"Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour."
The cartoon featured above may be somewhat exaggerated when it comes to Southerners' reactions to snow storms, but not by much. When those infrequent winter storms are predicted, people high-tail it to get bread and milk; schools close, along with government offices, and even many private businesses shut down operations. People scramble to be prepared to ride it out as they know the possibility of being trapped at home for days on end, without adequate supplies, is no laughing matter.
So, if that's the usual case scenario, how could the storm which hit a week ago today catch so many people off their guards? Cause traffic gridlock the likes of which have never been seen as hundreds of thousands left work at the same time? Leave children and teachers stranded at their schools overnight and well into the next day?
Was the storm predicted? Yes, it was. But, there were serious issues for our local meteorologists to consider. First of all, this was not the typical snow storm we see in the south. Most storms arrive behind a front. This one formed in the upper atmosphere making it almost impossible to say where and when the snow would fall and how much would actually accumulate. And, initially, it was thought the storm would be the most brutal far south of the line between Birmingham, Alabama, and the Atlanta metro area.
My guess is that people had listened to the wildly fluctuating weather forecasts for so many days, they assumed it would end up being a non-event. Why not get up, get the kids to school, and ride off to work like you would on any normal, if unseasonably cold, winter day? Many probably didn't even tune into the weather that fateful morning of January 28th.
They ceased to keep watch . . .
Yet, there were many people who remained vigilant regarding the impending storm. Preferring to err on the side of caution, they worked from home and kept their kids out of school for the day.
Just. In. Case.
For the countless folks who were stranded for endless hours in their cars and trucks because of the snow, it is a lesson to be remembered for a lifetime. I do believe that when the next snow storm is forecast, even if there's a shred of doubt as to when, where, and who will be affected, these people won't budge from the comfort and safety of their homes.
And, they'll have lots of bread and milk on hand . . .
Were you stranded during SnowJam 2014, or caught in any unusual storm situation? Please share your stories in the comment section.
Prayer: Today, Father, remind us all to keep watch and stay alert to situations unfolding around us. Keep us ever mindful that no storm in our lives is too big to survive when You are by our side. May we always be aware of the blessings You give us every day. Amen.
I leave you today with some photos I took of the snow at our house. Enjoy!
When the snow finally stopped, this is what it looked like here.