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Ice = Feelings

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We had a cold front move in over night here. The local news has been prepping us for this for days, saying it will temps we haven’t seen in Alabama in 10-15 years. They announced on FRIDAY that schools would delay opening by 2 hours this morning. Home Depot and Lowes sold out of spigot covers. There was no bread left at the grocery stores yesterday. We left faucets running. People this morning are tweeting and Facebooking about the road conditions and whether or not it’s safe to drive.

As I scrolled through my feeds and saw pictures/tweets from friends in other areas, reporting on 2 feet of snow and -20 degree temperatures I thought Hee. They would totally laugh at my city right now.”

But here’s the thing. Our houses are not built with these temps in mind, so pipes are in jeopardy. We don’t have those engine-heater things on our cars. None of us have tires or chains or whatever you need in ice/snow. The city doesn’t keep warehouses and trucks full of sand and salt. So, while YOUR city may scoff at our “over reaction” to no snow, maybe some ice, and 17 degree temperatures? It’s a HUGE deal to us.


It’s all relative, right? Your aunt may not understand why you get so upset when your friends announce pregnancies because she’s not you and hasn’t been trying to conceive for 3 years. Your child may not understand why you’re making such a big deal about the “C” they got in French because they don’t know what it’s like to worry about your child’s future. Your husband may not understand why you’re so upset that he didn’t like the meal you cooked because he doesn’t realize that you’re desperate for praise so the small criticism pack a punch.

JUST LIKE Minnesota doesn’t understand why we delayed schools for 2 hours today and won’t drive on the no-snow roads because there might be some ice.

So…the next time someone gives you a hard time because they don’t understand why you feel the way you do, tell them it’s like the weather. Even though residents of Minnesota wouldn’t flinch at our tiny potential for ice on the roads because they have properly equipped tires and and treated roads, in Huntsville those icy patches could kill someone. One man’s normal commute is another man’s death trap. It depends on how equipped you (or your city) are to handle things. It depends on your history and your standards or expectations. Just because that guy in Minnesota can leave his house without fear in 17 degree temps and no snow, doesn’t mean someone in Huntsville can. The lady in North Dakota may not leave her faucets dripping when it’s 15 degrees, but we have to. We have to check the reports first to make sure overpasses are safe and we have protect our homes even though it’s 40 degrees warmer here than in some parts of the US right now.

It’s all relative.

8 thoughts on “Ice = Feelings”

  1. I love this so much. It’s -17 here and we have 12 inches of snow. This isn’t typical (I have no engine block heaters, no snow tires), but we have plows.

    When we visit my husband’s parents in knoxville, I always marvel at the lack of shoulders ( where would they push the snow?) and curvy roads ( how do they plow) until my husband reminds me there ARE no plows. I’m sure we would be on lockdown in IL if there was no salt/plows!

    Stay safe! I’m not going anywhere.

    Also, the feelings I have with this pregnancy are overwhelming my husband. I have been trying to take a deep breAth and say, “Should I be upset about this or am I overreacting? Would I have beenupset 6 months ago?” So hard.

  2. You are absolutely right. Our schools were on a 3 hour delay today, which they announced last night. I am in western NC, where it is in the low teens with wind chills below zero this morning. Tomorrow is supposed to be much worse. The guy who does our local weather is recommending that schools be closed because some of the old school buildings won’t be able to keep inside temps above 50 degrees. We just aren’t used to this kind of cold. It is all relative, like you say.

  3. This is spot on. As I write this, all schools in my state (MN) are closed for cold. The last time I remember that happening I was in high school. You are right, we are equipped for extreme cold – having the right coats, boots, tires and even insulation in your home is all part of living here. But it is all relative. Those first few days of late fall, when temps really start cooling off? Minnesotans are complaining about the cold, too. It takes us a while to get used to it each season. So it totally makes sense that weather that is not normal for geographical location would throw a whole city off. I always wonder what southerners who move here think during their first winter here. For what it’s worth, in the summer we hit 100 degrees maybe 2 times and that is very newsworthy (and worth complaining about) around here.

  4. I am in Kansas City, MO where our schools cancelled as our high temp for the day is +2 but we only have 4 inches of snow on the ground. I love seasonal changes because I think I appreciate spring/summer more because of winter… etc etc. I had clients coming in from California in February a few years back and I had to meet them at the airport with all my extra coats LOL… I just cannot imagine not having seasonal clothing for ALL seasons. (PS I don’t have any snow tires or engine block heaters either, but I do have a wood burning insert that we rarely use but HAVE cooked on/heated part of the house when the power went out).

  5. Spot on!!!

    I grew up in Memphis, TN — where the threat of ice will shut the city down. My husband and I got stuck in an ice storm one Christmas and he was amazed that the city did the only thing it could, put cinders on the roads to try and help.

    Here’s the thing about winter weather. As I now live in Cleveland and we get snow — lots of it, but still just snow. There’s a belt in this country where winter means ice, not snow. With a plow, snow can be moved, but ice shuts down even cities like Cleveland. Chains are not allowed on our roads — no matter the conditions. Yes, we are generally more prepared because our winter is 5 months long and it snows. But a few years back we actually had rain turn to ice one night — and yup, nothing in our town moved either.

    We don’t generally have engine block heaters — which is why our schools already announced a two day closing, not even a delay….but no school until Wednesday at the earliest. We don’t let our kids wait for buses in this cold — I think frostbite might tick off a parent or four. I do have spigot covers, but I heat my basement just the same — pipes burst up north too.

    Oh — and while we might scoff a bit…remember it is just jealousy. We don’t get the snow days that those in the ice belt do — and that’s sad. I think there should be a law that we get snow days too.

  6. ACK! No! Nothing specific from anyone! Just referencing a general difference of perspective 🙂

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