I will state, for those of you who haven't figured it out, that I live in southeastern Virginia. I'm about twenty miles from the ocean, which means that our winters tend to be fairly mild...very little winter weather in the past few years, and more ice than snow.
I grew up in Northern Virginia, just seven miles from the White House. I've lived south of the Mason-Dixon line for most of my life, including a five-year stint in Kentucky. I was raised by two Yankees: my mom grew up in New York and my dad in Iowa. In my household, snow and ice weren't viewed as scary things; my dad taught me how to drive in snow when I was 18 and we were always amazed at how people would panic when more than two inches of snow was forecast (bread! milk! gas! cancel all activities for the next week!, etc). The few times I remember OUR household actually coming to a standstill, we had over six inches of snow and unplowed roads.
In NoVa and in Kentucky, I would be amazed at how inept the local residents were at dealing with snow. However, NOTHING prepared me for the folly that I have experienced this weekend. Our area received about 7-10" of snow on Saturday. I drove in the early part of the storm, because I was on-call Friday night and received a page around 4:30 am. It was rough, but not horrible. However, we got a little bit of sleet and temperatures dropped, and THE WORLD HAS COME TO AN END. Every church cancelled services. Every school system is closed today. Most local military bases are closed to all but essential personnel. Major roads are still unplowed, unsanded, unsalted. Apparently most local cities have between 20-30 snowplows, tops. Even the city to our east, which is (geographically) one of the largest in the state/nation, only has 25 plows. Neighborhood streets are never plowed.
The kicker? My OB's office just called me. They're cancelling all appointments and diverting all tests/labs to the hospital. Why? THEIR office parking lot is unplowed. I have a Fetal Non-Stress Test this morning, so I have to go over to the hospital to do it. Not a big deal at all, although I'm thankful that Harry is home to watch Nora. However, what made me roll my eyes was the nurse's final comment: "You might want to have someone drop you off in front. The hospital's parking lot isn't very clear, either."
I'll take my chances. I don't feel like making Harry and Nora go home and come back in an hour (children are currently banned from all area hospitals due to H1N1 fears), or drive around aimlessly for an hour. It can't be THAT bad, can it?