Arkie Mama: An open letter to those from northern climes

Dear Transplants:

Many of you have been rather … well, smug … in recent days. Here in central Arkansas, temps plunged into single-digits last night, prompting those of us used to milder Southern winters — where snow remains very much a big deal — to complain about the frigid air and wintery precip.

I’ve read snarky comments on Facebook, Twitter and blog posts — comments in which those who hail from less moderate climes mock snow-stunned Southerners for their dismay over this unusual (for us) weather.

May I remind you northern folk that we here in the south have no basis for comparison? That to us, single-degree temps are not the norm? That we did not grow up playing in snow or learning to drive on ice? That our cities and counties don’t own the kind of equipment typically used to clear roads? That most of us don’t own the attire & accessories required for such weather?

Well, consider this your reminder.

And also? In the summer, while you moan and groan and carry on about how unbearably hot it is, we southerners will continue to sit on our porch swings, sipping cocktails and watching our neighbors walk their dogs. We’ll snicker when you gripe about a high of 90 and tell you that until you’ve lived through summers loaded with triple-digit days, you really  have no reason to whine.

While you seek refuge in your air-conditioned homes, we’ll carry on as usual with our deck-sitting, porch-gathering, hiking, camping and boating. We’ll spend long days at pools and beaches. We’ll shop delightedly for sandals and sundresses, which really are much more flattering than those itchy, bulky sweaters that make you look 10 pounds heavier.

We’ll sweat, sure, but hey, we’re used to heat. It doesn’t make your arthritis flare up or your joints hurt. It doesn’t chap your hands and lips. It doesn’t shut down roads or schools. Just slap on some sunscreen, grab your sunglasses and plenty of water and you’re good to go.

So yeah, you can mock us now for our cold-weather complaining. But when you land in Florida after your retirement, I’ll be more than happy to remind you of how a little cold and snow is “nothing to whine about.”

We spent a full, fun day at SeaWorld during a Texas triple-digit streak.

We spent a full, fun day at SeaWorld during a Texas triple-digit streak.

San Antonio summer 2005. You Yanks would be sprawled under a ceiling fan, incapacitated.

San Antonio summer 2005. You Yanks would be sprawled under a ceiling fan, incapacitated.

We don't wait 'til evening to head outside. Arkansas summer, 2006.

We don't wait 'til evening to head outside. Arkansas summer, 2006.

We love our long, lazy, sunny days.

We love our long, lazy, sunny days.

Every year, Hubs and I hike the Texas desert in 90-plus temps.

Every year, Hubs and I hike the Texas desert in 90-plus temps.

4 thoughts on “Arkie Mama: An open letter to those from northern climes

  1. I love summers here. Winters too, because the extreme cold temps will be gone next week. In the north they last for months. Besides, even when its cold like this down here, we still get to see the sun. In the north, gray is the color of the season and to this day, I HATE, the color gray. Thanks for sharing fun, summer images to take my mind off of the frigid air.

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  2. I am a transplant.. I have been down in this beautiful state 7 years this coming summer… My southern born husband moved me down here and our son was born in this state. So I guess since his Dad is from the South and his Mom from the North that makes him Midwest… I have made some really good friends here and wonderful neighbors. It has taken me a little bit of time to adjust and get used to the southern hospitality but I have learned to embrace it and enjoy the people, culture and weather. BUT I do take the open letter a little personal as I feel that there has to be a little empathy between both areas. There is HEAT in the North and they can have several days/weeks with 100 plus temps. But they can also have record freezing mind blowing cold days for several days/weeks… I personally get cold down here and need a jacket, even in the heat of the summer I get cold, so being born and raised in the North doesn’t give me a polar bear exterior.

    Where you were born and raised is all relative to what your comfortable with. Not one place is better than another, it’s just different.. That is what makes us all so special and unique in our own ways. I am blessed to have my son in the South but I hope he is able to experience a snow day at least once each winter… so we can talk about it as we sit in our porch swing drinking our tea in the heat of the summer.

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  3. Wow. Great comment, pink! You said it all so very well. We get a little sensitive this time of year. The Dem-Gaz newsroom, you see, is home to several transplants! Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment.

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  4. I guess I am guilty, as charged. But I’ve been in Arkansas long enough that I’m not used to the cold anymore.

    I did think the last “snow” day was a little ridiculous, since there wasn’t a flake to be found! The girls loved it though…I just wish they could’ve experienced playing in the snow since they had the day off.

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