Late Friday night, I read a blog post on Jeff Fowle’s blog about winter weather and the differences between locals being prepared and others seemingly careless. As I watched current weather reports and saw tweets from friends in the Pacific Northwest indicating they were fairly home-bound due to the storms hitting them, I thought about how many times I’ve seen similar situations. I can even remember a time when I was young and maybe a bit braver about things and was headed out from Colorado Springs with a friend in her Camaro, driving through the harsh winds of Eastern Colorado hoping we could stay ahead of the road closures.Today I would definitely stop, get a hotel and wait out the storm to pass just like friends did last month when they were driving in the southwest & got caught in a storm that produced a foot of snow.
After grad school in Memphis, I decided to take a job in New York. I decided I wouldn’t be a sissy. Couldn’t let myself be wimpy about digging my car out of the snow, especially if everyone else would be at the office. So I kept on top of things and was there every time the others were knowing I must have been the slowest driver in White Plains. But I couldn’t let it reflect badly on the South. Ah pressure of the opinions of others. LOL! Living in the Mississippi Delta for more than a decade, I got a big break from winters. There, winter is just really grey and wet but it rarely would freeze. Moving to Memphis put me more in the line of ice since the city is in a place where weather patterns can come together and give you a “wintery mix.” The roads are slippery and folks slide into each other, off the road, into signs and other things. We absolutely do not have ANY interest to get out in this stuff at all. And I’m sure quite a few of the folks who were permanently scarred by the snow that crippled Atlanta last January happen by this blog now and then.
- Getting to & from work — I bought a house pretty darn close to our office thinking I’d be best not to have a long commute! So far, that seems to have been a good decision. Since things have changed so much from my NY days, I know I can work from home when the weather is bad, but I figure most days its open, I should be going into the office.
- Walking — Ok, its goofy but this is what I worry about most! Southerners don’t walk on snow and ice very often and flashbacks to NY and packed snow on frequent walked paths can get slippery. Ice is killer. And since I haven’t had to get out in it, I need a way to gain a bit of confidence (experience can create that too but alas, that will take time). In August I bought some snow boots with good insulation (thanks to my cousin Lisa taking me to a boot outlet!) and this week, I saw a convo on Facebook that led me to get some lightweight ice cleats that you simply put over your shoes/boots. My friend Jesse Bussard says she has some and gave us the website and all. This was the subject of much discussion! I had coworkers mocking me for overreacting and others getting the info to buy their own. What do you think? (By the way, the ice came & went without me donning the cleats.)
- Having an accessible vehicle — As you can guess from the point above, I doubt I’ll be walking to work! Little things like I’ve been trying to decide where best to park. In this, I am hoping the streets in my neighborhood get visited by plow and salt trucks! I do have ice melt and a snow shovel ready to go as needed. The ice melt is usually useful on the front steps and maybe even the walkway.
- Driving — I think I’ve kept a bit more of this from days in NY…. and as long as road crews are working, I should be ok by remember basic tips for driving in bad weather as well as remembering Jeff’s ideas on being prepared.
There are lots of other things I’ll need to know… things like this that Chicago-based farm broadcaster Max Armstrong posted on Facebook: “Every second counts when the people who need this thing are making a house call in your neighborhood. Give them every chance to do their job superbly. Shovel this out too. This message brought to you by the Commissioners of the Lisle-Woodridge Fire Protection District.”