Snowin' in the South

I eagerly anticipated snow days as I prepared for a career change from journalism to education. Just like when I was a wee lad, the prospect of an unplanned day off without being sick made me giddy.

Then of course, in changing careers, I changed location -- from Boston to Raleigh, NC. So much for snow days, I thought. Today was a snow day and our second day off for inclement weather Since Sept. 1. Awesome!

I left for work this morning not knowing for sure if we had school. The county (which runs the public schools) had canceled school, but the private school I teach at hadn't by the time I needed to leave. So, being a hardy New Englander by upbringing, I hit the roads. All told, this storm wasn't anything more than the typical early December storm that is more an annoyance than trouble. The snow was sticking to the roads and grassy surfaces, but it wasn't going to amount to a large accumulation.

Of course, as I drove, the radio announcers kept updating wary travelers with "wrecks" all over the Triangle (the area encompassing Greater Raleigh). The thing that made me laugh most of all came while listening to a reporter describing snow removal apparatus.

"They brined the roads this morning, and the sand/salt trucks are out treating the roads now. The sand is for traction and the salt is to melt the ice. They haven't had to bring out the large trucks with the enormous grinding blade wedge thingies yet that are used to actually MOVE the snow."

The quotes make my reiteration seem verbatim, but it's really an abstract, for the record.

After snorting some coffee out of my nose, I said to the radio, "Um, those grinding blade wedge thingies are called PLOWS!"

I know it's easy for me to make fun of the Bible Belt locals and call them rubes for not being able to handle winter driving as well as someone from the Snow Belt. It's really a lack of experience more than a disability on their part, so I try not to boast too much. After all, it would be my luck that I cause a major accident some time when it's icy.

In the end, though, this bit of winter weather is enough for me to remember one of the reasons I left Boston. As much as I love the region of my birth, I've been enjoying the winter down here. The unseasonable warmth has translated to 75-degree days recently, and while unusual even for North Carolina, it has still been 10-15 degrees warmer than Boston, and for that I am thankful.

Oh, and as Adam at Universal Hub asks, I will gladly send this north. We're supposed to get more on Sunday. Hey, Adam, it's all yours if you want to come get some!


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