Well, all of us who reside here in Atlanta are on the downward slide of the most exciting snow and ice event in 15+ years. Forecasters warned us for days that it was coming; apparently, everyone listened except the GA Department of Transportation – and Greyhound Bus Lines, but that's another story. In all fairness, the GDOT prepared for days before the storm hit; they just didn't know how hard it would hit. Six to nine inches of snow here in the ATL is like twenty feet of snow up north. And that brings us to the topic of the day.
As is always the case, I have heard countless Yankees (and no, I am not an "us and them" kind of person, but they hail from up north) comment on how ridiculous it is for a few inches of snow to bring a city to its knees. Most of these commentators are transplants: people who used to live up north but who have moved here for a variety of reasons, including the weather. I heard one Bostonian this morning rail at the injustice, the downright ignorance, of the DOT's failure to spread sand over hundreds of miles of interstate highways here in the Deep South. Two questions came to my mind: 1) If the DOT in Boston is so much better prepared than the one here, why on earth did you leave in the first place?" and 2) "Why on earth did you leave in the first place?"
The point is, of course, that when you relocate to any region, you have to take the good with the bad, the desirable with the undesirable. Yes, we have more sand at area sports bars for volleyball than we have stockpiled for winter storms, that is true. But that's kind of the point, isn't it? Boston, New York, places like that spend a sizable percentage of their municipal budgets on lumbering, ugly equipment, dirty sand and salt, because snow starts falling in August and stops sometime in late July. In places like that, winter storms are a certainty every year. Here, they typically coincide with Haley's comet.
I used to have a neighbor from, I think, Indiana or some place. Someplace cold. Every year, as Halloween would roll around, she would complain about how warm Atlanta is at the end of October. She'd say things like, "We'd always have to wear a coat over our costumes when we were kids. This is just weird!" I used to think to myself, "so…what was the point of buying and wearing a costume? Talk about weird." But I didn't. Being a well-mannered southerner, I'd just smile and say something non-committal like, "Really?" What I really wanted to say was, "Delta flies both ways, sister."
The bottom line this week, here in sunny ATL, is that we're stuck. My front yard looks like the set of Ice Age. Roads have an inch of ice on them. I just saw a policeman on TV pounding on a major interstate with a sledgehammer, trying to break up some of the stuff so that an 18-wheeler could scoot up a few inches. There are hundreds stranded behind him. We're desperate, folks. We can either complain and point fingers, or we can take this latest excitement in stride and ride it out. The temperature will be back up into the 70s next week.
As my dad always used to say, "If you don't like the weather here in Atlanta, stick around for 10 minutes. It'll change."