One of the advantages of living in the Memphis area is the weather. I can count no more than four major snow events that we've experienced in the 22 years we've lived here. When it does snow, however, panic ensues.
The first warnings for last night's snowfall came early last week. On Thursday, road crews were out spraying a brine solution on the pavement to prevent icing (which might occur on Sunday or Monday!). On Friday, when I made my usual grocery run, the Kroger lot was jammed full of cars, and crowds inside were stripping the shelves of those French toast necessities -- milk, bread, and eggs.
Saturday morning, the local paper carried a re-designed schedule for delayed garbage pickups on Monday. Costco overflowed on Saturday afternoon with whole families standing in the aisles looking dazed. We referred to them as "Costco amateurs" since they apparently couldn't figure out where to find anything might be found. Even so, most were pushing those huge flatbed pallets, not just shopping carts. Outside, the line for cheap gas extended out of the station and tangled with the line of shoppers trying to get in and out of the main parking lot.
Sunday morning, the closing announcements started to appear on local TV stations. We noticed that churches were the first to announce there would be no evening services, even though it was perfectly clear outside. They were closely followed by day cares, and then whole school districts. By last night, when the first flurries drifted past the window, the local area was locked down tight.
So what did we get? Somewhere between 2 and 3 inches here, with calm winds and temperatures around 30 degrees. It's beautiful, particularly since nothing is moving outside to break that pristine white blanket -- no tire tracks, no newspaper delivery, not even a bird flying or a dog or child romping in the snow.
OK, I'm making fun, and I apologize to my southern friends. But I've had my bit of snow experience -- growing up in northern Ohio, spending 4 years in Canada, some 200 miles north of Toronto, and finishing with a dozen years in the mountains of Colorado. Nothing compares to the threat of snowfall in western Tennessee. Granted, when you expect snow every winter, you also rely on certain other necessities, like snowplows and snow shovels, snowsuits and boots, insulated houses and reliable utilities. Here, no one is equipped for this, not even the city road crew and utilities. Add to that, a different type of road construction -- roads beveled rather than flat, so that rain water will run off harmlessly into the ditch. Of course, the same thing happens to cars when there's a bit of ice!
We'll be joining the natives today -- hunkering downing front of the fireplace with a good book and something yummy baking in the oven -- waiting for spring, which just might appear next week!