Thursday, February 3, 2011
Guest from South...
Weather report in Aberdeen ... South Dakota.
Feb. 1, Tuesday: Bitterly cold. On and off snow showers this morning. Peeks of sunshine later. Dangerous wind chills as low as -25F. High -1F. Winds N at 15 to 25 mph. Chance of snow 30 percent.
Feb. 1, Evening Forecast:
Bitterly cold. Generally clear skies. Low -24F. Winds NW at 5 to 10 mph.
Being sisters is very important. At least that is what I hear from my girls. Being sisters is sometimes good and sometimes it can be cold and uncomfortable.
I have also learned that sisterhood is not bound by distance; you can have a sisterly bond regardless of how far you are from your sister, right? But it is the cold and uncomfortable side of sisterhood that I would like to bring to light.
Holly Springs is in the heart of North Mississippi. Aberdeen is in the heart of Northern South Dakota. I know that seeing the words “Northern” and “South” next to each other in the same sentence might be cause for alarm, but rest assured we get through it every day and you will survive it this time.
But I digress. In Aberdeen we have blustery plains and in Holly Springs you have rolling hills. You have trees and we have telephone poles. We have section line roads and you have interstate highways.
Well honestly, we have interstate highways but they are far from being convenient. It is like 77 miles to the closest one. I have seen it a few times in the nine winters I have lived here, but again, I digress.
There are many differences between Holly Springs, Miss., and Aberdeen, S.D., not the least of which is 19 hours of the most nerve-wracking driving known to man. But this winter there really seems to be one thing -- one family trait that has bound these two places together in sisterly union.
This bond is one that many of you may know all too well. This bond is cold and unforgiving. This bond can produce hours of fun and days of torment. It can bear fruit in the form of a seldom enjoyed sweet treat and it has thorns that can end the lives of man. In 2011, the thing that inarguably links our towns like never before is snow!
Getting an ample supply of the white stuff has linked us together, but that is where the similarities end.
In December 2010, Aberdeen, S.D., received 24 inches of snow. For those of you not very good in math, I said “24 inches of snow!” Depending on which yardstick you use, that is pretty close to two feet.
Take a guess how many days of work that I’ve missed in December. If you guessed zero you would be correct.
When we get snow nothing really changes. People do not get to stay home from work. Children do not get to miss school. You will find this almost impossible to believe, but I have photographs, charts, graphs and deep analysis to back up the shocking information that I am about to deliver.
When we get a prediction for three to five inches of snow, people do not rush out and buy milk and bread. Shocking!
I don’t know if it is that we are not as scared of snow as you are, or if we know that if we are going to be snowed in we are not going to buy the two things in the store that will spoil the fastest, but to each his own.
Everyone is hoping that this winter is a “fluke year.” There has been a lot more snow in places that never get snow.
I really can’t speak to that one way or the other, but I will give some sage advice from one sister-town to another.
If you get up in the morning and find yourself snowed in, do not shovel one scoop of snow. Go back inside and snuggle under your blankets and enjoy toast and warm milk and under no circumstances attempt to leave your home by car, truck or four-wheeler.
My brothers and sisters, it pains me to tell you this; but you are not qualified to drive in snow. We do it every day in South Dakota and without major incident. In Holly Springs you will cause damage to person and to property if you try to drive.
I am not sure if we have different automobiles here, or if our drivers have superhuman eye-hand-foot coordination. But maybe we just have different snow and that is the key.
Enjoy this, your snowiest winter in recent memory and we shall enjoy what for us is a very typical year. Just this last night (Monday) we received six inches of fluffy snow and I was informed at 6:34 a.m. that school would start two hours late.
Maybe we are getting soft and maybe one day a few inches of snow will be enough to declare South Dakota a disaster area. I don’t see it happening, but you never know.
Stay warm, sister!
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