The “S” Word


The official snowflake has fallen. Winter is here! People in the city all rush to the windows to see. Skyscrapers lean under their weight.

“Is it?”

“I think it is!”

“Yes! It’s a snowflake!”

Magnifying glasses are brought out as everyone gathers around to observe the first snowflake of the season. They shake their heads in wonder and exclaim in unison, “It’s SNOW!”

As realization sweeps over them, panic sets in. A snowflake could have relatives. Heads turn skyward to see. Cars on the interstate, impatient for the bad weather that is sure to come, begin to crash into each by the dozens even before the snow starts to fall.

In the suburbs, herds of housewives flock to the grocery store in four-wheel drive vehicles. They quickly clean out the bread and toilet paper aisles and then move on to the non-perishable goods. Country mentality still prevails in the South. Stock up “just in case” you are snowed in.

Wheels spin and skid as the second tiny snowflake of the season is crushed unnoticed under the wheels of the vehicles. The herds stampede home in caravans with supplies to stock the cupboards for the rest of winter while they wait for “The Big Snow.”

It is not until the grocery store is totally empty that the weather reporter announces that the winter storm warning has been cancelled. It is difficult not to wonder if weathermen and grocery stores could possibly be in cahoots, periodically announcing a snow panic just to move merchandise.

Winter in the South – how I love it! Southerners do not have a clue about how to drive in snow. The wise bubbas stay at home out of harms way. The less astute take to the roads in their light-ended pickup trucks driving like rednecks will, spinning out at every bridge or icy spot. The ditches are soon full of abandoned vehicles.

Even those southern residents who have lived in the North where it snows all the time take their lives in their hands driving on snowy roads in the South where precious few have any snow driving experience.

The last “real” snow, an inch or two, was a few years ago and it took me over four hours to get to work that morning, a normal drive of about 30 minutes in rush hour traffic. The mere mention of the “S” word is enough to give any commuter a migraine sufficient to call in sick over.

Kids love bad weather, of course. As soon as the media mentions the “S” word, the schools are instantly closed. The kids stay home to write fan letters to TV’s Snowbird, who announces the latest school closings. It was a long, long, time ago, but everyone still remembers the horror of the year it snowed after the kids got to school. Not to worry, that will never happen again.

The best thing about snow in the South is that it doesn’t last long. Most people don’t even own a snow shovel. They just wait for it to melt. Why bother when it will probably be in the 40’s tomorrow? Snow blower? What’s a snow blower? Snow plows? Don’t make me laugh.

Oops! I think I saw another flake of snow. Wake up the metro salt crew and tell them it’s time to order salt. Looks like it’s snowing. Speaking of salt, we never waste it by salting a bridge before it is slick. We save it until we are sure it is really needed.

The snow is really starting to fall now. The weatherman predicted, “NO SNOW.” That makes it certain there will be several inches, at least. It’s the snowstorms they DO predict that never come.

Excuse me now, I feel a headache coming on

Copyright 2000 Sheila Moss

About Sheila Moss

My stories are about daily life and the funny things that happen to all of us. My columns have been published in numerous newspapers, magazines, anthologies, and websites.
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7 Responses to The “S” Word

  1. I’m not sure why, but where I live, snow and rain incentive people to drive faster and more recklessly. It’s mostly sunny throughout the year, so naturally people drive on average 15 mph below the speed limit in the fast lane. But when the snow falls, they barrel past me doing 85 in a 55-zone, swerving and skidding wide manic, wide-eyed expressions and iron-tight grips on the steering wheel. It’s not so much the weather that terrifies me; it’s the idiot drivers!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sheila Moss says:

      Same thing here. Guess those idiots are everywhere. When it rains, though, you can figure at least an extra 30 minutes to get somewhere as they creep along. When it snows, forget it. I got to where I would not go to work as the people that venture out are nuts.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. energywriter says:

    Oh Yes! You said it. Are you awaiting your blizzard of the year? We are. Snow prediction 4 – 10- 14 – and now 4 again, but a layer of sleet under that. I stocked up, because as a northerner I refuse to go out in snow with southerners behind the wheel of their pick-ups without a discernable center of gravity. sd

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sheila Moss says:

      I agree. I stay out of harm’s way. I got enough snow driving in St. Louis and Chicago to last for a lifetime. Of course, there they have these interesting inventions called snow plows. This one was not our blizzard, but there’s always hope we won’t get one.


  3. Lois says:

    LOL! It is pretty much like that here in southern BC. Most of them panic when it snows and the Bubba’s, yes we have them, think they can drive on ice when no one else can. At least here in my town they keep the roads plowed and salted well. Of course when they plow the road the snow goes over the sidewalk and now you have to dodge pedestrians in the street when driving on the snow and ice. Usually we are spared snow except next to us in the mountains, but this year is making up for it, along with some arctic winds which thankfully stopped after three days. We are now being told to watch out for more snow, freezing rain, rain and then more snow. Mother Nature is really in a bad mood this winter.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ahhh! Snow…brrrrrr. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

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