Friday, January 31, 2014

Southerner Do's and Don'ts

(Photos courtesy of our first-born, Kaitlyn Turner).

I was born in Thomasville, Alabama…that’s the deep South people. I think we had two red lights or maybe three until I was in high school. And our railroad tracks didn’t have those fancy lights and bars…you actually had to STOP. Everyone knew everyone. And what church so-and-so went to (or if they didn’t…bless ‘em). It was the South. And I liked it.

I liked it so much that I stayed and went to college here. I have lived here for almost 44 years. Even though our ministry organization has allowed me to go to other continents, this is my home and I love it. I could list so many things that I love about the South, but let’s focus on what went horribly wrong this week.

SNOW. We don’t do snow. AT.ALL. We do tornadoes and hurricanes and thunderstorms and straight line winds. We don’t do snow or ice. We are not equipped for it because we don’t have to be. It doesn’t snow here often. The great city of Alabaster, Alabama does not own a snow plow BECAUSE WE HAVE NEVER NEEDED ONE. We do have storm shelters. Thank you very much. We can hunker down in basements with helmets and food for ten days. We rebuild tornado-ravaged cities. We clean up hurricane damaged houses. We DON'T do snow.

And so the ice and snow we received this week left us paralyzed - parents couldn’t reach their children at school, doctors walking miles in the snow to perform operations, children sleeping at schools, people taking refuge in businesses to spend the night. Havoc, I tell you. It was bad. And it was sad.

Many of our friends to the north laughed and joked. And I get it. It was humorous to people who see snow all the time. But, we live in the SOUTH where we DON’T DO SNOW.

But, we are SOUTHERNERS, and we do many things. Snow and ice are just not them.

We welcome strangers into our homes who are cold and hungry. We serve them dinner and show them to the guest room. For however long it takes.

We serve food to those who are stuck in their cars. We offer blankets and snacks and gas.

We see a pregnant woman or a lady with kids walking in snow? We pick ‘em up on a four-wheeler and whisk them home.

We pull out every pot we have in our kitchens and make as much soup as we can to distribute to those truckers who have nowhere to eat and are stuck on the side of the interstate.

We build fires on the side of the road to keep other stranded drivers warm.

We get out our 4WD vehicles and pick up people walking on the side of the street to get them up the hills in their neighborhoods.

We take to Facebook and Twitter to get strangers to pick up our loved ones to bring them home.

Our restaurants give away free food to people who need it and don’t ask for anything in return (thank you Chick-fil-A, Panera and a host of others).

Our teachers stay with children through the night at school while watching movies, cooking dinner and breakfast and wiping away tears.

Our companies put sand out in front of their buildings and offer free coffee and snacks to drivers waiting for hours (thank you Home Depot).

Our grocery stores stay open and take meals to shut-ins (shout out to Publix).

Our emergency personnel work around the clock to rescue people, deliver babies and get people to safety.

Our meteorologists OWN their bad calls and offer no excuses (is there anyone else in the US who does this?).

Our churches open their doors to anyone without a place to stay and offer food, beds and comfort.

We don’t do SNOW but we do SOUTHERN HOSPITALITY. And if you are ever driving through here with no place to stay, no money to your name and need some help, drop to your knees and thank God that you are in the South. We can help you. Just pray that it doesn’t snow while you are here.


Anonymous said...

This is outstanding. And SO accurate. I love Alabaster, and the south.

Anonymous said...

I'm from Montana and we do snow so know want its like. Thanks you for your Southern Hospitality to the ones in need.