We had a very unusual winter here in the south this year. It’s February, “the dead of winter”, and we are experiencing temperatures in the high 60’s and upper 70’s! That’s just too warm for a real winter. Normal temperatures for North Carolina this time of year are much cooler, with guaranteed ice storms. So far, we’ve only had what I’m calling just one day of winter, and it was in early January. Normally, any snow we may get comes in late January or February!
To forecast snow at any time in our southeast region pushes a panic button for the residents to bumrush the grocery stores to get a hold of enough bread, milk and eggs to last the duration of the predicted storm. It doesn’t matter that we never get more than a few inches of accumulation, and the temperature never holds in the freezing zone for more than a few days. The very idea of snow on the ground brings a contagious anxiety of being shut in the house for days on end.
Granted, our climate doesn’t warrant the expensive plows and snow-moving machinery that many other snowy places must have. However, there isn’t much effort put behind managing the small amount of snow we do get. Many of the roads aren’t cleared, and therefore, schools are almost always closed — sometimes far longer than is necessary.
No school. No work. Snow on the ground. It is important to have food on hand in the house. I get it. But why the stampede for bread, milk and eggs – perishables, when electricity is liking to be interrupted? What’s the thinking?
It’s because no self-respecting southerner would ever be caught trapped in doors with kids at home and no way to make a peanut butter & jelly sandwich, or cereal for breakfast, or fluffy scrambled eggs. Those are the essentials to sustain cabin fever. We aren’t concerned about being trapped in doors without electricity, we’re just concerned about being trapped without the very basics of life sustaining food. True southerners for sure.
I complain about how ridiculous it is that people rush to the stores for bread, milk and eggs every time the forecast calls for snow. But all the while I’m complaining, inwardly, I’m strategizing, in a panic about when is the best time to get to the store before all the goods are gone.