I live in Southeastern Virginia. I moved here from New Jersey with my husband and son almost eight years ago. The location was a deliberate choice. We wanted four seasons and summers we could tolerate, heat- and humidity-wise. (Believe it or not, New Jersey is good training for that.) But most important in our deliberations: In our new home, we would expect little or no SNOW.
When we left Jersey, we’d just survived a hellish winter that, on one awful weekend, had us driving through 20 inches of snow to get to an important family event in Pennsylvania. While my husband steered our brave little Saturn sedan and worked the gears to get the most traction up (and down) the mountain roads, my sons and I got out to push every mile or so. We arrived at the funeral home (I told you it was important) exhausted, stressed and DONE WITH SNOW. (It was then that I dubbed snow as “that white sh*t that falls from the sky.”
So we made a plan, did some research, and moved to an area where episodes of “the white sh*t” falling from the sky are rare. The first three years we lived here, hubby “shoveled” our sidewalk with his feet. 🙂 Where we live now, a six-inch snowfall will close schools for a week.
When that happens, being the superior-feeling Yankees that we are, we can’t help but tease our southern friends.
And that’s what happened this past week in the newsroom as we planned for coverage of the first “big” snow event of the year.
It was Monday, and predictions were calling for 8 to 10 inches in our area, starting at about rush hour that evening. If it materialized, snow of that magnitude would keep reporters and photographers out in the miserable weather for hours. After arranging for food and hotel rooms for the staff, the editor, a native Floridian, and her team went back to business as usual.
Around 3 o’clock that afternoon, I was in her office, reviewing the schedule for the week, when something outside caught her attention. She looked up, her eyes widening, and said, “It’s snowing.” Her voice carried the excitement and anticipation of a veteran journalist tracking a big story.
I turned to see what was happening outside. Flurries. It was nothing more than wimpy flurries.
You can guess what happened. My “Yankee” came out. I couldn’t control it. Laughing, I said, “That’s Florida girl snow!”
In retrospect, I shouldn’t have done it. For one thing, I should know better than to minimize the power of Mother Nature. For another, nobody likes a smart-ass.
The editor had the last laugh anyway. Within the hour, the white sh*t that falls from the sky was coming down hard. It was that fine stuff that sticks quickly and causes cars to spin. When my husband (a man who learned to drive on the hills and valleys of the Poconos where it snows a couple inches every night in the winter) picked me up an hour later, he said it was the first time he was scared driving in snow.
Thankfully we made it home okay and stayed put the entire next day.
So, my hat is off to the reporters and photographers who braved the bitter cold, the wet, driving snow, and the slick streets to bring the story to our readers.
And my hat is off to Mother Nature. I’ll try really (really) hard to not take you for granted. But if you don’t mind, would you please light a fire under Spring? This winter thing is getting old.
When not writing about mystery and romance, good and evil, Leah St. James works in the newsroom of a multimedia news organization. Learn more about her writing at LeahStJames.com. And if you hate the white sh*t that falls from the sky as much as she does, check out “Christmas Dance,” her “non-romance love story” of young marriage and temptation. Heroine Alexandra Anderson is from North Carolina, and she really hates the cold, and the snow.