Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Snow babies

Ramblings Post #163
Now is the winter of our discomfort. I would have said "discontent" but that's another guy. They say there are parts of the Northern Central Plains...the Dakotas, Montana, like that... where the people EXPECT the power to go out for weeks at a time during a snowstorm. They're prepared. And then there are houses you can buy in Florida, considered "hurricane" proof that come with their own generators. And then there is Atlanta....

The landing on my steps...Monday AM

I once awoke in Chicago, and the weather report indicated that the day's high would be a NEGATIVE seven degrees, with a wind chill coming in off the lake of a NEGATIVE thirteen. Eight inches of snow was expected.

Now, I'm from South Carolina originally. And where I was born and raised, the next words out of any newscasters mouth would be..."And the following schools and businesses are closed.." That didn't happen in Chicago. There was three feet of snow on the ground already on the ground, more coming, the weather was below freezing and its was business as usual.

Atlanta is snowed in.

As a southern town, it doesn't take much. It could take as little as two inches, or as they call it up north, a dusting of snow. This is because snow melts, and becomes water..which freezes up after dark and becomes ice, which makes it hard to drive. Okay, in the interest of full disclosure, Atlanta drivers technically have a hard time driving in sunshine. Rain befuddles them on occasion. Ice on the road for people without snow tires makes it like driving on oil covered teflon.

Let me explain to how it normally works when we're supposed to get snow. The forecast would call for snow on say, a Wednesday. People would rush out and buy milk and bread to last for a week. That night it would snow. We'd awake to a winter wonderland. By say, noon Thursday, the snow would be a distant memory. The sun would have come out, temperatures would be back in the 40s, etc...

That didn't happen this time.

The snow came on Sunday. It fell in great sheets, in big puffy flakes, in waves. And then, because of thick cloud cover the temperature didn't get above freezing, the snow stayed. Now, keep in mind that for the Atlanta Metro area, some 130+ square miles, the city has eight "winter" vehicles equipped to handle emergencies. Which means things usually take a little time when things get bad.

Monday came and stores were shuttered, the airport ceased operations, and I want to say even the Waffle Houses closed up shop. The city shutdown.

People celebrated the day off, spent a little quality time with their kids because there was no school or lit a fire, poured some wine and spent some time with other kinds of loved ones. I expect there to be an upswing in September babies this year. People played in the snow, we marveled at the accumulation. Facebook exploded with Atlanta traffic as folks caught up and people who never post put in a word. It was casual.

That was three days ago. Now people have been trapped for three days with the people that they love and they are ready to be out. Work, school, gas station, just down the street where it's quiet. I actually strapped it up and ventured into the office for something to do! Single people, like myself, who go to the grocery store two or three times a week are in a bit of a bind. I have groceries, but they're not the food I usually eat. And I'm out of the stuff I usually drink. (Crystal Light...before ya'll get ideas)

Worse, I'm just realizing that since my first week of classes were canceled for the semester, the whole semester is gonna be a little off track.

Atlanta is not a snow town. What else can say?

The next few days will be chaos as the city tries to right itself. Well, organized chaos. Well not really chaos, but uncomfortable. As one Facebook friend put it, "if your complaint is that in a house with heat, food, cable and family you can't take it, then you have nothing to complain about. Think about someone missing one those."

And as I said, I live alone.

I wish had something pithy and erudite to end with, but instead, know I need that brown.

1 comment:

Zeke said...

let's hear it for the future Grady babies