The last winter before I moved to Georgia, I was living in a Co-op in Great Neck, NY on Long Island. Parking was a premium so I was parking my car on the street. A ritual for me in the winter was to take Sophie dog for a walk early so I could clear my car off from the night’s previous snow fall. Sophie dog loved the snow so any opportunity to play in snow that hadn’t been peed or pooped on was taken. We got ourselves booted up, scarfed and gloved and parkered up and went down the front steps toward where I parked my car..dog leash in one hand, shovel in another.
We rounded the corner and walked to where my car was…something seemed amiss… there were trees down…and then I saw it..my car…with a giant tree laying across the roof and the hood and part of the side of the car…My car..that I just bought a couple of years ago..crumpled and covered with tree branches and snow and ice. I turned to Sophie who was playing in the snow behind me and said…”well Soph…I guess Mama’s not going to work today” And back home we went to call Geico and work and police and City of Great Neck
Everything got taken care of pretty easily but it also made me think about living in New York. My Mom had passed, My Dad had moved to Florida and while I had a few friends in NY, they were either married or engaged. I didn’t have my best friends close by. I felt very alone. My brother and his family lived in Massachusetts. I needed a change. Life had been a challenge for me for a few years and I thought maybe I need to change my environment. I wasn’t working at the time and felt like it’s a now or never kind of thing…. I knew ONE person who lived in Georgia and he lived in Smyrna. Over the course of a few months I visited a few times to see if I would like it. Of course when I went down there it was awesome weather and lots of fun things to do and great places to explore. My friend knew where to go and what to do and he was a handyman kind of guy so his house was fun, Yeah I could live down here. So after telling my Dad and friends I was moving …I did. I had originally intended on renting out my place in case I wanted to come back. But I got an offer I couldn’t refuse and sold my Co-op..This was it…I packed up my place and the moving company came and my life’s possessions were heading to Georgia. David, my friend from Smyrna came up to NY and with Sophie Dog as our co-pilot we headed South.
I had a rental house already lined up and Sophie Dog and I were ready for our new adventure…and it has been, In the almost 15 years since I moved down here I can count on one hand the times it’s snowed….the times it’s snowed so much that commerce and traffic stopped dead. People up North and in the Midwest laugh at Southerners who freak out over an inch or 2 or 3 of snow. The truth is…that we are not equipped for it. From the texture of our roads, to the availability of snow plows and salt, to our cars, to the fact that people born in the South do not know how to drive in this kind of weather.
I grew up in NY and went to school upstate NY, I knew how to drive in snow and ice..I even knew how to do all this while going up and down hills. I learned not to break. I learned to use my gears. Drive in low. And drive just fast enough to gain traction,. I also know to drive with a bag of sand or kitty litter, for traction if i get stuck. Most Southerners don’t have enough experience driving in snow. It’s not their fault..It just doesn’t snow bad enough or often enough to get that experience. Actually I don’t know if people in general know that driving in low gives you more control thus less chances of skidding or getting stuck trying to go up a hill
Last year we had a terrible storm. Apparently all of Georgia was on the road at the same time trying to get home….The streets weren’t salted or plowed so very quickly the roads turned into a sheets of ice…trucks were crashing into other trucks..the cars around me all shimmying and skidding and me? I was driving a straight line slow and steady. Took me over 8 hours to get home, which normally is a 20 minute drive. I did great getting up the hills leading to my street, while cars around me were sliding sideways down the hills. I managed to get to my house but my driveway was a no go. It is very steep and I couldn’t get a running start…I just got stuck…So i parked my car in front of my house and dragged myself up the grassy side to my front door. Duncan Dog was going to have to go potty close to the house. There was no way I was going to try to get down that hill to walk him. He didn’t like the snow, so he was happy to comply. It is so funny he is the same breed as Sophie dog yet while she loved the snow, he hates it. Go figure. I didn’t have a shovel and I had nothing to break the ice with. I was stuck for a couple of days. I was able to work remotely so at least i wasn’t bored. But it reminded me of why I left NY. I like the snow ..as long as it doesn’t inconvenience me and as long as I don’t have to deal with it.
Before it got covered and smothered with Ice and Snow
A few months ago I was sitting in front of my computer and saw some of my snow pictures from last year and thought..hmm maybe I need to buy a snow shovel and while I am at it see if there is such a thing as pet friendly Ice melt. My logical thinking was if i was prepared for snow ..I wouldn’t need it. Just like taking an umbrella and it doesn’t rain. So I just came back from walking Duncan dog and looked at my shovel and thought…maybe I will get a chance to use it this year. As I am writing this and looking out my window..I see the snow has stopped, so maybe It wont get so bad. Maybe I wont need the shovel this time. The porch however, is getting icy,,,so I know I’ll get to use the ice melt. So not all was wasted…Duncan is snug in his chair and I am snug in mine.