On Sunday night, it snowed across the southeast of the United States. A whopper of a snow storm, in Southern terms, came along and dropped many inches of dry, powdery, quite gorgeous fluffy white snow.
Then, the air around the clouds that were dropping snow interacted with a mass of warm air. The weather system changed its ways.
Ice fell from the sky, making a layer of ice on top of our perfect, soft layer of snow.
It brought Atlanta to a day of rest on Monday. No biggie. We have snow days every now and then, as per Southern snow-readiness, which is nil.
Tuesday? Wednesday? Thursday? And now, Friday? Atlantans, you better stay put inside your house. Clean your houses. Read some books. Get you some Cabin Fever. Make you some babies, but don’t you dare get out there and drive.
Josef and I ventured out yesterday and today for work. We did have cabin fever, but we also needed to work. I was happy to get some stuff done in the quiet of the abandoned office. Josef was really adventurous and drove downtown yesterday and rode the train in today. Traveling was terrible in some places, though. And idiots abounded. We made it, but it really was scary to slip side and see abandoned and sometimes damaged cars left along the side of the road. Places we could drive yesterday were blocked off by the local police, meaning detouring to roads that weren’t that much better.
No one knows what to think of all of this. Atlanta and its surrounding areas are hilly and tree covered, which means that even with the sun out, some places don’t see the sun, and a lot of places were passable when the ice melted during the day but it refroze overnight. It’s a ridiculous situation, and we realize it. We don’t normally have this situation on our hands, and we’ve certainly never gotten an entire week off of school because of snow.
We have been fortunate in that the power never went out. Although the sleet and freezing rain fell, it did not bring down trees on powerlines, and the winds did not pick up to tear down snow laden trees, either. Also, we have had enough food. We were wise enough to go to the store on Saturday night, and the rest of Atlanta went to the store on Sunday night. We’re almost at Friday and we’re still good on food. I think we’re also tired of the food we have, so we’re not eating everything. 😉 We’ve also been fortunate that our house has kept us safe from the cold temps and ice, our water pipes didn’t freeze, and we’ve been hanging out with neighbors a lot!
I lived in Boston for a year from August 2002 – August 2003. I did survive what was reported as the worst blizzard in many decades during that winter. Our household took public transit, which meant walking down the sidewalk to some distance to catch a bus each freezing cold, dark morning and returning home each freezing cold, dark evening, as the sunlight hours are not as generous that far north or east in our time zone. We had fun, though. My roommate, Emily, and I had many fun nights of young adulthood, drinking wine and cooking meals to stay warm. Josef and I played on the Common when 24 inches of snow fell and Harvard closed — which never happens. We had so much fun.
From the warmth of our home where I write now, I can look back fondly on that time. I feel like the weather from that time has returned to me this past week. Normally, when it snows in Atlanta, we get a slight dusting, people go nuts and go grocery shopping, there might be a 2-hour delay for the start of school, but then the whole show is over and melted away by the next day, and soon forgotten.
It wasn’t all that comfortable for me back then, though. I spent so many hours outside, collectively, across those frozen months, cursing that weather and the prominence of wintertime in New England. It was nothing that I had ever experienced. It made me feel lonely in a way I had never experienced and couldn’t verbalize.
Luckily the other seasons in New England more than made up for it, as if in apology for the inconvenience of winter. By the time August 2003 came along, I had completely forgotten wintertime and wanted to stay, but my love wanted to head back south and I couldn’t stomach the idea of being that far from my family any longer. I had to start all over with job hunting and figuring out young adulthood in another city, but I know that year in Boston made me stronger and more capable to do what I needed to do to take care of myself. I left Boston with a stronger sense of who I was and I learned from the places I went emotionally across that year.
Sometimes I feel stuck, emotionally — like how Atlanta is stuck in the ice right now. I know I have all the tools I need to dig out from under what’s keeping me stuck, but even using those tools feels like more work than it should be, or, more accurately, I wonder if the tools will really work this time. Right now I have been feeling stuck and tugged in different directions. I feel like I have cabin fever within myself!
I am going to paint tomorrow. There’s a drawing I did recently that I think would make a nice painting. I’ll use this tool, painting, to not think and not dwell on feeling stuck, and I think it will go quickly, which will make me feel accomplished. I still haven’t finished my other painting because I am stuck on what to do with the big hill in the foreground, but I don’t want to go at the painting without a plan.
As usual, I have a ton on my mind. I am waiting patiently to see how a recent audition went for me, and I am also trying to figure out how I feel about a major time commitment in my life. Add to that a major event I’m trying to plan, and oh! My birthday’s next week. And, it’s busy season at work. So the time off because of the snow hasn’t felt super productive to me, but it’s made me pause a bit to realize that hours are gifts and things that are weeks away are indeed weeks away and not mere hours. I keep remembering friends who had their first children several years beyond the age I am now, and I’m trying to know when the right time will be for us. Of course, the events of our nation and world are weighing on my heart, too.
So, happy new year! I hope some new things will be happening for me this year. I’m really ready for some change, as long as it’s good!