So… we can’t leave the house again for the second time in two weeks.
Laugh all you want, northerners. In the years I lived in Minneapolis, I never once saw the issue of ice.
See, in the north, once October 1st rolls around, the temperature drops from 65 degrees to 31 degrees, and then stays below 31 (and a lot of the time it’s below 0) til, like, May. So when it snows there, it just stays snowy. Every time there’s precipitation from the sky, it’s snow, and that’s that.
Down in redneckville (or however the rest of the country views the “deep south”), it warms up to the mid-40s and drops to the low 20s in the span of 24 hours. And if we’ve had a relatively cold winter, whatever is wet on the ground will freeze. Yesterday it snowed for a while, and we had a little over an inch on the ground, then it melted in the afternoon. The moisture didn’t evaporate into the air, and instead, froze overnight. And what’s currently falling from the skies is more accurately described as “tiny ice pellets” instead of soft, downy snow. If we all had snowplows and salt trucks on every street (there are plenty of private owners that contract out in the north to clear parking lots, etc), this wouldn’t be an issue. But this doesn’t happen often down here. Atlanta specifically was mocked mercilessly two weeks ago for the utter failure of handling two inches of snow (we had about 5-6 inches, btdubs). Take into account that there are over five million people that commute in and out of the city daily, and traffic is horrendous on any given day of the week, and you can add in some snow that fell, melted, then almost immediately iced over, and you have the debacle of January.
This time, the government was mocked for overreacting preemptively, closing schools and businesses before the clouds had even rolled across the sky. Since we don’t have cable and I don’t listen to the radio often, I was caught off guard that there was another storm on the way. I was pretty shocked to see huge lines at our local grocery store (my beloved Target is a six mile journey, and mini Gwinn was tired), only a few half gallons of milk left, and the bread aisles cleaned out. Frankly, I get the milk thing (for the kids), but why does the bread disappear so quickly? We were there to pick up some basics that I had forgotten at Target a couple days previously, and I immediately regretted leaving our driveway.
Oh well. So yesterday, as the snow was falling, Captain Laser Pants and I had to take mini Gwinn to the pediatrician. Luckily he’s doing much better today (a cold had to run its course, and now he’s back to bouncing off the walls), so we weren’t at the doctor’s office for long, but our normally populated- with- soccer- moms community looked nearly deserted. At least people weren’t willing to risk injury and danger this time? And today I see why. Our driveway is one long, smooth slab of ice. The street in front of our house is more of the same.
With that in mind, Captain Laser Pants won’t be leaving the basement for any length of time, as he’s either working from home or playing Battlefield 4. My Valentine’s Day gift to him is sitting in the entry closet, neatly wrapped (it all arrived by Monday), and my gift is nonexistent, because CLP is really bad at planning and blamed the weather this week for not having anything ready. From now on, I’ll be buying my own gifts in advance and thanking him at the appropriate times. Can you tell I’m peeved? It’s good he’s cute and good at other things…
Any way, big digression. The concern with the ice is that it either tree branches heavily laden with ice will pull down power lines, or that the power lines themselves will be so heavy with ice that they’ll fall. The power company came through and trimmed trees in our neighborhood several weeks ago, but I can see the ice on the lines from 200 yards away. Our house has a gas lighting fireplace and gas stove, and like a good, obsessive planning psycho that I am, we have enough “no cooking required” food for over three days, including powdered milk, in case we run out. But I’m still worried about keeping our little guy warm if we lose power.
Here’s to hoping our elderly neighbors stay warm and well fed, our friends stay safe and warm, and that I don’t throw the switch just to turn off the PS4 and/ or computer for the next few days.