Snow completely disrupts routines, at least here in the South where even a prediction of snow throws everyone into a panic and causes them to rush to the store to buy eggs, bread, milk, and toilet paper. There’s even a running conspiracy theory that the stores are in cahoots with the local meteorologists and will sometimes throw out a false warning when they’re overstocked on those items which would explain the occasional July forecast, but that’s another story.
I understand that other parts of the country are better equipped to deal with snow and Yankees and other aliens have asked me so many times, “Why does snow cause so much trouble around here?” that I’ve developed a standard answer. I say, it doesn’t happen often enough and when snow starts falling there are still some people who run out into the street screaming, “What is this stuff? It looks like chicken feathers but it’s cold!” Nashville has ice trucks and snow plows, although not very many, and one year they couldn’t get out because the door of the garage where they kept froze shut. There was no backup plan because it never occurred to anyone that such a thing might happen. I told a bus driver who’d moved here from Michigan that and she laughed so hard I was afraid she’d go off the road, but I’m pretty sure Michigan does have snow in July.
I know I’m making it sound worse than it is. Most winters Nashvillians will see snow at least once or twice, and on rare occasions the Aurora Borealis can be seen, a faint smudge of neon on the horizon. The snow just never lasts long enough for anyone to get used to it, which may be why I’ve never ridden a bus that was on a snow route. Or maybe I have and I didn’t know it because the snow route for my regular bus isn’t that different from its regular route. And yet the other day when I was waiting for the bus this came zipping up:
At first I hesitated to get on, but the door opened and the driver motioned to a seat. I don’t know what circumstances led to a shortbus being sent out to pick up regular riders, but it was a nice break in the routine.