Miracle of miracles! We had a white Christmas in north Georgia. Now it wasn’t a blizzard and the folks who have moved here from Boston and Buffalo and Kalamazoo weren’t impressed, but it was a significant snowfall — at least from I-20 northward. The ground was covered, for the most part. If you don’t believe me, just wait until next Christmas and see how many of your friends feature their homes, adorned in Christmas finery, wearing a blanket of snow.
OK. Maybe a comforter of snow. Or a sheet if you live in the Southern suburbs.
And now the folks on television and radio who are responsible for such things are warning us that round two might be on tap for Sunday night into Tuesday. That’s right. They are saying the snow may fall into Tuesday morning. Now that, if it occurs, will be a major event.
Of course I wouldn’t bet the ranch on it because as we in Atlanta are fond of saying, “When they predict it this far out it never happens.” So it probably won’t, but I’m stocking up on bread and milk anyway.
Usually I am the most excited person in the world when the S-word is mentioned. Nobody loves a snow day more than I do — unless it is my boss, Greg Fowler. This time around, however, I’m not really pulling for it to happen. I don’t mean to offend you if you are. I don’t want to be like my friend Lori Scroggs, who chastised everybody on Facebook who was dreaming of a white Christmas because she, Lori, was afraid of getting stuck at work. I’ll relax and enjoy it if it comes and even head out and go sledding on the back 40 — but given my druthers I had “druther” pass this time around — for a couple of reasons.
First and foremost, we need to go to school. I realize that the outgoing governor, Sonny Perdue, never thought closing schools for a couple of days — or 10 or 12 — was a big deal, but you see how much progress we made in education under his watch. And Nathan Deal talks a good game, but we really don’t know what his stance will be.
But I have material to teach my students, and I really can’t teach them if they aren’t there. We already have multiple interruptions during second semester. We just had an 18-day break, after all, and the MLK holiday is right around the corner. And then four weeks after that we take another seven-day break, which will allow us to get rested up for the big push. Thirty straight days of uninterrupted instruction! Well, uninterrupted except for a couple of early release days and a staff development day and a few standardized testing days.
But you get the point. As much as I would enjoy a couple more days in front of the fireplace, I really need to teach my students a few things.
But that’s only one reason I am pulling for a near miss this time. The other reason is that I read the forecast from the National Weather Service on the Internet and they are saying that in the part of metro Atlanta where I live, we might have an ice storm Monday. Listen here now — or as they say in the King James Bible — Verily! We don’t want any part of any ice storm.
I have been through ice storms, understand, and there is nothing at all pleasant about the experience. You’ve heard the expression “high as a Georgia pine?” That expression came about because there are lots of pine trees in Georgia and pine trees are full of sap. When ice collects on them they get heavy. First they bend and then they break and when they break they take power lines with them. If you wonder what it is like being holed up inside for several days without power, just ask anybody who lived in Atlanta on Elvis’s birthday in 1973. Ice fell on Jan. 8 and the temperature stayed below freezing for 96 straight hours. Tens of thousands were without power for a week. We don’t want a repeat of that.
We have an electric stove at our house and an electric heat pump and electric lights. Plus, when I am stuck inside I like to watch television and I hate watching television by candlelight. And when ice storms come you can’t go anywhere because nobody — and I mean nobody — can safely operate an automobile on ice, I don’t care how y’all did it in Buffalo.
The storm that may or may not hit us this weekend is supposed to come up from the southwest, which is a little unusual. They say we might have ice from Montgomery to north Georgia and that it might last through the day on Monday. Now wouldn’t it be something if everybody in Alabama and Georgia lost power from say 8:30 Monday night until about midnight?
Come to think of it, that might be worth missing school for. I didn’t think of that. Greg Fowler did. He went to Alabama. Roll Tide?
Darrell Huckaby is a local educator and author. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.