Longjohns and the South

I grew up in Kansas City, Missouri, a city I really loved in spite of the weather.    We had long, cold winters and long, hot summers:  the worst of both.  I always hoped to live in a place that had either hard winters and nice  summers or easy winters with long, hot summers.  Either, or! But not both!

George and I moved to Savannah, GA, in 1987, and immediately  decided the this was the promised land.  Kids wore shorts on Christmas Day.  We vowed never to live any further north.  For twenty-five years, we haven’t.

But Southerners have no idea what a bad weather really is.  They don’t dress for a cool snap, still wearing a wind breaker when the temperature falls to twenty and complain about how cold it is.  Shiver, shiver, shiver.

One October day in Houston,  I looked out at my class of high school students in Spanish 2.  One student caught my eye because his cheeks were flushed, sweat  dripped down his face, and his hair was wet with perspiration.  He looked miserable.  Finally he stood and wobbled down the aisle.  “Are you sick,” I asked.

“No, I have long underwear on,” he whispered.

What?  It is never cold enough in Houston to wear long underwear.  Even when the temperature is  30 in the morning, it will be in the fifties by noon.  Of course the kid was stifling.  Of course I allowed him to leave the room and take off the long johns, but I told him never again.    

Do you have a funny story of how people handle weather either in the North or South—or East or West?   Please share it.

5 thoughts on “Longjohns and the South

    1. It snowed so much one of the winters we spent in Chicago area, that the roof had to be cleared. Of course, all the snow fell on the previously cleared front sidewalk. (It never was clear again until the spring thaw, and we had to enter the house through the side entrance through the laundry.)BUT the girls loved the newly piled snowbank against the front of the house. For the rest of the winter, they could climb the snowbank, get on the roof, and jump off the roof into the snow. It is one of many favorite memories that the GIRLS remember. Personally, 80 degrees on Christmas day works for me.

  1. Alison (age 3) and I returned to Connecticut from a Christmas visit to Grandma in Kentucky. Big snowstorm while we were gone. All roads from airport to Marlborough were open, went to pull into our driveway – 3 1/2 feet of snow packed tightly. Our next door neighbor’s teenage girl had used her big snow boots to make a foot by foot path to our front door. Alison’s nose was just above the footmarks. I lugged our heavy Samsonite suitcases over the top of the snow, thank heaven they were slippery. I didn’t have any boots on so my shoes were ruined. Took me 2 days to dig out the long, wide driveway. For the rest of my 35 years up North, I always dug out my driveway 1/2 way through the storm so I wouldn’t get too deep. But I wouldn’t miss those adventures either.

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