Seventy-three degrees and sunny. Sunroof open, short sleeves on. Grills fired up, tulips and daffodils making a welcome appearance. Welcome to February in Georgia. Ah, you say such unseasonably warm weather doesn’t quite agree with you? Stick around for a few minutes.
I have lived in Georgia most of my life. Born and raised in Doraville (yes, I said it - Doraville), I lived in Nashville when I was in college and New York City, briefly, after I graduated. I have seen blisteringly cold winters and strangely mild ones, and one thing’s for sure, just as soon as you think you have Georgia weather figured out, you find out you’re wrong.
Not so long ago, right here in Gwinnett County, we were under a severe weather watch. It’s been an interesting winter here this year; we’ve had more snow than I can remember having in several years. And every time the meteorologists tell us to buckle up for a bumpy, cold ride, we do one thing: we go to the supermarket. For whatever reason, going to the grocery store when winter weather threatens is a surefire antidote for cold weather misery. Bread and milk ward off bad wintry monsters. I heard that so often when I was a kid, I thought there was something magical about having milk and bread in the house when a storm hit.
As an adult, of course, I know that there’s nothing magical about it. I also know that even the best forecasters are simply making an educated guess as to what kind of precipitation we’ll get, how much will fall, and where it will hit. That’s part of the fun of living here; winter is an adventure.
I will take this opportunity to say that I’m more than a little tired of hearing northerners make fun of the way winter weather cripples the South. It’s true, it doesn’t take much to bring our bustling cities to a grinding halt, but let’s analyze the facts. We don’t have millions of dollars worth of equipment to deal with snowfall, and we don’t have unsightly mounds of salt and gravel piled up all over the place, ready to be spread at the first mention of snow and ice, which could threaten again in five or so more years.
For the record, wintry weather blows through here so infrequently that it hardly makes sense to invest in millions of dollars’ worth of anti-snow artillery. Speaking for metropolitan Atlanta, there are thousands of transplants living here, those who came from the North and never left. It seems to me that Yankees have just as much trouble driving on snow and ice as we natives do. We’re just not geared up for dealing with nasty winter weather down here. The pros of living in the South certainly outweigh the cons, obviously, because the Yankees are all still here.
We’re supposed to enjoy the unseasonably warm weather here for the next week or so, and I for one am thrilled about it. I have spring fever something awful. And before you know it, we’ll all be out planting and enjoying the sunshine while the unfortunate folks north of us are still digging out from under mounds of snow, most of it black.
Snow days lose their luster when you’re on this side of thirty, don’t they?
Carole Townsend is a Gwinnett author and freelance writer. Her fourth book, BLOOD IN THE SOIL, was published in 2016. It is the true tale of a crime that took place in Gwinnett County nearly 40 years ago. Her previous three books are written with Southern humor. Carole often appears on network television talk and news shows, as well as on national true crime radio shows. Her books can be found in bookstores, on Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble.com, and at www.caroletownsend. com. When she’s not writing, Carole travels throughout the southeast, talking to groups about women, writing, family, and life in her beloved South.