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Commentary: For we Southerners, this was our Snowmageddon

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Jean Simmons, columnist

Jean Simmons is a Franklin resident, nurse and published author who won a Janice Keck Literary Award from the Williamson County Public Library in 2014. She can be contacted at

The recent snow storms seem to have left some of our not-from-around-here residents perplexed, especially those from colder climates. In other words, Yankees.  

An Uber driver transplant from New York was telling me in a slightly disdainful voice, “Everything is shut down around town, even the doctor’s offices!”  

She was actually very polite, so I didn’t go into my snarky tone about how much Southerners absolutely love being told that they can’t handle snow very well. You see, we realize this. We just don’t care.  

It happens very rarely, and an event like the one a few weeks ago is a really, really rare event. Like the kind we will be talking about years from now. 

“Do you remember the big snowfall of 2021? I didn’t leave my house for a week, could not even get out of my driveway. The doctor’s offices even had the good sense to shut down.” 

We know that if we drive in it and start slipping and sliding someone will catch it on their Ring camera and, before you know it, we will become an internet sensation featured on a national news report titled “Southerners losing it in the snow.” 

When the temperature is like 90 with the humidity of a Florida swamp, we know how to handle it, but temperatures in the single digits with inches of snow and ice, don’t work for us. We are like those lizards in Florida I read about. When unusually cold weather hits them, they literally freeze up till the temperature goes rises. They don’t like it, and they do not care if anyone thinks it is silly. 

For the sake of our transplant friends from the frozen tundra up north, here is what to expect in the event of snow. (You moved down here for the warmer weather, slower Southern pace and, most important of all, no state taxes, so get used to it) 

• If snow is predicted, expect a trip to the grocery store to resemble the fall of Saigon. 

• Schools will close and not open till every blessed piece of ice on every road in Williamson County is gone. 

• For you moms and dads, if snow is predicted, brave the grocery store rush and buy plenty of wine and beer along with the milk and bread. It is going to be a long week. 

• The snow and ice on the sidewalk in front of my house will remain there till it melts. Nobody has a snow plow machine or snow shovel down here, and if you have a lick of sense, you won’t attempt to walk on it anyway.    

• Kids will be sledding on lunch trays, trash can lids or whatever they can get their hands on. It’s not worth buying some fancy German-engineered sled to use for two days a year. 

Please don’t take any of this personally, it is meant to help welcome our northern transplants. By the way, if anyone can show me exactly what black ice looks like, I would love to see it. Happy winter, y’all.

Jean Simmons is a Nashville native, Franklin resident, former nurse and writer. She can be reached at

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