“A Georgia white Christmas…without hallucinogenic help” was written by Bill Rosen, a yankee transplant now living in Marietta, Georgia, as a letter to a still-yankee friend. Bill is a freelance writer (and claims to be a dog lover despite having a cat), contributing to several publications including the “Pickens Progress” newspaper and “The Mountain Rambler”, both Jasper, Georgia publications.
Watch for his soon-to-be published book, “A Bowl Full of Laughs”, a book on bathroom humor (I didn’t know buying a toilet plunger at WalMart could be so funny) soon, in bookstores and on the back of toilets everywhere.
Some of his work can be found here. He can be contacted via email at [email protected]
Christmas day letter from Georgia to Massachusetts
I just saw Gov Patrick on TV and see you’re in a state of emergency. He says everybody’s coping, New England is prepared for this…. hunker down, blah, blah, blah… wet heavy snow.. Logan’s open…
How are you? Is your heater working? How was your Christmas? We had an action-packed day in here in Georgia.
We’ve been snowed in here with one to two inches with drifts over three. It’s the “second white Christmas in Atlanta since 1859” but by my calendar it’s the 262,921st time it snowed here over the last 5 billion years. Sensationalism rolls right off my back these days. CNN’s been sifting through the snow looking for dirt and they’re really scrounging. The newscaster in Stamford, CT, exclaimed that the streets are cleared better than the sidewalk and people have been forced to walk in the street. Can you imagine? Nostradamus was right- the end is near. The big news is in Trenton, though. People are still rubbing their eyes in disbelief and clutching their remotes to their chests and gathering their children. A busload of gamblers never made it to the casinos and was stranded on the New Jersey Parkway from midnight to 5am when they were rescued. Fortunately, nobody was injured and only the driver was charged with stupidity for attempting the trans-state excursion during a blizzard. Ten to one, everyone will survive.
I nearly got a ticket for stupidity, myself. Christmas morning I left the apartment around 8:30 under heavy grey skies and drove due north toward the mountains and the snow storm. Sixty-five miles later, I arrived in Jasper at the foot of the mountains to try and find Bob just as the snow hit. I never saw everything turn so white so quick. I began sweating and shut off the radio as the car began slipping and sliding up and down hills and around curves while I fought flashbacks from Iowa, although Iowa is actually flatter than New Jersey. This was the second time I set out to find Bob’s Yurt, what I call “the little big-top;” an enormous round tent on a raised wooden platform. Approached from the woods after dark, lit up, this modest abode could easily be confused with your run of the mill flying saucer.
Both times, Bob gave me step by step directions, failing to mention that every other intersection had its sign twisted so it displays the road you’re on rather than the one you’re crossing. I’ve never asked and I don’t know if this is a result of Georgia backwoods wisdom or vandalism. Either way, it only made matters worse. He did mention, however, once you leave Jasper the cell phone won’t work. True enough; communications were severed and the only thing Bob and I managed to communicate was verification of this. It was frustrating and then I got lost. I found myself turning around several times in places I had already been only minutes before. Except for my lone tire tracks, I’d have never known this. Everything looked the same. I was reduced to retracing my tracks and turning randomly in hopes of anything including a Saint Bernard.
I passed quaint country farms with curls of smoke from their chimneys and imagined children, still in their pajamas, unwrapping gifts by the tree as the fireplace blazed and the bacon sizzled in the pan as content parents looked on. Out here it was the Poseidon Adventure in Alaska.
After a few close calls with mother nature, I decided it was time to go home. Then, by nothing other than sheer dumb luck, as I was piloting down what might have been a washed out streambed beneath the snow, Bob was standing by the road. Big Bob. It was the first sign of life I saw in the Georgia mountains in nearly an hour. I was shocked. He thought I knew what I was doing and I quickly decided this looked like a good plan to go with so we both kind of laughed at the fact that I had first passed his yurt, did a turn-around around and came back. Little did Bob know, I thought I was heading back to the road when he appeared like the ghost of Christmas present. My car isn’t that big so between “large Bob” and his “larger yet parka,” even with the seat back all the way, he managed to obstruct the view out the windshield from the rearview mirror, right. It was one of those self-inflating goose down parkas that wound up in the trunk for safety’s sake. I didn’t want to be anywhere near that trunk when we open it.
Back on the slope, a few hundred feet later, we were trying to climb a steep, snow covered roadway when my car began cutting out. It didn’t stall but the power to the engine began going on and off in short, even intervals. We both knew this couldn’t be good so we made it to the top of the hill, exhaled and turned back. Bob would call Kathy in La Grange (our destination about 90 miles away), alert her that we wouldn’t make it, and I would try to limp home where I’d call Bob once I made it. In the event I wind up in a ditch, off the side of the road, or airborne, I should call him and he’d send help.
Fortunately, when I got to level land, the car behaved perfectly and an old Volvo acronym kept racing through my mind. Volvo is big on acronyms and many of us wouldn’t be surprised if Volvo actually invented the acronym. They pioneered “ROPS” or “roll over protection system”, “SRS” supplemental restraint system, “ABS” anti-locking brakes, and many more that fortunately I’ve forgotten along with the location of speed bumps in San Jose. But “STC” and “DSTC” wouldn’t go away. These were “stability traction control” and “dynamic stability traction control.” It sounds like a feature you’d find on the lunar vehicle but it’s really a device that cuts off power to any spinning wheel thus maintaining traction. I’ve taken multiple choice tests and got the answers to this feature correct in the same manner a parrot learns to ask if anyone wants a cracker.
Like I said, as soon as I stopped going up steep, slippery hills, the car settled down and we I bonded as best friends. My Volvo not only transported me safely to and from this madness but by feigning an exotic Swedish auto disease, it convinced me not to drive an additional three hours and go straight home. This is a safe car- it does your thinking for you! The car was only doing what it was supposed to do and prevented me from slipping off the road or getting stuck by spinning the wheels. Moreover, I finally figured out what the “STC cut-out” switch was for. This is an over-ride switch designed for the macho man who wants to disable the STC feature so he could spin the wheels and raise hell if there were women around to impress.
I’m glad the excitement is over and I’m looking forward to getting together with some friends for a nice relaxing New Year’s Eve. The weather forecast looks better now.
By the way, what’s an Alberta Clipper?
- A White Christmas for the southeast (bonniemelt.wordpress.com)
- Atlanta weather | First Christmas snow pile since 1800s (ajc.com)
- Atlanta weather | Snow, icy roads for Christmas (ajc.com)