The last recorded white Christmas in and around Atlanta, Georgia was in 1882…. Yes, 1882, 14 years before Henry Ford took his first internal combustion-powered Quadricycle for a spin and 21 years before the Wright Brothers took flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.
For us, on Christmas morning we encountered some freezing rain as we pulled out of the driveway on the way to Debbie’s parents home in Canton, Georgia some 30 miles north of where we live. As we travelled north the temps dropped steadily from 39 to 33 degrees and the freezing rain turned to a steady snow. Even further north up near Ranger, Georgia, Debbie’s brother and his family were essentially snowed-in with 3″ – 4″ of snow by 11am, as few rural areas have any type of snow removal or sand/salt spreading equipment.
We headed for home around 1:00pm and enjoyed the transformation to a White Christmas throughout the afternoon and into the evening. I attempted to make a quick trip to the store, but found that our community’s 8% entry road was blocked by a car with Florida tags that was all askew. Having lived in snow country for 1/2 of my life, I was reminded that your success as a motorist in a southern snow is determined by the motorists who surround you and ice-covered roads don’t care where you learned to drive in the snow. Therefore, I opted to return home and see what tomorrow might bring.
On December 26th, as the sun came up it was clear to see the coating of slush on our streets had turned to ice as our temperatures plunged to the low 20’s. We were supposed to drive to my parents home in eastern Pennsylvania on the 26th where we’d visit for 3 days before heading back home on the 30th. However, our local roads would delay the start of our 12hr drive from 5am until at least 9am, and road conditions in Tennessee and parts of Virginia weren’t all that great either. So, we decided to delay our departure for at least a day and slip our return trip to the 31st while keeping an eye on the weather. However, my parents learned they had an unexpected conflict that would take them away from their home on Wednesday, so we decided that fate was working against us and with great reluctance, opted to stay home over our holiday break and set our sights on taking a trip up during early 2011.
Interestingly enough, having thought about it after-the-fact, this would be our first time in 18 years that we did not spend at least part of the Christmas holiday with my parents in Pennsylvania. A bittersweet conundrum, to be sure. While we treasure our visits with my folks — they’re also our best friends — it’s kind of nice relaxing and decompressing here in the comfort of our own home, playing ping-pong, getting into a rhythm with our winter 2011 indoor cycling regime, and looking forward to the bowl games and a week of leisurely activities and perhaps a few small projects.