Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Oooh---Ice Warning!

I am not one to ridicule my peers, but honestly I could not avoid writing this post. Because, my city has lost its ever-loving mind.

My morning began with a 6 a.m. call from my trainer. She'd mistakenly thought she was calling my cell phone to leave a message. She was basically calling to tell me that if I wanted to miss my group training because of the weather, that was fine. She let me know that schools were cancelled for the day and that the roads around my neighborhood were worse than her area.

I get up, and my husband and I put on the T.V. "Winter Blast" is what the computer graphic said as local news anchors flipped it to the many lives shots of reporters standing off of freeways, talking about how if people can stay home from work today, it is best to do so. The crawl at the bottom of the screen listed off most of the schools, colleges, and other organizations who would be closed for the day "due to icy conditions."

I thought I'd just crawl back under the comforter and go right back to sleep while the winter wonderland outside continued. And, I did just that. When I woke, it was to my husband saying he was going into work. I gave him the concerned wife speech. "Don't risk things. I know you need to be there, but you need to be careful."

And, then, I finally walked over to the front door to look outside at the ice feast. We might not get snow here, but hey at least we can get some icicles, I thought.

And, what did I see? I saw rain puddles, my friends. The grass, sidewalks, and streets were covered not by Mr. Jack Frost, but by Ms. Soggy Bottoms. There was nothing wintry about it. It was Houston rain. The same as we always get.

"Where's the ice?" I asked my husband. He shrugged and told me that most of his coworkers were already at work. As I looked back at the television news reporters who were breaking into shows like it was the Armageddon, I couldn't help but laugh.

Just the day before, I'd made my normal trek to the grocery store to find shelves cleared of all "essentials." I'd had three people ask me if "I'd prepared myself" for the ice storm. Did I have logs? Did I buy tarps to cover my plants? Oh, and make sure you stock up on tomato sauce. Did you all know that a winter forecast actually sends people into a freakish canned foods buying frenzy? Yeah, neither did I. I just needed some tomato sauce for my freaking Pork Parmesan.

I just called my husband on his way to work. He said it was like driving in on a rainy day. He crossed three major freeways, went on overpasses, and the whole bit and never saw one bit of ice. And that begs the question here, what are the people of Houston smoking that makes them think a tiny cold snap is worthy of such dramatics?

I grew up in Texas, so I am used to sweltering summer temperatures and little of the winter season. I have never lived somewhere that we had to shovel our walks or dig our cars out to drive. My eyelashes have never frozen to my face. Fortunately, though, the area in which I lived got snow and ice once or twice a year. We had just enough to make snowmen and snow angels and possibly get out of school one day out of the year if we were lucky.

I remember when my high school principal proudly proclaimed that school would be in session during winter storms unless it was so bad that he could not get out his front door. Plans were instantly made among the Junior class boys to pack snow up a foot thick against his door. But, we still never really got out of school.

This all just feels so silly, but I suppose I should enjoy it. Instead of a planning meeting on Vacation Bible School at the church and a quick rush home to make soup for my "soup swap" get together tomorrow night, I will spend the day in sweatpants and make-up free enjoying the time with my kids. Still, I can't help but think that those Northerners are laughing at our humidity-loving Southern asses about now. That's all I'm sayin'...


Blogger Dipu said...

Local news crews, especially the weather people, love this kind of stuff because they think it justifies their existence. Up here in Austin, they were going through similar apoplectic motions beforehand, which led me to believe they were overreacting. Especially when Monday didn't look as bad as I was expecting. But then it worsened a bit and we've been frozen in for a couple of days, so I guess for once, at least in Austin, their typical overreaction was more or less justified.

As for the Northerners who laugh at us, let's see how funny they think it is when they're keeling over from heatstroke at the first sign of 80 degrees...

11:49 AM, January 17, 2007  
Anonymous Angela said...

Yeah, the Air Force base in San Antonio--basically our "mothership"--is closed today because of weather. We have ice all along the side of the road and sheets of it over standing water, and yet, here I am at work. Gr!! I'm just jealous--I want a snow day! LOL

2:01 PM, January 17, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, just wanted to leave you a note. (I found your blog from a link on another and I quite enjoy it!)

I'm up in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada and I love your post today! We had *putting on my biggest announcer voice possible* "THE BIGGEST BLIZZARD OF 2007" last week. I woke up and turned on the Weather Network like every other morning only to be greeted by warnings all over the place saying the same thing "Don't go out if you don't have to" But, being from a Canadian prairie province where we get lots of cold and snow I figured how bad could it be? Yeah there was blowing snow, yeah it was cold (minus 30 something Celsius with the wind-chill) but it didn't even last a day. I've seen worse, much worse and it was never touted as the WORST anything, it was just another crappy winter day here. So I can completely relate!

As for what Dipu wrote, I agree us Northerners tend to laugh a little, but here in Alberta we do get crazy weather at both ends of the spectrum. It can get down to minus 40 Celsius (which is the same in Fahrenheit) in the winter(colder if you factor in wind-chill), but it also gets past 80 Fahrenheit (26 Celsius) on a regular basis!

Also, we're a little jealous that no one gives US a snow day for pretty much anything!

5:27 PM, January 17, 2007  
Blogger CPA Mom said...

I feel the same way after living in the midwest for a few years I can see how dumb people get here in Virginia when we get a dusting.

10:12 AM, January 18, 2007  
Blogger Nicole said...

I have to say that even after making it through 2 blizzards since I've been in Colorado, I think Texas ice storms are much worse. At least we have the equipment up here to deal with the roads...

Enjoy your time indoors!

1:53 PM, January 18, 2007  
Blogger Masked Mom said...

Ok, we were laughing a little. I had a customer send flowers to McKinney, TX the one icy day. Her son lives there & apparently works for the school district in some capacity. He got an automated phone call saying school had been closed because of the "ice." But, yeah, I'll be the first to admit to whining when we get socked with the heat and humidity. Give me the ice and snow any time.

6:42 AM, January 19, 2007  
Anonymous Vicki said...

We had a little ice just north of Houston but it wasn't all that bad. lol, it must have been a slow news day here in Texas to make such a big deal of it here in Houston.

11:59 AM, January 21, 2007  

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