My friend Michael lives in Houston. He texted me this morning and said he drove up to work, and there was nobody there. “Maybe they closed without sending something out,” he added. He’s a Regional HR Manager. It would seem he would know if they closed the offices. He said they started closing businesses and sending people home yesterday afternoon when it was 60 degrees. We were virtually shaking our heads. Michael and I get it, and it’s why we have so much fun with it. He is from Pontotoc MS and moved to Michigan during the same time period that I did. We had our first lessons in snow together. Now, we are both back down south with the experience of adapting to real winter in our back pockets. I don’t know about Michael, but I always thought those Northerners were missing out on the fun of snow. They didn’t take it seriously at all.
Note: Click on the pics for captions!
Last week, we had a dress rehearsal for Leon, the current winter catastrophe heading our way. I had forgotten the Southern experience of snow. Memphis had its own relationship with winter storms, but it happened a couple of times a year, so it was not the major event it is down here in Southern Louisiana. Yesterday, my boss came by and told me to bring home whatever I needed for the next two days because we’d probably be closed until Thursday. We are forecasted to get 1/4” of ice and up to an inch of snow. I have a 2 minute commute to work. I could walk. But, it’s not about me. And there is a reason for it. Last week, I saw interstates closed for 12 hours or so. The radio stations pre-empted their regular programming to help people navigate roads that were open. They were like air traffic controllers directing wayward travelers to the open byways. The problem is this; this part of the world is nothing but swamp and water. Bridges everywhere….big, long, high and ominous bridges … and the bridges freeze. Our bridges are so big and crazy that I’ve had more than a couple of friends tell me that they are terrified to cross them in the car. Nobody has snow tires, so the road becomes a demolition derby. My friend Lisa and her husband Artie were driving to Biloxi last Friday, and they said there was a wreck on every bridge they crossed. She would text me pics…. Here’s another one, she’d say. It wasn’t funny, but it kind of was. The rest of the world can laugh at us, but we have more fun laughing at ourselves.
My annual physical was scheduled for this morning, and, when I called yesterday, they said they’d be there. So, I fasted and went in. My doctor greeted me with, “Well, aren’t you the dedicated one coming out in this weather for your pap smear?” Haha … well …. I have my priorities. I wanted to stop by Our Daily Bread, a local health food store and bread bakery, for some of their yummy loaves while I was in that area of town. Alas, they were closed. I, too, have an inner pull to buy bread I don’t need when a storm approaches. Apparently, there’s some science to why we do this. Read this article for more. Last night, my niece Hannah went out to the grocery in Alexandria to get some snacks. She texted me a pic of the bread aisle.
A woman that had snagged 8 loaves of bread was checking out at the register. Another customer said, “It’s one damned day! How much food do you need?” She’s obviously a Yankee. She doesn’t understand this pull that we have to stock up on batteries, bread, eggs and milk before a storm – tropical or otherwise.
Images of the Devastation
My parents have their survival plan in place. Momma said she has enough crochet thread to last her ’til Thursday. She’s made potholders and hats for everyone she knows. She’s going to start making socks for the homeless. “They’ll have enough socks they’ll be wearing them in August,” she said. I asked Daddy about their back-up plan should the power fail. “Oh, I’m not worried about that. We’re going to throw our tent up in the park down the road, and, if the power goes out, it won’t even matter.” Okay, they’re good.
As for me, with my Northern experience under my belt, I’ve learned a few things. First of all, prepare your family. I talked with my dog and cats about the back-up plan should something happen to me.
My stand-by for Mr. Leon’s stay will be Blue Bell’s King Cake Ice Cream, half gallon-size. You can laugh if you want, but it’s the perfect blizzard food. If the power goes out, who cares? Stick it outside. It’s in its natural element. It’ll help me increase my fat stores for the next 12 hours while I’m freezing to death. It even has some bread in it… it has bits of cake in the ice cream. And, of course, it’s made from milk and eggs. The sugar in it will help me keep my energy and spirits up for the duration. I can’t wait to get started. I told my sister Susan my plan, and she thought it was a great idea.
Susan: Enjoy the ice cream! I didn’t think about that. The ice cream aisle probably isn’t as crazy as the bread aisle.
Me: True. But the butts are bigger over there.
Susan: Yeah, but they’re weak. Easy to overpower.
The one issue that causes me great concern is the loss of electrical power. Our trees and power lines aren’t really used to the weight of 1/4″ of snow or ice, so that makes it a little dicey. I’m not too concerned about being cold, although I won’t like it. But, a friend of mine reminded me that I wouldn’t have access to the internet if the power went out. OMG … now we’re talking tragedy. I thought I’d better post a few blogs and schedule them for delivery just in case. I’m also going to keep my phone charged up. How in the world would I make it without Facebook or texting? No one would know that I dying over here in the midst of the Live Oaks and King Cake bakeries.
I’ve always thought that the Yanks are missing out on the fun of snow. Their insistence on going about their business, going to work, and otherwise ignoring the white stuff just doesn’t seem normal. The whole time I was up there I had this feeling inside that something was out of whack. Why are we driving to work on a day like today? Why don’t we just stay home and enjoy it? If you don’t put snow tires on your car, you don’t have to drive in it. And, really …. we’re driving over bridges in this? I’m telling you, it just didn’t seem right. It’s good to be home where people have some common sense about these things. My friends Robbie and Jo Ann stocked up on King Cake and Coffee. Really? What else do you need?
Oh, yes… I just heard some breaking news. There are salt trucks gathering over on College Drive….. at Coffee Call. Well, if we can tear them away from the beignets and cafe’ au lait, we’ll get those bridges salted down. Relax … we got this, y’all. 🙂