Everything Goes South With Constant Zero Temps



As I sit in my office bundled up from head to toe, the thermometer shows a frigid 12 degrees and I think to myself:

“Didn’t I move to South Carolina to escape this kind of weather?”

The New England Standard: Freezing

Freezing temperatures and icy landscapes during the winter months were the norm for most of my life growing up in New England. Until one particularly cold January evening (I think it was about -20), I blurted out to my husband something about why can’t we move to Florida and live at Walt Disney World.

To my shock, he agreed. It was shocking because we lived in his hometown of Jericho, Vermont, a mere five-minute drive to his parent’s house. He worked for a snowboarding company, and he hates any kind of change.

It is amazing what constant below zero temps can do to convince a person to try something new.

From Florida to South Carolina

I said Florida and Walt Disney World and I clearly stated we now live in South Carolina.

So what happened?

Well, the short answer is a job happened.

The first step in relocating to another state is you need to have some sort of income revenue. After a mini trip to Florida to check out some towns—my husband had actually never been to the Orange State before—we settled on a few areas to focus on.

Unfortunately, there were not many jobs that either interested him or that he was qualified for, so we decided to broaden our search.

A quick look at the map and we had two requirements: 1) South of the Mason Dixon and 2) No farther west than Alabama.

Applying for Jobs in Different States

Applying for jobs in states far away from where you reside is difficult and frustrating. Many never contact you and I assume most are leery of hiring someone from out of state because of the problems that could arise during the transition.

We set a timeline of one to two years on achieving our move. My husband worked with a very specific software and managed a very specific thing within that software so he assumed he would have to consider a possible career change to make this relocation work.

To our surprise, a job opening appeared one day that was almost exactly what he was currently doing. Better yet, it was for an automotive company (my husband is a car geek) located in Fort Mill, South Carolina.

Even more surprising was how quickly they contacted him to set up an initial phone interview, followed closely with an in-person interview that they flew him down for.

The Move

I still remember talking to him on the phone while he drove around Fort Mill and Rock Hill describing what he saw while I followed his path on Google Maps.

I insisted I would need to go down there myself before he could accept any job offer.

A week later they offered him a job, starting in just three weeks. He accepted it and I furiously started researching everything I could find about Fort Mill and the surrounding area.

Since everything happened so suddenly we hadn’t even put our house on the market or started to pack. I was faced with the reality of needing to stay behind in Vermont to sell the house and pack our things while taking care of our two children—3.5 and 10 months— our dog, and attempt to stay sane.

At least it was summer. If it had been winter I honestly don’t think I could have done it, although I wouldn’t have had to worry about frantically mowing the yard while our children napped.

It was really happening and the bonus was I would be down south by fall. The first weekend after we were all finally here it was 90 degrees. In September.

I had to go out and buy more shorts and tank tops. I quickly learned where all of the public splash pads were located, although I will admit my first visit to one also resulted in my first contact with fire ants.

The pool at our apartment complex stayed open until the end of October! If it’s warm enough to go swimming for the whole month of July in Vermont it’s called a heat wave.

Now We Brag About The Weather

We tried really hard not to rub it into our family and friend’s faces when they started complaining about the first snow, icy roads, and frigid temps.

My dad would text me daily, “What’s the weather like there today?”, and I would cringe as I texted back, “70 and sunny!”—that was Christmas Day, 2014.

It was certainly not that warm this Christmas, but to be fair it wasn’t exactly warm up north either. Every morning when I frowned at the thermometer I would force myself to look up the current temperature in Vermont to make me feel better.

Ugh, it’s 35, but at least it’s not -17 like it is back home!

I’m not going to lie, it helps to put these things into perspective. And on particularly cold mornings I just dig out an old video we made during the last winter we spent in Vermont when the temperature had hovered around -20 for over a week straight, and we decided to do a science experiment.

Because when it’s that cold out what else can you do for fun besides boil some water on the stove, then chuck it out the front door and watch it turn into snow?



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Colleen Kuerth moved to Indian Land from Vermont in 2013 with her husband and two sons in search of warmer weather, fried chicken, and collards. When she is not planning her next adventure to Walt Disney World, you can find her enjoying the local food scene or adding to her growing collection of monogrammed household décor. She runs her own business as an Independent Travel Agent with Mystical Dream Travel, specializing in Disney Destinations, cruises, and all-inclusive resorts. You can contact her at colleen@mysticaldreamtravel.com

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