Appalachia Weather

Why I Love Snow


If you’ve been a Blind Pig reader for a while you know about my great love for snow. I’m plumb foolish about snow.  I have been ever since I was a little girl, I’ve always been the one hoping for a big snow.

When I was a kid and snow was forecasted I kept my fingers crossed and my toes too. As soon as I woke up I ran to the kitchen turned on the porch light and looked out the square windows of Granny’s front door to see if the forecasters were right on the money or if they had left me holding the bag wishing I had done my homework like I was supposed to.

I’ve no doubt my great love for the white stuff would wear away if I lived somewhere that regularly got snow. While the mountains north of us often get snow, Cherokee and Clay county are often left out of the snowy weather due to their lower elevations.

Pap had to get out in the snow. For many years his regular job was delivering oil to folks and it seemed like they always needed oil when the cold and snow came blowing in. I felt sorry for him having to get out in the snow, just like I feel sorry for the folks today who have to get out and about when bad weather hits. I’m especially thankful for those who stand in the gap, keeping us safe.

When I was about Chatter and Chitter’s age I worked at Clifton (a local plant). I worked 2nd shift. There weren’t many folks on 2nd shift and as time went on their was less and less until there was about five of us. As you might imagine we quickly became the best of friends.

One week snow was predicted and those of us who loved snow were hoping it was going to be a big one…big enough to get us out of work. As usual, all we got was a cold rain.

That night at work another girl and I were be-moaning the fact that we never got any snow. She was a year younger than me and we were really whining about the snow missing us. To this day I often think of what she told me that night. She said “You know I’ve studied on this my whole life. I think Cherokee County is over a hot spot. You know like an underground volcano or something. Every time snowy weather comes this way it just heats up to rain over our county until it goes on over to Graham county where they always get snow.”

My friend wasn’t really serious about the hot spot, but every time a big snow misses us I think about that underground volcano.

Because we so rarely get snow the state doesn’t supply all the necessary equipment for clearing the highways. Snow here means things slow way down. There’s no school, but there’s jogging pants, sweatshirts, and toboggans; your friend calling at 4 am to tell you it’s snowing to beat the band because she knows you love snow as much as she does; stogging around in the white stuff until you’re too tired to play anymore; warming by the wood stove sipping hot chocolate while the drip of your wet clothes plays a song for your ears; and sitting at the window staring at the falling flakes in wonder of their beauty.

I love a big snow because it covers the ugliness of winter. All the garden refuse from last summer is suddenly hidden beneath a pristine blanket. The muddy places in the yard disappear as if they were never there.

I love a big snow because it lends a hush to the world as it muffles sound and brings one closer to home.

Bringing in wood and gathering up water in case the power goes off gives a sudden sense of purpose as we make sure those we love most are taken care of.

I love a big snow because of the camaraderie it brings. Instead of worrying about all the things we need to do we suddenly focus on sitting by the wood stove and enjoying each other’s company.



Come cook with me!

Location: John C. Campbell Folk School – Brasstown, NC
Date: Sunday, June 23 – Saturday, June 29, 2019
Instructors: Carolyn Anderson, Tipper Pressley

Experience the traditional Appalachian method of cooking, putting up, and preserving the bounty from nature’s garden. Receive hands-on training to make and process a variety of jellies, jams, and pickles for winter eating. You’ll also learn the importance of dessert in Appalachian culture and discover how to easily make the fanciest of traditional cakes. Completing this week of cultural foods, a day of bread making will produce biscuits and cornbread. All levels welcome.

Along with all that goodness Carolyn and I have planned a couple of field trips to allow students to see how local folks produce food for their families. The Folk School offers scholarships you can go here to find out more about them. For the rest of the class details go here.

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  • Reply
    O. P. Holder
    February 1, 2019 at 9:16 am

    Good for you, kindred soul. I too am a snow lover. I used to get out in it and track rabbits. Most of the time I was accompanied by my small daughter who loved it. Graham County doesn’t get as much as it used to. In 1940 a near 4 footer fell here. I was 4 years old. My dad tossed me off the porch into it, and I disappeared. He was in a near panic when he dug me out. Good times.

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    January 29, 2019 at 9:43 pm

    We got about an inch of the white stuff…The amounts seem to fall off as the storm approached. The cold is here, just the same. I think it got too cold to snow. We might have a dry flake or two as the cold front moves thru, but think this is a “fluster buster” bad prediction…We will have to see what the groundhog has to say about an early Spring come Saturday…Our frogs were singing their hearts out yesterday…but hushed today when the temperature started dropping. This too will pass and it is supposed to warm back up by the weekend near sixty degrees…I hope the ground hog gets it right…As usual it is generally six weeks until Spring whether he sees his shadow or not…
    Love this post today..
    Thanks Tipper,
    I love snow too…although not as much as when I was younger…I made belly warmers tonight for supper…All German recipes…left over tater salad, pork loin n’ noodles and fried cabbage…a winter meal so good and fills the belly…

  • Reply
    January 29, 2019 at 9:16 pm

    Just finished a nice bowl of oxtail soup…sitting here by the fireplace with a cup of coffee and a few left over Christmas cookies watching the falling snow in western West Chester, Pa… Very serene here…almost impossible to tell that we’re <30 miles from hustle and bustle of center-city Philadelphia…

  • Reply
    Annette Casada Hensley
    January 29, 2019 at 4:11 pm

    I’d love to trade places with you right now, Tipper. Right now in Michigan, 2e have somewhere around 20 inches on the ground with more to come. Additional, we’re entering what is expected to be the lowest temperatures since back in the 1800s when temperatures first started to be recorded. I will admit that snow is beautiful until man intervenes!

