This Southern girl is out of her element
posted January 26, 2011 7:35 AM by Jessica Holden
I just got back from winter vacation last week, and while I am so happy to be in beautiful Boston again the weather is testing my courage and endurance. When I left for the (what I hoped would be) warm, sunny climes of Athens, GA over a month ago it had not yet snowed here. The roads and sidewalks were still dry and ice-free and I could still prance around without fear of slipping. The city was all decked out in lights and it hadnt gotten very cold yet. I was in great spirits and I got home expecting a nice, warm, green Georgia Christmas. Instead, my hometown got three inches of snow on December 25 (three inches is a BIG deal down there!), only the second time in Athenss recorded history that it had snowed on Christmas (the first time was in 1993). It was Atlantas first white Christmas since 1882 when Chester Arthur was president. We were all very excited to see the snow we built snowmen, threw snowballs at each other, sledded down our yards on trash can lids and baking pans (Southerners dont own sleds) and did all of the fun snow-time activities that Southern kids are usually denied. The snow melted within a couple of days and we all went back to business as usual...UNTIL, about two weeks later, the South was pummeled with the worst winter storm we had seen in years. Athens got more than eight inches of snow, a new record. Since the city does not own a single snow plow, people were trapped in their homes for days. The snow would melt a little during the day when the temperature rose into the upper thirties, then freeze again at night, creating a weird icy crust on top of everything. On the third day of the snowpocalypse, I recklessly broke free and made the half-hour drive to my boyfriends house. What I saw could have been pulled right out of any post-Armageddon movie. The sky was gray, everything was silent, and the only signs of human life were the countless cars that had slid into ditches and smashed into trees. After much sliding on black ice, I finally got to my destination. When I left Georgia a week after the storm first hit, there was still snow and ice on the ground. I think that people were mostly bewildered that we could get such an extreme, prolonged snowstorm down there. We were definitely caught off-guard. I was excited to come back to Boston, because this city knows how to deal with winter precipitation. There are snow plows and shovels and salt! I have my ankle-length parka and my furry hat and my snow boots! I wasnt worried because I was prepared! That is, until I walked to school yesterday morning in the below-zero temperature and the inside of my nose froze.