On Southern Snow Days & Slowing Down

Snow in the South is a magical thing. 

(Yes, our Northern friends also find it to be a comical thing, but that’s a different post.)

Southern Snow is rare and lovely and shuts down the world around us. It slows us down. It confines us to our homes. It feeds our bodies with home-cooked meals and outdoor play and laughter. It warms our souls with a freedom from distractions, from work, from appointments and traffic. It bonds us to the ones we love and asks us to care for our neighbors and the birds in the yard. It reminds us of the beauty of nature as we crunch through the snow, stare out the windows, and marvel in God’s handiwork.

Southerners are pretty good at being slow–we smoke our BBQ for hours, we take the time to smile at kids and old folks, we  spend the extra minute to pull out the “good crystal” when company comes–but even we are not immune to the chaos that tears us away from what is most important in our lives.

Southern Snow rocks our world faster than your Maw Maw can say  “Bless her heart…” 

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Southern Snow brings frenzied searches through our cookbooks for meals that will warm both our bellies and our souls. Southern Snow ALSO brings frenzied searches through our grocery stores for bread and milk (there is none), ingredients for steaming pots of chili, and shoppers with whom to share conversations along the lines of “I can’t believe there is NO MORE  meat in this entire store!!” Southern Snow sends us into our kitchens, whipping up cauldrons of love.

Southern Snow glues us to our windows, our local tv stations’ non-stop coverage of the “weather event,” and our Facebook newsfeed in childlike anticipation of those first falling flakes. Southern Snow changes every hour–every minute even–from tiny flurries to huge puffy cotton balls to sleet and then all over again, keeping us going back to the windows over and over and over to exclaim, “It’s STILL coming down!!”

Southern Snow bonds us to each other. There is no traveling on icy roads, no snow plows to pave the way ahead. We hunker down at home until it melts, and we play together, and we build fires and laugh. We talk, and we marvel at the beauty around us. We walk around the block, no traffic noise, no planes overhead, just the crunch crunch of the slush under our bread-bag-wrapped boots. We check on our neighbors, making sure they’re warm enough, trekking through the pristine yard to deliver hot soup…or cold beers.

Southern Snow reminds us to enjoy the simple pleasures. A fresh cup of coffee. Extra marshmallows in your hot chocolate. Brunch that smells like cinnamon and sausage…at noon. The way you can’t even tell where your yard ends and the road begins. The glow of streetlights on the perfectly icy land. The fluffs of snow clinging to every tree branch, every pine needle, every fence post as far as you can see. The smell of a wood fire. A hand to hold and a warm body to snuggle next to. Handmade quilts. A pot of soup bubbling on the stove. Power and a warm home. Real conversation about love and life and God.

Last week during the “Snowpocalypse of 2014,” there was no cabin fever for this girl. I loved every minute being cooped up with my bearded husband and our sweet cat. (Not that the cat even knew it was snowing. As with most house cats, Pearl could care less what goes on outside of her  little world, so long as the food keeps showing up in her bowl.)

I must admit that I was a little sad to see the snow melting and the roads clearing. I knew that meant the spell of The Magical Southern Snow was broken, Tony would go back to work, the fall leaves we never raked would again be visible in our yard, and the real world would creep back in.

But I am grateful. Grateful for the fluffy white magic that fell from the sky the week of Valentine’s Day 2014, reminding us about love and life and simply slowing down.

What about you? What are your favorite parts of a snow storm, Southern or otherwise?? Leave a comment below to let me know what you love (or don’t!!) about snow!

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