Frozen in Birmingham

Have you seen all of the Facebook posts that pose this rhetorical question:  What did Birmingham do to make Elsa mad??

I feel so sorry for my fellow Alabamians who were stranded this week, especially the schools.  I’ve been on both sides of the desk in the schoolroom—as a teacher and as a student.  I can’t imagine being an exhausted teacher, responsible for those kids for the entire night.  I can’t imagine not being able to bathe after a whole day of school.  Nor could I imagine being a school child and having to spend the night with that same, haggard teacher.  These are kids who had to sleep without their parents kissing them goodnight. Kids who had to sleep without their favorite Teddy bear and fluffy pillow.  
I can only imagine being one of the moms who couldn’t reach her children because of the frozen roads.  
Speaking of the roads…
I can’t tell you how many Facebook posts that I’ve seen which criticize us southerners about our mishandling of the situation.  People who roll their eyes at us and are self-satisfied with their own intellectual superiority and our lack thereof.
Let me explain…
Birmingham is the largest city in our state, and a sprawling one.  It takes about an hour to drive from its north to south end.  It’s not like people can just walk home from work.  It takes a long time.  Furthermore, the snow/ice storm (or whatever it’s supposed to be called) is a fluke.  We don’t have snow plows and piles of salt setting around on hand to pull out and make everything nice for everybody.  Now that would be a ridiculous waste of our tax moneys.
Third, this is a unique medium (to use an art term…I don’t know what you’d otherwise call it) to drive in/on.  Yes, we know that cars will not safely drive on ice, but when is it considered undriveable and when is it just…well, snow?  
As a mom, I would be bustin’ it just to get out of the office and go fetch my child, just like the rest of those people who did so.  I’d get out there and forget that I had no traction, and foooooooooooom!  There I’d go, smashing into the other cars–or worse, into the Cahaba River.  I saw pics of cars that did just that.  It’s what nightmares are made of.
One more thing.  I’ve got a college friend who adopted a tween from Kambodia.  My friend posts about her a lot, and it’s a fascinating read.  Almost every day, the girl discovers new things that are interesting and curious about our culture.  Would we say that she is ignorant because she’s never seen Cream of Chicken soup before (and, incidentally, she refuses to try the stuff because she doesn’t know what it is…neither do I, really!)?  
No, of course not.  
So before people are so quick to put us Alabamians in a nice, ignorant little pigeon-holed package, please consider all of this.  In two days the ice and snow will be gone, anyway.
Oh, and p.s.,  please excuse my little rant.  🙂

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