• 34°

Kent Bernhardt: Carolina snow

Kent Bernhardt


Winter is again upon us, and with it comes the threat of hazardous winter weather which generates not only fear, but copious amounts of local folklore.

The old timers among us can still recite stories of blizzards past, like the Wednesday March snowstorms of ‘61. Or was it ‘60?

I don’t remember. I do remember my feet getting wet and cold from the snow seeping into those cheap rubber boots purchased from the hardware store. And I remember eating lots of hot Campbell’s Chicken noodle soup before journeying out to build yet another snow fort.

You can’t have enough of those.

There was the December ice storm of 2002, which paralyzed the entire county for several days — or even weeks, depending on who you ask and the size of the tale they’re weaving.

My memories of that particular event include the behavior of two goldfish, prizes from that year’s county fair, who dove to the bottom of the fish tank and hid there among some rocks until the power in my home was restored and the heat level returned to normal. I assumed they were dead, but they fooled me and lived for several years.

That’s a miracle for county fair goldfish.

Winter weather fascinates us and works us into a lather when it’s on the way. We gaze at our phones continuously, monitoring the approaching large blue patches on the radar.

Before the advent of smartphones, we simply gazed at the greying sky and said things like “Smells like snow,” and “I’m pretty sure snow is on the way. There was a ring around the moon last Wednesday. Yep, that means snow.”

There are the panicked trips to the grocery store where we hurriedly navigate the aisles and load up on the staples of life — bread, milk, and toilet paper — enough to last us until the spring thaw, and possibly even the 4th of July. “You just never know,” you can hear shoppers mutter.

You really don’t, so you must buy it all.

The bread and milk I understand, but the buggy load of toilet paper? Perhaps the steady diet of bread and milk will cause rampant diarrhea in the family, and one must be prepared.

When all is gone from the bread and milk shelves, the health food aisle remains fully stocked. Stores never seems to run out of kale and tofu. Stores never will.

When the snowfall finally arrives, it’s peaceful and quiet as it covers streets and roofs and we slowly become a winter wonderland. We settle in to our cozy homes, curled up with a good book. We are totally relaxed.

Well, we are until someone realizes we are dangerously low on peanut butter. How could we have forgotten that? And we bought raspberry instead of strawberry jelly, and no one likes raspberry. Emergency plans must be made for another trip to the grocery store, lest we all perish.

We seek out the family member with a four-wheel drive vehicle, and they are immediately nominated to risk life and limb for peanut butter and strawberry preserves.

But wait. The snow has stopped. The skies are clearing. The weatherman now says it blew through faster than expected, and tomorrow’s high will be 64. Hmmph, the great blizzard is over.

All that will remain of it by this time tomorrow is the task of returning 43 rolls of toilet paper to the local Food Lion.

Such is the life of a Carolina snowstorm.




Man who fell off 75-foot bridge reunited with rescuers


Fifth-graders defend U.S. Constitution for class project


Alcorn, Bates, Molrine receive Elizabeth Duncan Koontz Humanitarian Awards


Psychologist visits Salisbury Academy to discuss ways of coping with childhood anxiety


Ann Farabee: Get set


Faith Briefs Feb. 28-March 1


Posters Feb. 28


Local health department keeps vigilant for coronavirus, though risk remains low


Post named second-best midsize paper, wins 28 awards


14th annual CHAOS Youth Theater this weekend

High School

High school basketball: Carson girls survive 31 turnovers

High School

Salisbury girls cruise to second-round win over Wilkes Central


It’s a sad and funny ‘Trip to Bountiful’ from St. Thomas Players

Check this out

Rowan weather: Sunshine and wind


Forward 2040 committee gets input from citizens


Cooper, Forest will need primary wins before expected showdown


Student turns fundraiser into way to do something for people in need


Opens tonight at Lee Street theatre: ‘The Trip to Bountiful’


Six authors coming to South Main Book Co. Saturday


Save the date: PPT to present the farcical fun of ‘Rumors’


March issue of Salisbury the Magazine is now available


Rowan Public Library offers free and fun programs for teens


Education briefs: Communities In Schools accepting scholarship applications


Local arts & entertainment news Feb. 27-March 4