed) we had to back into the neigboring driveway and go out through the luge run like tunnel that was the result of shoveling ten driveways into the center of Quern Court.

People down here post on Facebook about how much they want snow and then about how they never get any snow…but I am here to tell you: YOU CAN GET TOO MUCH SNOW. And another thing. It is NOT true that the post office will deliver despite the snow. We did not have mail delivered for almost a week- and they also had rolling waves of cutting off the heat and power to conserve it.

Still, life went on. People went to work, the Giant, wherever.

In the South a snow day goes something like this: You go to bed anticipating, praying for snow. You wake up early and run to turn on the tv to see what schools have closed. It always takes forever to get to your school. You eat breakfast, spend an hour putting on your snow clothes, attempt to play in whatever has fallen and then after about thirty minutes decide its too cold and come inside, take off all your snow clothes and then watch movies all day. And I guess eat milk and bread.

I had three kids other than my own get snowed in after a superbowl party once when we lived in Memphis- and oddly,  for a whole day no one’s parents called to check on them or come get them. Finally we politely suggested that they call their parents, then went to Popeyes and got a ton of chicken to feed them while we waited on their parents. That was a huge snowfall for Memphis- six inches.

Since we moved back to the Atlanta area we have had two bouts of bad weather. One was our first year here when we had an ice event and school was out a full week. The other was what they call Snowmaggedon, a snow and ice store that left metro Atlanta looking like an eerie real life version of the opening scene from The Walking Dead with cars abandoned all along the interstate. It’s finally snowing as I write. I just came back in from a morning walk. It’s cold, no ice, just a little steady stream of snow. Not rushing over to Kroger.

It is cold, and a good day to read a good book. For those who got snow and are stuck inside, once you’ve gotten your milk and bread rations, stay in the comfort of your own home and order or download a book. You can check mine out at http://www.booksbylynnmurphy.com

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