I’ve been living in the South too long; I can’t believe I did that. It’s gotten to me, what I use to laugh at I’m now playing caution to. Did I really do that so early? My family & friends up North would laugh at me. I’m somewhat embarrassed, but at the same time relieved. Yes, earlier this week on a Thursday afternoon, I actually decided to delay opening my office on Friday morning by two hours. And I made that decision about 18 hours before I was supposed to open. No waking up in the morning and deciding the weather was going to be bad, I just did it based on predictions. Oh, my New England friends should be so ashamed.
When I first moved here I could not believe they would cancel school a day in advance of a snowstorm. Just the threat of snow and school would be cancelled. I laughed. We would get several inches of snow back home, plow the streets and head to school or work. What’s the big deal? Well the big deal is that metro Atlanta really doesn’t own snowplows, let alone sand or salt trucks. You just have to wait until it warms up and melts on its own. And from past experience, we know that can mean days.
Tuesday of this week it was snowing/sleeting in the morning, and school was cancelled. Within a few hours after about ½” accumulation, it had dried out enough to head to work (luckily we were only open in the afternoon). On Wednesday, school was again cancelled because of the storm that was supposed to come through. That part stinks because you really never know what you are going to get or when it will happen. Turns out, around 1pm the light rain/ice started, and slowly picked up. We closed our office early and all headed home. As I drove 8 miles north to my house, it was snowing heavily. The snow was coming down hard; the roads were covered with snow yet practically void of cars, and my son thought it was the coolest thing as the flakes were large and falling fast. We made a quick stop at the grocery store and headed home, fortunately making it just fine. On the other side of town in the south part of Atlanta, my friends only had rain.
By Thursday morning there was no school again. It was overcast all day and while some of the snow melted, it left large puddles in the roads. I drove to the office to see what it was like and I saw puddles on the roads, in my parking lot and a few near the office stairs. I checked Weather.com only to see that it was supposed to be in the 20’s overnight and for most of the morning. I pretty much knew that it meant that all those puddles I drove through on the way to work would soon be ice. It really wasn’t worth risking asking my staff to drive to work, or asking patients to come in if there was ice. But there was no way to know what would happen. Do I trust a weather app? Do I wait to see what it’s like in the morning? But how would I know what my parking lot was like if I wasn’t there? And how would I get ahold of patients? The best thing would be to just reschedule everyone if possible, to play it safe and let it warm up a little. So I called anyone on the morning schedule, moved people around and did a 2-hour delay. Yup I did it. I cancelled before we knew what was really going to happen.
Thursday night they cancelled school again on Friday (at least in our country, where we still had snow & ice). By Friday morning, there was ice on the roads but by mid morning it had cleared. So I had made the right decision…sort of. I probably could have delayed by just one hour instead of two. But oh well, it worked out for everyone, we were able to reschedule patients, everyone made it to the office safe and there were no problems.
So for a few days Atlanta got to play in the snow again. We went sledding, had snow ball fights, made a snowman. And here we are three days later in 50-degree sunny weather and all the snow has melted. While these storms are quite annoying, at least they are gone fast and we can get back to normal.
So yes, I’ve become quite the Southerner. And I can live with that.