Welcome! This site is an endeavor to spread an attitude of positive thinking and optimism. By searching for joy and beauty in all things - even the mundane, perhaps a smile will spread from my computer ... to you!

Friday, January 8, 2010

"Snow Day!"

North Georgia, like much of the rest of the country, has been experiencing some highly unusual weather of late. Extremely cold temperatures - way below freezing in fact - have blasted the southeastern portion of the country, and last night most of the northern half of the state was blanketed in snow and ice by midnight.

This part of the country isn't prone to this severe weather very often. Therefore, we lack sufficient heavy equipment to clear roads of snow or salt for "black ice" when a snow front finally does come barreling through. When this happens, us transplanted Northerners (translated: "Yankees") are usually in amazement when the entire metropolitan area of Atlanta seems to "shut down." Entire school systems close, colleges are put in holding patterns, and everything just comes to a screeching halt. Local television stations air reports of emergency personnel and police forces recommending everyone in the viewing area "to just stay indoors!"

I've listened to quite a few northerners (who haven't resided in the south for a very long time) complain about, laugh at, and sometimes slam the state of Georgia for these closings and precautions. There usually follows a long oration of how they grew up in the midwest/north/east/northeast/mountains..... wherever; and how they can drive in any kind of foul weather (complete with stories of living through some of the "worst" winter storms on record!). Doesn't matter that we receive more ice than snow in the south....seems people in the south just "don't know how to drive in nasty weather conditions."

As one of those former "Yankees," I can honestly say that I, too, was utterly shocked when I first experienced a freak winter storm here in Georgia back in 1983. This occurred the week that we moved here - immediately following our wedding - my new husband and I had the hair-raising experience of traveling with a moving van in one of the worst ice-storms the state had seen in many years. Needless to say, I had no idea that winter storms like this could happen in "the south," and it made the entire episode of leaving home and family that much more heart-breaking!

I completely understand how someone who was raised in a colder climate can be stunned when first encountering the excitement, last-minute-shopping, premature closings and constant monitoring of the local news stations that herald the (possible) coming of any winter precipitation here in the south. After all - us Yankees grew up in areas where you learned to how to drive in several feet of snow and how to "turn into" a slide when your car hits a slick patch of packed snow or ice at the age of 15!

I've been in Georgia now for 26 years. My blood has thinned out, and I know for certain that I'm not used to those frigid temperatures any longer. (Call it my age, but it has been a long time since I had to endure more than just a few days of freezing temperatures!) However - I really try not to complain about the wintry weather we do get in the south. Because I know what it could be I try to remain positive about it, even though I find myself dreaming of white sandy beaches, tropical drinks and sunsets along with everyone else!

Though we did have a couple days where we lacked some sunshine, and even though snow and ice did cover a good many side roads, bridges, homes and trees today, the sun did come out. Though temperatures were still below freezing, children and families were given the thrill of sledding down hills and in yards, took peaceful walks through snow-quieted neighborhoods where a touch of ice or snow turned everything into works of glistening art, drank cocoa and sat together near warm, usually untouched fireplaces.

There's almost always a positive spin to something - if you look hard enough. Standing on my front and back porches, I didn't have to look very hard. That which has been drab and dirty looking is now covered in white, and even though it's only for a moment, my young men are at home enjoying a "snow day" with mom and dad. I'm off to play a board game with them - won't be able to do that much longer!

Hope you have a beautiful snow day - week - even month! (Remember, it won't last forever!)

Pay it forward - spread a smile!

1 comment:

  1. Pam, This blog of yours is a wonderful, wonderful site. I thoroughly enjoy catching up with you. I don't check the site often. The last time I visited, which was my first time, I read them all. From your first article to Thanksgiving. I have now read from there to the snow day. All I can say is WOW. What a great way for me to start my morning. I think my favorite is New Years. I thought I was the only one that felt that way all these years. I finally got Bob to not take down the decorations on New Years Day. He has been letting me initiate putting everything away. All these years I have protested the Christmas decorations going up with the Halloween stuff. I cringe when my neighbor puts lights on his house and his tree up before Thanksgiving. Then New Years ... Its all gone. Every particle of Christmas GONE in a flash! Bob has learned that this depresses me. All through the Christmas season ... I keep tweaking my decorations and even think about how I could make this or that better for next year. I, like you, am not ready to take it all down New Years Day. I need at least a few more days of reflection! Sure beats depression!! A dose of positivity. So much better than e mail forwards!!! :) Love you. Maryann
    PS. That WAS Father's best homily yet! Thought he was speaking to only me.


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