Monday, February 3, 2014
snow storm 2014
This is a remembrance of snow storms,then and now.It was the winter of 1982 and I was working at a Bellsouth phone store in downtown Atlanta as a part time employee.The snow started falling around one in the afternoon and three of us female employees, who lived more than 25 miles from the store,requested that we be let go as the snow was sticking and piling up.If our manager had granted that request,the union would have filed a grievance against her for not letting the most senior employees go first,even though those employees lived much closer.Not much common sense is allowed in this environment.So ,we all stayed and finally ,at four in the afternoon ,the store was closed.My friend Patsy and I started home in my car.We were not far from I75, but when we got to it,,we realized that a disaster was happening.People ahead had abandoned their cars in the lanes they were in and little was moving.We wove around the cars and got on I 20 heading East.Slowly,doing 10 miles an hour we headed to I285 and made our way home.At 8:30, I dropped her at a gas station, 5 miles from my house, where her husband met us .I asked her to call my children who were home alone,my husband being on business in Knoxville.
I will never forget those lonely, long last miles and the face in the window at 9:30 when I finally arrived.My 12 year old son was standing there, framed by the living room light .Even from the car,I saw his tears.There was no cell phones then and they had no idea what was happening for most of that long night.When I got in the door,I fell onto the sofa and wept.
I thought of this when I saw the notes on Facebook from a former co-worker of mine at Bellsouth Mobility.She had been in her car for over 8 hours last week when I first saw her comments.She had left Atlanta at 1 and at 9 P.M. was still on Georgia 400 crawling along.She was alone as was her son at home and there was no end in sight.This was a much worse mess because 30 years later Atlanta and the suburbs are much more heavily populated.I wrote this:"I wish I could come up there,snatch you,hug you and take you home."Above and below my comments were words of encouragement and prayers for safety from her friends.My son,the grown-up 12 year old, saw none of this.
Later ,in worry and frustration, I told on my timeline about the many people stuck and about her particularly.My incredible son saw this and asked where she was.They connected by cell phone and he and hos wife Katie drove down from Cumming to Roswell and "snatched her up and hugged her."She went to bed in his warm house with her kindle and some wine,11 hours after she left her job.The next day,he drove her home.
He was not the only one who did this kind of thing.Chik-fil-a employees went up and down nearby gridlocked roads with free food.One man made 20 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and gave them out.Others handed out coffee to nearby stranded folks .Some took in strangers for the night who came to their door looking for help.You amazing ,glorious city,Atlanta.
Today, I read that a few folks got tow trucks and stole abandoned cars.
I guess there are many responses to a mess like our snow storm.We can be a caring friend and pray for those affected.We can think ,what advantage is there in this for me ?Or we can think ,how can I help ?The best places are those inhabitated by people who live by the first and the last.
Lord,today, I thank you for Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook,little did he know.For cell phones and friends that pray.And especially, that I lived long enough to find out exactly what kind of man that 12 year old boy would turn out to be.