Thursday, February 01, 2007

It snowed!

It snowed here last night. Snow is one of nature's great wonders.

To look upon a freshly fallen snow is to observe peace. Sounds seem quieter with snow on the ground (until the kids find out it snowed, then it gets louder for awhile).

Snow provides a new perspective on the world. It is like God is saying, "Want to see what everything looks like in white?"

But for all of it's wonder, snow has a dark side. Mind you, I am not referring to the horrible blizzards people up north have seen, with houses buried under snow, people dying, etc. I am referring to driving on snow.

There are different textures of snow, and some are easier to drive on than others. But "easier" doesn't mean "floor it". It just means a light application of the brakes is less likely to cause you to spin out of control. Regardless of how safe the snow might be, it is best if you don't drive on it at all.

Which brings me to the difference between north and south.

In the south, we don't have much snow management equipment (such as plows and sanders). We have enough to clear the interstates, but that's all. Because of this, everything shuts down when it snows.

When I used to live in Delaware, the opposite was true. Because there was more snow equipment, it took about 6 inches of snow to really have an impact (4 inches if it fell quickly and fell first thing in the morning), and that was usually only the schools. At lesser amounts, you might see schools opening late, but it was still business as usual. Speaking of business, it took a snowfall of closer to a foot to close down businesses. If your car could move, you came to work. At best, they might open an hour or two late.

The real problem with snow is the back roads. In the south, they don't get plowed/sanded at all. In the north, they will get plowed/sanded later in the day, possibly even the next day or two if the storm is bad enough. Either way, the back roads aren't safe to travel on for the duration of the first day after the snow first falls.

(I can't speak for places much farther north than Delaware, since they undoubtedly get much more snow, and can keep chains on their tires for longer periods of the winter.)

But when back roads are bad, why would businesses be open? The usual excuse is "we can't close every time it snows. We'd go out of business." After many years of putting up with that by driving in the snow, first I decided to take sick days when it snowed. Next, I moved south.

If you nuts want to drive in that crap, go ahead. Just don't ask me to risk my life or my car for your "business".

1 comment:

William R. Barker said...

I praise your attitude, Ed! If more people thought like you... less people would be in my way screwing up traffic on those occasions where *I* have to drive in the snow.

Basically... if you're uncomfortable driving in snow... or even rain... DON'T! Stay where you are. Stay out of MY way! (*GRIN*)