Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Ice, ice, baby

I haven't been anywhere since Sunday afternoon. Why, you ask? Well, for the second time in two weeks, the impossible happened: We had a winter storm. It started Sunday night and went on until late last night. First, we got about 4 inches of snow. That may not sound like a big deal, particularly to my readers who live in places where snow is normal. But the thing is, since it only snows here about five times each century (OK, I'm exaggerating - a little), we're just not prepared for it here. We don't have all the snowplows and salt trucks and such.

But you could have all the snowplows and salt trucks in the world, and still not be able to deal with . . .  ICE. That's exactly what happened. After the "snow band" passed, we got freezing rain and sleet, which created a layer of ice on top of the snow. In some places, the ice was one inch thick or more. I didn't try to measure, but it was as thick as I've ever seen, like a gigantic glazed donut on steroids.

Our Governor declared a state of emergency, and we were told to stay off the roads. Schools, universities, and offices closed. The airport canceled flights . . . I read on Twitter that they ran out of de-icer for the planes. Even the malls and shops closed early - if they opened at all. There was hardly any traffic noise. (Actually, it was kind of nice.)

This is why we Southerners go a little crazy when bad weather is predicted. We fill up our cars with gas. We raid the grocery stores so we can fill up our refrigerators and pantries. We buy alternative heating systems and bottled water and generators. True dat.

Every now and then, the predictions come true, and we're glad we did all those things. I'm glad I made those three trips to the grocery store last weekend. And that side trip to the cupcake store on Sunday afternoon.

If only I hadn't eaten all those cupcakes so quickly . . .