By Lisa Batten Kunkleman
Back in 2015, I made fun of our piddling little snow storm saying all we needed was a broom to clear a path. Well, two years later, I have to eat my words at least a nibble. We have real, honest to goodness fluffy snow. Not ice and haven’t lost power for a change. Better knock on wood from saying that. This time, I’ll pull out not just the broom but copy a friend’s idea and use the leaf blower. It looks like this snow may stick around for more than twenty-four hours since it’s going down to fifteen degrees tonight. But have no fear. It’s going back up into the sixties for the weekend. And that’s why we love a snow day in the south. We all know it’s best to close everything especially school, and keep drivers off the road. Might as well make snow cream, a snow man, and warm up by the fire with cocoa. And do it all right away since the snow will likely melt away tomorrow.
Here’s the post from 2015. Just for kicks and giggles.
A Broom is My Snow Blower or How to Survive an Ice Storm In Charlotte
We don’t need a snow blower in Charlotte. We just need a broom and perhaps to puff out our cheeks, pucker our lips and blow. Our snow tends to be light and wispy bordering on wishful thinking most of the time. With our latest forecast for snow we watched tiny flurries lift our hopes for a moment before dashing them mere moments later, dissolving into a colorful sunset.
Now ice is a different matter. We know how to have an ice storm and are masters of the milk and bread dash in preparation for those famous milk sandwiches. We also clear the shelves of rock salt, batteries, snow shovels, sleds, and shredded cheese. Sorry, I went back to the dairy aisle for that last item.
The city closes for good reason. Roads shouldn’t be used to play bumper cars. Even if people claim they can drive in ice, don’t believe it. Vehicles don’t come equipped with skate blades or skis for tires so there is no way to have traction. I’ve yet to see a car angle the tires in a V and pizza to a stop. That’s ski talk.
In the interest of safety and keeping the streets clear for emergency vehicles, people are encouraged to stay home when ice storms come. People make fun of the south closing down for our tiny amounts of frozen stuff but trust me, we’re better off avoiding the road if possible. Without enough equipment to clear roads, the accident count is ridiculous with folks trying to drive in ice.
Power can be a real bugger in ice storms. As a Tree City, USA, once our ample tree canopy is slathered in ice, the weight of the limbs lying or breaking across the above ground electric lines often causes massive power outages. Our family has an additional issue to deal with when ice storms hit. Our farm, nestled in suburbia, still runs on well water, and that well needs electricity to pump the water up and into the house. That means if our power goes out, we have no water or electricity. It’s like Little House on the Prairie for us. At the threat of an ice storm we all know what to do, “just in case.”
- Hoard some water: We might look like over zealous survivalists hoarding jugs or large pots of water in our guest bathtub for drinking and hygiene, plus filling our extra horse trough so we can flush toilets if the power goes out but experience is an excellent teacher. We’ve gone without water enough to know it is no fun. With a house full of teens, being prepared just in case is a good thing. If we don’t need that reserved H2O we’re supplied with water for making lots of pasta and tea and the horses have plenty to drink.
- Get a shower: Nobody wants to get stuck feeling gross and flat-headed for several days if there’s no water and you sure don’t want to wash your hair with ice cold water that was stashed in the jugs in the guest bathtub. So everybody gets another shower even if they recently took one or will take one in a few hours if by some miracle the power stays on. They do it, “just in case.”
On a night when we’re scheduled to break our record low with single digit cold weather, we put a fresh light bulb in the pump house to keep the “well pump” nice and cozy so it won’t freeze. We’ll also let the faucets inside the house drip and pray the pipes don’t freeze, then burst. Who needs that?
With the latest storm’s end, school had a two-hour delay after two snow days off and that’s just the way it is with snow days in Charlotte. We’re expecting to hit a low of five degrees tonight, which is a huge deal for us. We’re breaking records with our cold weather.
Our winter weather is nothing compared Boston, the Midwest, or even the mountains of North Carolina where our oldest daughter lives and now knows what really cold means. I hear it’s thirty below in Wisconsin and school is in session. We have no reason to complain. We barely make the news unless our peach or strawberry crops are endangered but this is us. Charlotte, NC in the snow that didn’t really happen. We got sleet and ice instead. At least at our house, we were wishing for fatter flakes and snow cream. We were wishing for snowmen and sledding. The latest snowstorm turned into a really cold “cold front.” The kids had two days out of school without a snowman in sight. Hmmm… I hope nobody from Boston reads this.
