Last week was just chaotic. Seriously. I kept reading that lots of people (mostly northerners) spent the week laughing about a little bit of snow shutting down our whole city, and that's okay.
Here's what's not okay...
1. Criticizing our meteorologists. The men and women that we look to for our weather needs are fantastic. These people give up so much of their lives and time with their families to make sure that ours are safe. FYI: They don't actually predict the weather. They rely on tons of programs, machines and equipment to give them an idea of what's going to happen. These people spend countless hours doing live television during tornado season to make sure we know exactly what's happening. (I'm looking at you James Spann.) If you don't know James, go follow him on twitter. He's legit. He's one of the many that abandoned his vehicle and walked to work. He is a wonderful, Godly man and he doesn't deserve the crap he's gotten after everything he has done for our community and many, many others.
2. Calling us stupid. We might be a lot of things around here, but stupid ain't one of them. Yeah, I said ain't. This event and the gridlock that came with it had nothing to do with stupidity. It's what happens when thousands of schools and businesses are closed at the same time. And not only at the same time, but at the exact time that snow is falling, sticking and freezing turning our roads into ice skating rinks. Unlike the north, we don't have snow plow and sanding trucks on standby. Snow is not our thing. Snow is your thing. We have tornadoes. So we have helmets, flashlights, tons of extra batteries and emergency shelter plans. We are always prepared for what we are used to experiencing. Have you ever been separated from your family? Husbands, wives, and kids in three different places? Don't you think you would do whatever you had to do to get to them safely? That's what Alabama was doing. That's what caused a gridlock.
3. Acting like you're better than us because you can "deal" with a little snow. Y'all, this wasn't snow. This was snow turned ice immediately. It's not easy to walk on ice, much less drive a vehicle safely. I would like to see how you guys would handle a tornado outbreak that kills hundreds or a Cat3+ hurricane. No. I really wouldn't. Because if you were to experience something like that, that we have so many times, we wouldn't talk about you. We would reach out to you. Offering help anyway we can. The was Toomers for Tuscaloosa has anytime there has been a disaster in this country in the last few years. We might not do well with a little snow and ice, but we sure do know how to treat people.
You want know what is okay? People giving rides to strangers, people giving out free food... See THIS article about ChikFilA. People leaving their safe homes to help get as many as possible safely to their own homes. Strangers opening their homes to strangers. People standing in the freezing snow for hours handing out coffee and snacks. A doctor walking 6 miles to perform a life saving brain surgery. Strangers opening their homes to other strangers. People sleeping at their offices. Teachers spending the night in their schools with students whose parents could not reach them. Hospitals giving out free scrubs, toothbrushes and whatever else they had to make sure people were comfortable. These things are okay. Tell me northerners, has anyone every given you free food while stranded in a snow storm?
We might be a lot of things around these parts, but selfish isn't one of them. We take care of our own and I am more than proud to be from Alabama and call this place my home. Maybe you will get to experience southern hospitality at it's finest someday. I sure hope so.
Happy Monday, Y'all.