By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT – Louisiana is expecting snow this week.  Say what?

I know people in the north must laugh at us.  The inevitable “bread and milk” memes showing empty grocery store shelves come to mind.   I went to the grocery store yesterday out of necessity rather than any snow-minded panic, and the cashier lamented how busy they had been all day.

“I don’t know what’s going on,” she said.

“Snow in the forecast for Monday night,” I explained.

She had no idea. “That explains it,” she said.

All the jokes are true.  The meteorologists on the local stations broke the news Friday afternoon that models were setting up for a “wintry mix” which would “quickly turn over to snow” and that “accumulations of one to three inches are possible.”

Panic ensues.

My husband is from Iowa and he just laughs.  He is one of those who walked twenty miles up hill both ways in five feet of snow to get to school; he milked cows after walking through veritable blizzards to get to the barn and chipped ice out of frozen water troughs.  You know the type.

But around here if you say ice, we close the schools.  We can’t drive in that stuff.  The rural kids that ride school buses will freeze, not to mention that rural roads and bridges ice over.

This is a true story: one day about three years ago we were in school when it started to snow; it was about 10:30 in the morning, right before lunch.  Not big, heavy wet snowflakes but just flurries.  They closed the schools parish wide.  By the time I got to the interstate five minutes away it was all over.

Overabundance of precaution, they called it.

As soon as the local news said the “S” word Friday, everyone is on pins and needles checking Facebook and the news sites for notice of school closure.  Parents are stressing out about whether or not to find babysitters or take of work.  The school superintendent says he will make the call sometime Monday afternoon (Monday we are closed for MLK day).  This delay in making the call is angering parents as meteorologists speak with increasing confidence of “a winter event” and measurable precipitation.

Snow days are a rare treat for us down here.  While the Midwest and northern climes accept shoveling snow and not parking on the street because of snow plows as a part of winter life, we don’t have those issues down here.  So when we can get enough snow to scoop up in our hands, or look outside and see a blanket of wet, white snow on the lawn, it is in fact an event.  The high humidity here means we have heavy, wet snow, not powdery light stuff.

I can predict with near certainty that by Monday afternoon all of the news stations will have their intrepid reporters out standing by the perfectly dry interstate to report on road conditions.  Once the event occurs there will be tiny snowmen on the hoods of cars or the messy, muddy ones that required every bit of snow in the yard to create.

It could be a magical day.

Or it could just be rain.  Then we will feel robbed and cheated.

All of that bread and milk stowed away for nothing.

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport.

♫ Oh, the weather outside is frightful,
But the fire is so delightful.
And since we’ve got no place to go,
Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! ♫

 

“Let it Snow” Sammy CahnJule Styne 1945

As yesterday’s big snow storm hit the eastern US I was seeing various tweets about the beauty of the snow and the winter wonderland and how lovely it will be to have a White Christmas.

Let me be a bit of a killjoy and remind you that if you are looking at a ton of snow, or even a few inches and talking about how lovely it is thank an oil man, a gas man a coal miner or an industrialist.

Because without them you would have to gather firewood to stay warm and toasty, you would need to chop that wood to make cords and cords of it and be ready to feed a stove or fireplace for basic heat.

And of course that wouldn’t heat the water for your shower, or your washing machine or your dishwasher, without the water heater built by a factory and powered by oil gas or coal you would have to heat water on that wood stove.

And not only would you have to heat it but before you bothered to do so you would need to have pumped it into your house from a well, but of course thanks to industrialization and devices that run on electricity (mostly generated by coal, oil nuclear etc) you don’t have to do this.

Did you go to the grocery store and stock up before the storm, well, you had better thank those industrialists and railroaders and trucker who got the products from all over the country to your local market or fueled the vans and planes that flew them from the Amazon pantry for home delivery.

And also of course the people who made your cars, your tires and delivered the fuel that gets your four wheel drive vehicle to the store in case you didn’t have a chance to stock up. Not to mention the plow drivers and those who made those heavy trucks and fueled them who cleared the roads so you could do it.

Otherwise you would be eating whatever you grew and could store on your own.

And we haven’t even gotten to the snowblowers, the oil & gas that runs them or even the plastic head on your snow shovel

Finally if you are reading this on the net or watching TV while stuck inside all of that is made possible by the industrial complexes that build TV’s, cable and wireless and beam it out to you.

Put simply for all the screaming of our eco friendly friends the only reason why they are able to agitate against all that oil, gas, coal and industry produce are because the conveniences brought about by these things allow them the free time to do so.

Otherwise they would be huddling in their hovels doing their best to stay warm, fed and alive.

I’ll give the last word to Jimmy Stewart as George Bailey with the addition of truck engines to his list

George Bailey: Do you know the three most exciting sounds in the world?
Uncle Billy: Sure, “Breakfast is served, “Lunch is served, “Dinner is served.”
George Bailey: No. Anchor chains, plane motors, and train whistles.

It’s a Wonderful Life 1946

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8 AM Friday Morning

7:30 AM Saturday Morning

Update: Here is the post shoveling view

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…or at least that is my assumption since there is so much snow on the ground:

It's a wet snow that sticks fast

The Bridge got covered pretty fast

5th street bridge Fitchburg

Vote for who for city council?

My wife’s decorative grass has done poorly

Please don't snow on the grass

As have my grape vines

No guard snake in sight

and here is my quick video of the area:

If there was ever a good time for Mitt to shift on Global Warming, this is it.

Update: Driving really bad, at Mass St. Anthony church lost power just before the 1st reading, finished the mass by candlelight, trees bending and plows out in force, several signs of sirens and ambulances all over. Don’t travel unless you absolutely have to.

Update: Instalanche and a post storm update in the AM