Maybe it is because I was raised outside of Buffalo, NY in the small town of Geneseo that I could relate so well to the recent epic snow that blanketed Nashville this past week. Geneseo has an average snowfall of 51.5 inches with frequent “lake effect” storms from both Lake Ontario and Lake Erie.
David Dudley described my past and present experience perfectly in his op-ed contribution to the New York Times on January 22, 2016 titled, In Case of Blizzard, Do Nothing.
David’s from Buffalo and included a delightful photo of a 1994 blizzard featuring two figures shoveling snow off the roof of a house as the snow swirls around them. It wasn’t quite that bad in Nashville, but it reminded me of my childhood when school cancellations were an expectation.
In a 1985 blizzard, David recalls that Buffalo’s “Irish-American mayor, Jimmy Griffin, was at pains to persuade people to stop trying to go about their business as conditions deteriorated. He urged Buffalonians to “relax, stay inside and grab a six-pack,” which must be the best advice any elected official ever gave the public in an emergency situation.”
David continues: “The Snow Gods reserve special contempt for those who don’t respect their ability to bring human activity to a standstill. The snow cares not for your deadlines, your happy hour plans, your scheduled C-section. It wants only to fall on the ground and lie there. And it wants you to, too. Needless to say, you should. Unless you’re a plow driver or a parka-clad elected official trying to look essential, one doesn’t pretend to do battle against a blizzard. You submit. Surrender. Hunker down. A snowstorm rewards indolence and punishes the go-getters, which is only one of the many reasons it’s the best natural disaster there is.”
I laughed out loud because that is exactly how I approached last week as did many of my friends. Make sure you have food and toilet paper, but then stop and “hunker down”. I delighted in emails and text messages checking on me, but my friends made it clear that they were enjoying the snowstorm in all its beauty, venturing out for a playday but then retreating to be warm inside. I heard of stories of meticulously cleaned houses and people writing letters to be mailed once the storm passed. How could it be a bad event when friends were “getting caught up on things”?
It was definitely HUNKER DOWN time here in Nashville for at least a few days with the quietness of the storm filling the desire for activity.
Maybe it is God’s way of rewarding indolence and punishing the go-getters. I don’t need to be convinced when a snowstorm is on the way that it is time to “relax, stay inside and grab a six-pack”.
Blessings, my friend,