Thursday, January 30, 2014

Writing Wednesday | Snow Crazy in Alabama

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Snow. It’s beautiful, magical properties have long been immortalized on the page. A friend of mine, a native of Alabama who now resides in Kentucky, sent me the picture below. I told her it looked like a Robert Frost poem.

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Tuesday of this week, Alabama was frosted by this beautiful, dangerous stranger to our geographic neck of the woods. I got up early Wednesday morning, before the kids were awake, to walk out into the Narnia like splendor and take it all in. The novel beauty of it even inspired a few lines for my current novel:

When the last rasping breath escaped his lips, dissipating in a cloud, a silence settled around her heart, like the quieting blanket of snow draped across the woods surrounding them.”

All that said, because snow happens so infrequently in the South, we find it both a joyful novelty, and a scary meteorological phenomena. Which brings me to the slightly off writing topic for this Writing Wednesday, that due to weather and child illness was not posted until Thursday: Why we go crazy over snow in Alabama.

In discussing the impending fall of frozen delight with friends and colleagues, there was one particular aspect of our sometimes overzealous preparation that struck me as both humorous and odd: why do we freak out and run out to buy up all the milk and bread? Mostly, why did we designate milk and bread as the go to survival food item in weather survival situations? (We buy milk and bread in mass during hurricane season as well.)

I found the video below quite a comical spoof of this purchasing quirk.

By 5pm on Monday evening, there was not a loaf of bread or a gallon of milk to be found in the rural Alabama town that I live in. So be warned residents of other portions of America. If you happen to be visiting the South when the apocalypse strikes, you better act fast if you want a bowl of cereal or a PB&J sandwich before you succumb to zombies or radiation. I’m not going to tell you that I haven’t purchased milk and bread in such instances. It’s been brow beaten into my brain as a part of our heritage since the responsibility for buying my own survival supplies fell on my shoulders. But WHY milk and bread?

I understand bread. If you’re without power, you can make sandwiches. But the milk? If there’s no power, there’s no way to refrigerate it. Which is kind of important as far as milk goes. However, this is the South, so you should never discount our redneck ingenuity or culinary excess. Perhaps, we have visions of French toast dancing in our heads while we’re hunkered down warming ourselves by the fire. Two of my best friends now live in areas where snow is a common part of the scenery, Alaska and Pennsylvania. There doesn’t seem to be such a desperate need for milk and bread in those places commonly dusted by the cold stuff. My Alpha Beta thumbs his nose in the face of the culinary mundane such as milk and bread. He takes culinary survival to the next level with delights such as Fruity Pebble waffles and fried cheese grits. His house is pretty much a destination location when the weather has you on lockdown.

When this latest mini blizzard didn’t leave us without power, I did see several posts by my Facebooking brethren where they were making cakes, cookies, and baked delights during their free time on the snow day. So perhaps that’s it. In the South, if we’re going to be cooped up for days at a time, we’re going to eat. And eat well.

Personally, I stocked up on apple beer and wine. Which for a mother of four is the ultimate survival item. It ensures my children’s survival.

What funny, quirky things do you do during inclement weather?

Happy Writing!

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