  • Reply
    January 29, 2019 at 12:49 pm

    Beautifully said!

  • Reply
    January 29, 2019 at 12:48 pm

    Tipper, i use to be like you and loved, loved the snow but not like that now.i do like the first big snow then im done. God Bless!

  • Reply
    January 29, 2019 at 12:13 pm

    I simply love everything you said about snow, and so agree,,,,, I remember the sizzle of drippy mittens on granny’s coal stove, love the way you described it, as the drip of your wet clothes playing a song for your ears…. and so it does….I liked the smell of coal burning as a young-un with the soot freckling the white drifts next to the house. My daughter Genna, sisters and I alert each other immediately at the sight of the first flake, then swap snowscapes on our phones …make soups as we savor the day… I think I’m gonna go make me a cup of hot chocolate right now …with marshmallows 🙂 ,even if we didn’t get the snow yesterday they said we might…. have a wonder-full day everyone.

  • Reply
    January 29, 2019 at 11:34 am

    Maybe you should take a trip to Utah. A friend told me yesterday the snow pack was 101 inches and it was still snowing. One of the Winters we lived there we had 76 feet on the mountains. It usually starts in late August and sometimes snows as late as mid June.

  • Reply
    Wanda Devers
    January 29, 2019 at 10:57 am

    It is beautiful but I always wish it wouldn’t come. My baby brother is worse than you! He will sit up all night waiting for the snow. This is strange because he really suffers from cold weather.

  • Reply
    January 29, 2019 at 10:37 am

    Well said!!

  • Reply
    Ann Applegarth
    January 29, 2019 at 9:19 am

    Tipper, I share your love for snow! May you get one snowstorm before Spring sets in!

  • Reply
    January 29, 2019 at 9:09 am

    I love to watch it come down, as everything looks so peaceful. Our Chihuahua-Rat Terrier mix does not like it at all. Just getting him to take care of his business outside is a real chore. I think it’s because the snow covers all the good smells.

  • Reply
    January 29, 2019 at 9:00 am

    I love the way you describe how a snow covers up the ugliness of winter. That is so true. There is nothing prettier than a fresh fallen snow and nothing uglier than one that is starting to melt.

  • Reply
    Sharon Schuster
    January 29, 2019 at 8:40 am

    We have plenty of snow here in central Maryland. Usually enough to sleigh ride, build snowmen, make snow slushies, build a snow fort… It was more fun when I was a kid. The shoveling and driving are not so much fun now.. I am retired from teaching. When snow was predicted, I slept with my head at the foot of the bed – that’s supposed to make the snow come for sure – a snow day! I think teachers like snow days more than the kids. It is sowing here this morning. Nothing’s more beautiful than a snowy, crystalline landscape here on the farm.

  • Reply
    Ed Karshner
    January 29, 2019 at 8:37 am

    I love “snow covers the ugliness of winter.” That’s a truth.

    We have some gray frozen snow on the ground, now and it is cold. I think a new blanket of snow would be nice.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    January 29, 2019 at 8:32 am

    Tipper, if WordPress lets it get through, here is the URL for the web cam at Newfound Gap.

    You can go see snow there. Right now it is 0.8″ deep. There is a weather report to that shows snow depth.

  • Reply
    Dan O'Connor
    January 29, 2019 at 8:31 am

    Very well said! I have ALWAYS loved snow too!

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    January 29, 2019 at 7:37 am

    Tipper–Like you, I’m greatly enamored of snow, and the thing I like most about it is watching snow fall. I can sit, almost entranced, for hours watching snowflakes fall. I also am fascinated by all the snow-related weather wisdom our forebears had to offer. I’ll send you some of it separately.

  • Reply
    Gayle Larson
    January 29, 2019 at 7:37 am

    I love walking in the hush of a snowy night. Getting ready for a big snow is half the fun. Such a wonderful feeling of security and peace. I also put out extra food for the birds and wildlife. The turkeys and deer love their treats and I love sitting in front of the big windows watching them. It is only raining now but we may get some flurries later this morning.
    I am still hoping for more but it is not looking good.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    January 29, 2019 at 6:58 am

    Tip, every time snow is predicted I think of you and how much you love the snow, and every time snow is predicted I get excited thinking your snow is coming.
    My favorite part of snow is the hush that comes to the world that you listed among your favorite things about snow.
    So, I’m hoping this coming snow will be enough to count as a real snow.

  • Reply
    Sheryl A Paul
    January 29, 2019 at 6:57 am

    I love snow from the inside of the cabin by the stove looking out over the now pristine landscape. I don’t like being cold though. My feet never get wzrm despite all the tricks everyone tells me. I am content being inside looking out

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