Today, fellow NC blogger Mur Lafferty wrote a great post about why northerners shouldn't mock those of us in the south when we shut everything down for a few inches of snow. The thing is that in my part of NC the world doesn't stop for snow, at least not as much as it once did.
I've experienced both the northern and southern responses to winter weather. I spent the first half of my childhood living in NY where snow in winter was a fact of life. We never sat in front of the TV the night before a storm, watching to see if the name of our school district would show up on the news with the word "closed" after it. Then we moved to NC when I was about 10, and it was a given that no one went to work or school if any snow fell at all.
Nowadays, our local schools are just as cautious when it comes to calling off class, but the businesses react differently. When I started my working life in this area 20 years' ago, all the offices were run by local folks and they wouldn't hesitate to tell employees to stay home. The influx of people from states like Michigan and Minnesota means that businesses open as usual and there isn't as much sympathy when you say it was tough to drive on the snow-covered back roads.
That one snow day each winter was like having an extra holiday. Everyone would stock up on snacks in anticipation of the storm, then we would pig out in front of the TV. I miss the way snow would make us slow down and relax. I wonder if we will ever get that back.