Breaking the Ice

Breaking the Ice

The coldest (and longest) cold snap in anyone’s memory has finally ended here in North Carolina. Yesterday, it was warm enough for Steve and I to walk two miles downtown and eat lunch outside in the sunshine. We felt like we were back in California. Everyone we know here apologizes to us about the cold temperatures, as though we’ll hold them responsible. It bottomed out at one degree Fahrenheit before starting its slow ascent back up to normal. The ice has broken.

So they say, our town usually gets 2-3 light dustings of snow each winter which melt the next day. Our December offering was 11 inches, dumping down on a Friday. By Saturday, most of us had shoveled out our driveways and the main roads were clear. However, the mailman, the one whose credo states that "Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds," did not venture out.

The next day, Sunday, we two newbies in town got in our car and drove to the next church on our checklist. On the way, we passed several churches with empty parking lots, save the still snow-laden cars abandoned when the storm began and the unshoveled drifts. When we arrived at the church we’d planned to attend, the parking lot had a chain across the driveway. We couldn’t find a single church that was open. I lived in Europe, New England, and Minnesota, and Steve lived in Colorado. We’re both accustomed to hardy people who aren’t stopped (or hardly even slowed down) by snow. I couldn’t stop laughing but my husband didn’t exactly see the humor in the situation.

Everyone had warned us that the town came to a halt with inclement weather. Now we believe them. And we’re hoping we won’t need that knowledge again until next winter. Since then, we have also learned to check the TV each Sunday morning because church closings are listed on the ticker tape at the bottom of the screen. And that would never happen in the Bay Area.

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