Yesterday afternoon, my friend Michael texted me to let me know that they were already announcing office closures for Friday due to the weather forecasted in Houston. We laughed about that. Michael and I met in Southwest Michigan where offices would shut down for only 2 hours when 15 inches of snow would fall overnight. It was business as usual there. Of course, they have snow equipment, and the roads were cleared in two hours if not before. There is a reason Southerners don’t drive when the weather is bad. But, it still is funny when it happens.
Sneaux in Watson
I remember my first Christmas up north. I had just started dating this guy, and we planned to go Christmas shopping together on Michigan Avenue. The date got closer, and, all of a sudden a blizzard was in the forecast. Now, this Southerner had never experienced a blizzard. I had lived in snowy conditions in Pittsburgh when I was younger, but I have not experienced a blizzard. Surely we would cancel our shopping trip. He said no. We’d just take the train in to the city so we wouldn’t drive. Really? I just couldn’t believe that stores would be open, and the trains would be running. This wasn’t just a snowstorm, it was a blizzard! I was really worried, but I thought I should trust this Yankee who was obviously more wise about this than me. So, we got on the train and went to Michigan Avenue. He was right. There were crowds out shopping, bundled up in their winter gear. But, life was just going on as usual. When we got back to where his car was parked, it was buried in snow. I had no idea how we’d get all that snow cleared off. But, in short order, he had us dug out, and we drove home. I was amazed. I went Christmas shopping in a blizzard.
Sneaux in Mississippi
So, I was stunned yesterday to see a chance of the white stuff in the forecast. I came down here expecting milder winters. So far, I’ve been freezing my buns off. I had hoped to be kayaking, running, hiking and camping through the winter or at least a good 10 months out of the year. WTH? My down parka that I thought would waste away of dry rot is being used more than my sweaters. Thankfully, it warms up more frequently during the day than in Memphis, but it still gets colder than I would like. And snow?? I really expected that to be out of the question. In Memphis, it does snow. It probably happens two to three times a year, but it’s fore-casted about 47 times a year. Every one of those 47 days, the days prior are filled with water cooler talk about what they are going to do if the weather gets “bad”.
- “I’m not driving if it gets bad.”
- “My husband won’t let me drive when it’s like that.”
- “They better let us off in time to go home.”
- “I’m not letting my kids go to school if it’s still in the forecast.”
- “I have a four wheel drive. It’s not a problem for me.”
Sneaux in the Baton Rouge Area
There are horror stories told of treacherous drives home where they didn’t think they’d make it. Tales of sub-blizzard conditions where the storyteller couldn’t get to the store to get the pre-requisite milk and bread are re-told over and over. Stay away from the grocery stores. The most dangerous place to be when inclement weather strikes in Memphis is at the bread aisle in Kroger. You are likely to get whacked over the head by an angry, hungry bread addict. I mean… it could be hours before that snow melts. Even the gluten-free and lactose intolerant won’t survive for that amount of time without their fix. Those with four-wheel drive vehicles or husbands who don’t give a crap about them driving in the snow are the heroes. They can deliver your bread and milk to you in the case of a snow emergency. I always kept a list of those people just in case. Memphis sits on a the New Madrid fault which is forecasted to crack wide open at any time and eat all the BBQ restaurants and the grave of Elvis in one fell swoop, but that’s not nearly as scary as 3 inches of snow. I know. I’ve been there, and I’ve lived to tell about it.
Sneaux in Texas
So, I’m tucked in my bed on a Friday morning because my state office is closed. All of the schools are closed. They announced closures yesterday. Apparently, the weather forecasters here are more accurate than in Memphis. They closed offices in Houston. I got up this morning not knowing if our office would be open. I opened the door to let my dog out, and it looked like it was sleeting and some snow was on my car. Yeah, I doubt I’m going anywhere. But, I called the gym, and they were open. The gal at the counter said roads were clear. So, I headed out to work out at the gym assuming all would be normal. Cops were stationed at the entrance ramps to I-10 to make sure no one drove over them. Hmmmmm…. well, that’s interesting. The roads were just wet. I was the only gal at the gym other than the one I talked to this morning. I guess since I don’t have a husband to tell me to stay home in this weather, I’m a nutcase that gets out and drives in this treacherous weather. I’m lucky I survived.
All kidding aside, the dangerous thing about this kind of weather down here is the ice on the bridges. I always laugh in the 900 degree weather when I see a street sign that says “Bridge ices before roads.” Well, hell, who cares when it’s 900 degrees? But, when you have water all over the place and 100% humidity in the air, the bridges ice like a freezer floor at 32 degrees. And, you really don’t expect it because the roads are clear. All of the precautions are to keep people from slipping up on that… pun intended. So, enjoy the sneaux day Texas and Louisiana, if you’ve got one. And, enjoy the sneaux pics. For all my Northern friends, go ahead and laugh at us down here. It is funny. I’m laughing too. I’m just happy tomorrow will be a regular 60 degree day and things will be back to normal, Cajun-style.