Two thoughts on Winter Weather in North Carolina, addressed mainly to recent transplants from points north

1) If this is your first winter storm in North Carolina and you’re from a significantly more wintery place: first, welcome :-) and second, be aware that what we get down here isn’t usually like what y’all get up north.  I’ve driven a tiny bit in snow up north (Michigan) and it’s *fine* — it’s big, fluffy stuff that is not too treacherous given the sorts of cautions mentioned above (Moshe, *love* that saying!).
What we get down here, OTOH, is often a mix of sleet, freezing rain, and snow, so what looks to be nice, fluffy white snow — the likes of which you’re well accustomed to — may actually be a thin layer of fluffy stuff concealing a treacherous layer of ice.
This is compounded by the weather patterns we often see ’round these parts, which go something like: short sleeve weather, freezing rain, snow, more freezing rain, warm day that’s neither long enough nor warm enough to melt everything, then a really cold night.
2) Yep, you’re right: we don’t know how to deal with snow down here.  We don’t salt enough, nor plow enough, and we (or at least many of we) sure-as-heck don’t know how to drive in it.
If you think about it, though, it makes perfect sense.  The state can’t afford to keep around enormous quantities of equipment on the off-chance that we’ll need it every three-to-six years.  So, yeah, it’ll take a while for the plows to get around to your area.
As for the driving: most North Carolinians that I know (at least the ones that grew up here) just don’t go driving in the snow unless we absolutely have to.  This is why we do the bread, milk, eggs, pop-tarts grocery store run, ’cause we know we’re in for the count! [1]
We know we don’t know how to deal with snow.  We’re ok with that. Those of us that grew up here (usually – can’t speak for everyone) *like* snow days and the fact that everything comes to a grinding halt when it snows.  So don’t feel like you need to tell us How Badly The South Does Snow.  :-)
Enjoy it!
[1]
  • Eggs: just useful to have on hand — nice protein, necessary for many recipes, probably don’t have any in the freezer.
  • Bread: necessary for french toast and grilled cheese sandwiches.
  • Milk: necessary for cream of tomato soup and snow cream [2]
  • pop-tarts: every family has their weird snow thing. This was ours.
[2] Snow cream recipe:
Place large mixing bowl outdoors before snow starts. Remember where you put it.
Meanwhile, in another mixing bowl, whisk together:
  • milk (assuming a large mixing bowl, figure on needing 1-2 c milk total, depending on how wet the snow is, but start with only 1c),
  • vanilla extract (some. More is often good. 1 T)
  • sugar (again, some. “To taste” — I add 1/2c but I have a huge sweet tooth)
  • smidge of salt
Stick this in the fridge until your bowl #1 is full.
When bowl #1 is full of snow, retrieve.  Pour in your previously mixed base (assuming you didn’t drink it straight out of bowl #2), and quickly stir. Add more milk if necessary (this is where the “up to 2 cups” comes in.  It should get to a sort-of ice cream like consistency.
Scoop. Eat.  (But fast, this doesn’t have a long shelf life!)

All y’all.

In the past I’ve been asked to explain the meaning of “all y’all” (or “all of y’all” if you’re feeling fancy).

“All y’all” is the Southern Inclusive Plural — specifically, it means *all of you* as opposed to “y’all,” which just means “you plural”.

“Do y’all want to go to the movies” means “Do you plural want to go the movies” and *doesn’t* require everyone’s response. “Do all of y’all want to go to the movies,” on the other hand is asking if there’s a *collective desire” to attend the movies.

In my experience “all of y’all” is particularly useful when, for instance, you’ve come to a large gathering with a small group of friends. You don’t know everyone, but you want to indicate that everyone (even those whose acquaintance you haven’t yet had the pleasure of making) is included in an invitation.

As in:

We’re going to walk over to the park to see the movie. Do all of y’all want to come?

The converse is equally useful:

When speaking to one’s family and requesting departure from a large gathering: “Are y’all ready to leave?”, meaning not “is everyone at the gathering ready to leave,” but just “are you, my near and dear ones, ready to go?”

(“All y’all” is written as such, but pronounced “alla y’all”. This oughtn’t be surprising, as much of Southern would look the same if written phonetically ;-)

How badly I confused the guy at Chick-fil-a

The other night at Chick-fil-a there was a guy who was standing at the menu board taking orders via an iPad (I suppose their intercom was ka-busted).  When I pulled up I said:

me: “[kkrkrssshhh] Okay, now you do your part. [kkrkrssshhh]”

him: [quizzical look]

me:  “[kkrkrssshhh] Now you say, ‘[kkrkrssshhh] Welcome to Chick-fil-a.  May I take your order? [kkrkrssshhh]’.”

him: [light dawns]”[kkrkrssshhh] Welcome to Chick-fil-a.  May I take your order? [kkrkrssshhh]”

me:  “[kkrkrssshhh] Yes, I’d like a number one combo with no pickle, please, with a diet caffeine-free coke… [kkrkrssshhh]” (etc.)

Once he got the game he played along, and as I drove away he was grinning, so I either amused him or he thought I was a complete nut. (Or both.)