15 Things Southerners Know about Snow | Sarah Philpott

15 Things Southerners Know about Snow

15 Things Southerners Know About Snow Sarah Philpott

Where I live the excitement of snow rivals Christmas morning. Many might refer to it as a light dusting, but to us southerners any amount of snow is pure magic.  We in the south have our own peculiar traditions & customs when it comes to this white enchantment that falls from the sky.

1).  Legend has it that if a large number of kids wear their pajamas inside out to bed then they will awaken to a winter wonderland.  At least that’s what elementary teachers preach to the kids when snow is in the forecast.   Hey…God works in mysterious ways!

2).  Similar folklore suggests that flushing ice cubes down the toilet will also cause a snow day.


3).  A proper definition of snow day is when school is called off due to inclement weather.  No snow has to exist on the ground for school to be cancelled.  Just the threat of snow.  This baffles our northern friends.  (But we ALL remember the blizzard of “93, right?).

4).  Milk & bread is an absolute necessity.  Why?  Who knows.   But if the weather man utters the word “snow” grocery stores, gas stations, and dollar generals will be sold-out of both within hours.  Some theorists refer to this as a conspiracy between weathermen & food stores.

5).  Snow Cream.  Aaah…snow cream.  Although we would never allow our children to drink rainwater by the cupful without first sanitizing it, we do encourage all members of our family to savor the delicious dish of snow carefully mixed with sugar, milk, & vanilla   It is a heavenly treat.

6).  Network television will be constantly interrupted so that the local news-station can give up to the minute insight on how locals are affected by the one and half inches of snow that has fallen.

7).  All responsible news media will utter, It’s treacherous.  Don’t go out unless you must!” throughout the broadcast.

8). But we do go out. Because snow is so scarce that we must experience the witchcraft.  And test out the tires on our vehicles.

9).  We pull out clothes from boxes and seldom-used drawers designated for snow clothes.  We dress our kids in a hodge-podge of mismatched hand-me downs so they don’t get too frigid.  Garbage bags and tape can be substituted for boots if proper waterproof footwear is not found.

10).  Snowmen will be built. No matter how pitiful the size they always look splendid adorned with carrots, coal, & stray sticks.

11).  Snow might barely cover the grass, but kids & adults alike will find a way to sled.  And roll in the snow.  Make snow angels.  Catch snowflakes on their tongues. Throw snowballs.  And have big, goofy grins on their faces all day.  Perfectly content in the fun.

12).  Then there will always be that one adult who says:

Hey! I’m gonna hook-up the 4-wheeler/atv/lawn mower TO THE sled/inner-tube/car hood.  Let’s show these kids a good time!”  It will quickly be determined who the responsible (not fun)/ irresponsible (super fun) adults in the group are.  The kids will always side with those in the negligent camp!  This is precisely why hospitals can’t close for a snow day.

13). Exhausted you’ll go home to hot cocoa and cookies.  Grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup.  Homemade beef stew or chili will simmer on the stove for dinner.

14).  If you live on a farm, you’ll wake up the next morning with bruises on your rear from sledding over ski jumps (frozen manure piles covered in snow) in the pasture.

15).  And you’ll start praying all over again for the sacred snow day.  When magic falls from the sky, the world stops, and life-long memories are made.

Our southern traditions might be peculiar to some, but to us they are just a celebration of this elusive miracle called snow.

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About Sarah

Sarah Lewis Philpott, Ph.D lives in the south on a sprawling cattle farm where she raises her two mischievous children (and one little baby!) and is farm wife to her high school sweetheart. It's quite the chaotic household, but she adores the blessings God has provided. Sarah is represented by The Blythe Daniel Literary Agency. Her book, Loved Baby: 31 Devotions for Helping you Grieve and Cherish Your Child After Pregnancy Loss, will be published in October '17 by Broadstreet Publishing. You can go ahead an pre-order it on Amazon, Barnes & Nobles, and at Christian Book. Sarah is a lover of coffee (black), rocking chairs, the outdoors, and Hemingway. Visit with Sarah at her All-American Mom blog where she writes about life on the farm and cherishing life in joy & in sorrow.

18 thoughts on “15 Things Southerners Know about Snow

  1. Sarah,
    You forgot about any small rock outcrops in the field. My friend and I were sledding down the big hill at granddad’s one time and we hit a small rock outcrop that was hidden by the snow! Needless to say we had bruised bottoms and a big hole in out green plastic sled. In the olden days (lol), we used the big, metal dog pots that mom had out to feed the dogs in. We used anything we could find to work as a sled. One year, we had these big snow drifts! I remember mom taking pictures of Marc and I up to our chest in snow. We were in the ditch across from Granddad’s house. Marc and I built tunnels it it because it was so deep. We got in trouble when dad found out. We were too close to the road with our tunnels (because the ditches made the best tunnels (they had several feet of snow covering them). What a life. Snow cream was the best! But always remember, don’t make snow cream from the first snow. It supposedly has all the toxins int the air in it and will make you sick. I enjoyed the kids faces! Pure excitement! Titus looks like he has lost his front teeth.

    1. I can only hope we get a big enough snow for the little ones to build tunnels! Good advice on the Snow Cream:) Thanks, Gretchen!!

  2. So cute and I love your pics! I grew up in the Northeast – lots of fun sleigh riding and ice skating all day! Fun as a kid….not so much as an adult! I am down south now and don’t miss the snow…. well I love watching it on the Christmas movies …. from a distance! 🙂

  3. Oh, yes. Snow in the south… We’re originally from Ontario, Canada, where snow is a part of every day (usually) between November and February!

    However, we’ve lived in Texas and North Carolina for the last 15 years. And WHAT a fuss is made over a little bit of frozen precipitation falling from the sky! But we do enjoy the fuss… really!

    A day “off” of regular life. The hysterical antics of the news casters. The lack of bread on the shelves – yes – it happened last night when hubby when to the store! 🙂 It’s all fun and good.

    And if everyone relaxes for the day, then why NOT enjoy a bit of snow in the south, eh? (see – the “eh” is a hang-on from my days as a Canadian!) 😉

    1. You have had quite the geographical experience! I’m sure you have chuckled at the antics of the south several times, eh? (Ha!). Glad you still enjoy the magic!

  4. In Michigan, we can count on at least a few snow days per year…and I LOVE them. It’s like a bonus day where time stands still and I get my kids all to myself for that sweet time. Magic falls from the sky, indeed!

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