As far as snows go, the recent snow wasn’t much. Where I live, in Coweta County, Ga., the accumulation amounted to 2.5 inches. In northeastern Tennessee, where I grew up, the snow was 5 inches.
Compared to what the folks in the North experience on a regular basis, our local blizzard was a mere dusting. In Colorado, where I used to live, I actually got caught driving a Ford Escort in a blizzard over the Rocky Mountains between Denver and Grand Junction. That snowfall was measured in feet.
This is not the North. It is not the Rockies. It is not even Tennessee. It is the Deep South where two or three flakes are sufficient to close schools, cause the average citizen to raid the supermarket for a dozen loaves of bread and five gallons of milk (that is not an exaggeration — I actually saw that a few snows back), and to empty the streets and highways of cars.
This is not the North. Up there, and in other snow-laden places, snow comes down all winter long. They have equipment, supplies, and personnel to deal with the beautiful but treacherous stuff.
I spent three weeks one January in Pittsburgh where it snowed nearly every day. Yet, the schools remained open, people went to work, and the roads were kept clear. They have the knowledge, the experience, and the system to deal with snow. We do not.
What we do have is the knowledge that, in a day — two at the most — the snow will disappear as suddenly as it came. On Wednesday morning, it was 13 degrees. By Sunday, the temperature will be 60 heading toward 70.
Last week, the week before the snow, I rode my motorcycle on Monday when the temp hit 68 degrees. On Wednesday, I rode it again when the weather folks proclaimed it bone-chilling 19 degrees. Two days later, it was in the 50s.
It’s the South. We do not have winter. We have days that look like winter and then they are gone. This pattern may occur several times during the official winter season.
Spring is now less than seven weeks away. The last few days may well be as bad as it will get all winter. Perhaps not. We might see snow again, but that would be unusual.
For the first 16 years I lived in Georgia, I did not own a winter coat. What was the point? About the time I thought I needed to get one, it was 60 degrees again.
I did finally purchase a heavy coat right before I made that three-week January trip to Pittsburgh. Now, I wear it, maybe, two weeks out of the winter.
To deal with the infrequent 2.5 inches of snow in The South, here’s the plan:
• Stay home.
• Build a fire in the fireplace.
• Fix coffee or hot chocolate.
• Read a book, watch TV, work at home, or take a nap.
• Go outside, throw a few snowballs, take pictures of the snow, go back to the fire.
• Watch the news about how bad it all is and observe how other people who didn’t stay home slide all over the ice and back up traffic for hours.
• Thank God that you don’t live in Minnesota or North Dakota.
Snowpocalypse 2014 is in the books. You survived and can tell the folks in Miami how terrible it all was.
Me? I just stayed home and enjoyed the event.
[David Epps is the pastor of the Cathedral of Christ the King, Sharpsburg, Ga. (www.ctkcec.org). He is the bishop of the Mid-South Diocese which consists of Georgia and Tennessee (www.midsouthdiocese.org) and the Associate Endorser for the Department of the Armed Forces, U.S. Military Chaplains, ICCEC. He may contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.]