Remnants of Grace

Winter in the low country is a beautiful mix of extremes. A bright blue sky masking a chilly wind. The lush landscape becoming the color of pluff mud. Rain is frequent – thick and heavy – making everything a dreary wet dog until the sun comes out. The winter season is short, gray and misty. Just cold enough to be inside under electric blankets with a cup of cocoa.

It was 2014 when my husband and I moved to the South Carolina low country. Moving south was part of our goal to down size and live a healthier lifestyle. I was hesitant at first because I liked living in four separate seasons. Surprisingly, South Carolina does have four seasons. Winter in the low country is more subtle than the ice and snow of winter in upstate New York. Subtle like light fading into an early sunset. The hushed songs of songbirds as the settle in early. The mild low country winter is now my favorite season.

My first winter in the low country was difficult. Without the ice and snow, I lost track of the passing of time. I almost missed Christmas! It was not just me. More than once my son was off to the bus stop only to return a few minutes later. A neighbor would drive up and tell him school had been closed due to the weather. What weather? We expected schools to be open until the weather included windchills well below zero, several feet of snow and a layer of accumulated ice. In the low country, weather closes schools when the temperature goes under 30 degrees. My son just shrugged his shoulders and went back to bed. I got a paper calendar and paid better attention to the news to help navigate the winters of my new home.

Fast foward to 2017. Snow! Three inches of snow! The northerner in me was so excited! I had a chance to build snow man! I also began to understand the problems southern states have managing winter conditions. With the normal average low country winter temperature being in the 50s, the people and governments are simply not set up to handle the ice and snow. Families do not have salt or sholves by their fronts doors. Divers have no experience driving in snow and ice. Where do you even buy winter outerwear? The plow trucks look like they came from a kid’s meal! I am not even going to tell you how they distributed road salt.

I no longer need a snow blower, snow brush for the car, or a drying rack to hold wet snow pants and mittens. There are a few things I have needed to put into place to enjoy the winter season here in the low country.

  1. A boot brush outside the front door. It rains a lot in the winter months. With yards being mostly sand, being able to scrape your footwear clean helps keep all that sand outside.
  2. A towel by the front door. Puppy paws get sandy too! Wipe off the puppy paws and to dry your wet rain gear.
  3. Rain gear replaces parkas! An umbrella, boots, rain coat and a hat are a must. I find my rain coat with a sweeter keeps me dry and warm. My husband prefers a wide brimmed hat to keep his glasses dry.
  4. Warm and comfortable house shoes. Many of the houses here do not have basement, they are on the ground. Unless you have a basement or your house is on stilts, house shoes should have a thick sole to provide a warm barrier from the floor. I prefer slippers that are fur lined and rubber soled.
  5. A winter coat for traveling. I may not need one for my every day, but who doesn’t like to travel. It is nice to have a warm coat for when I travel back to colder places.
  6. A strong, wide leaf rake to banish the winter blues. Winter is a good time to work on yard projects. Here on the coast, the leaves fall year round. The biggest leaf sheds are during the winter months. You can get a good workout in the fresh air raking leaves in the winter.



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