Disclaimer: the photo is not of this year’s snow. The sun came out and it melted too fast to get a picture.
February 19, 2015 at 6:17 pm
Great story thank you for sharing up here in Michigan its negative 14 degrees today
February 22, 2015 at 9:44 pm
I cannot even imagine living in that kind of weather. You are one tough cookie I’m sure. Thanks for reading. I’m starting to read your blog and am enjoying getting to know you.
February 22, 2015 at 9:48 pm
Thank you, I am glad you are enjoying it.
February 19, 2015 at 7:17 pm
Walking from the parking deck to my office at 6:00 am this morning was brutal, Lisa…burrrr! I wanted to walk faster, but I was afraid I’d slip on the ice. 🙂 Great tips!
February 22, 2015 at 9:48 pm
It was a real cold snap for us wasn’t it. Wow. I walked as carefully as possible. Sure didn’t want to run to an Ortho doc in this mess.
October 9, 2015 at 1:55 am
I was so grateful to be in Florida! I’ve lived in NW Ohio, Dallas (notorious ice storms), and northern Utah. Brrrr. Don’t miss it! 😀
October 12, 2015 at 12:43 am
I can only imagine living where it’s really snowy all winter. Since we shut down, the thoughts of life going on with snow just seems impossible. We have relative in Florida but we don’t visit in summer. No need to visit someplace hotter than NC.
October 12, 2015 at 7:50 pm
LOL. I had to google if it snowed recently. Just saw your disclaimer when I read all the way down. I was going to be jealous as we are still in the 90s here!
June 4, 2016 at 5:31 am
Thought I’d let you know we were in the 90’s here according to my car and the weatherman. What coast are you on?
June 20, 2016 at 4:08 am
The west. California.
June 22, 2016 at 8:14 pm
Oh my, you are about to roast. Sorry about all the fires and awful heat. 90’s beats 100’s.
January 21, 2018 at 8:59 pm
Reblogged this on Life Stories and Beyond and commented:
Sometimes one has to eat their words while eating a snowball. Yes we had more snow this time than a broom could handle.
January 21, 2018 at 9:54 pm
great story – and love the splash of color the horse gives against the snow
January 22, 2018 at 12:02 am
Thanks so much. His white face adds wowza to all pics.
January 21, 2018 at 10:10 pm
The good thing about snow in New England is that they are equipped to deal with it. Except for the middle of the blizzard, life goes on as usual. When we lived in Oregon, the whole town went in hibernation waiting for the snow to melt, rather like your town. If we did that, we would hibernate until April!
January 22, 2018 at 12:04 am
I can’t imagine living with snow all day winter.
January 23, 2018 at 12:26 am
I kind of like it now.
January 22, 2018 at 6:09 am
For the third of my life, spent in four and five-year stretches in New England, and later in the Mid atlantic states, I dealt with snow and ice, and only infrequently bitter cold. My son and his wife are in Fayettevile (He’s in the Army) so he went from So California to mountain man. He laughs now at San Diego ‘soft”.
January 22, 2018 at 2:15 pm
I was born and “reared” as they say in the south, near Fayetteville, NC. Made monthly trips there to the Orthodontist office. Did they get in on this latest snow? Whiteville is my home town. They got the snow a couple of weeks ago that came right up the coast line. Not sure about Fayetteville. Didn’t last long. A sweep it off kinda snow.
January 27, 2018 at 12:17 am
I’m laughing! I live in Mass and we DO get plenty of snow. My across the street neighbor has found the leaf blower trick and it drives my husband absolutely out of his mind. This guy gets it out – sometimes at inappropriate hours – and obsessively blows every single flake off his driveway no matter how little snow has fallen. I swear I’ve also seen him leaf blow water of his driveway after a rain. If my husband read this post he would have been triggered!!
January 27, 2018 at 1:34 am
That’s funny. It’s alway fun to hear a leaf blower crank up at all hours.