I lived in the extreme northwestern corner of Illinois for seven years, in LaCrosse, Wisconsin for one year and have lived in Louisiana for a cumulative 21 years. In those years, I have seen regular floods, flash floods, 10.6 inches of snow in 24 hours and tornadoes. I say all of that not necessarily as a qualification but merely as an introduction to how incredibly majestic, beautiful and terrible weather is and how strange it is that, for many, the perception of it can change so greatly in a relatively short period of time based on geographic location.
In my eight years up north, snow fell and my husband and I went about our business as best as possible. It wasn’t a freak out event — even that 10.6 inches in 24 hours…which was actually closer to 14 within 36 hours. We are in Northeast Louisiana now and approximately 3.5 inches of snow fell. It was a freak out event. Not necessarily for me because I am a pretty middle-of-the-road person personality wise….(I only freak out when people send me text messages that just say “Call me”). And not necessarily for my husband, except when it came time for me to go to work at the newspaper on Tuesday, when there was ice.
I’m still not sure what happened. I may not have responded to the idea of ice on the concrete drive in our cul-de-sac blocking my route out to the thawed highway with enough despondence, but he went into “ice is not your friend mode.” There was a lot of talk about shifting to neutral, not braking and historical driving periods. Maybe next time I just will not respond with a cheerful, “I’ll just wait until it melts to go to work.” I mean I didn’t leave eight years of critical winter thinking skills at the door.
However, I will say this for myself. I was a kid in a candy store when it snowed on Wednesday. I drove around Bastrop and saw my home parish through new eyes…the stately courthouse…the beautiful downtown…our impressive museum. Everything was so stunning through the filter a blanket of snow provided. I had saw snow in new places, new lands, but never outside of my front yard here at home. It was a gift, and not one that I ever appreciated beyond the weather aspect of it all in Illinois or Wisconsin.
One thousand miles and snow is a different, beautiful thing to me. I’m susceptible too. What a difference a day makes. What a difference 1,000 miles makes.