For the last week it seems like those living in Perry County have been “walking in a winter wonderland,” where schools are closed, businesses are empty, and everyone pretty much stays inside and off the roads.
What I’ve noticed a lot of, though, is not how pretty the landscape looks covered in white, or how much more often I experience my heart stopping when my foot hits that extra-slick spot on my driveway. It seems that anytime our area gets some wintry accumulation and everyone settles in until the big thaw, what I hear most are comments about how Eastern Kentuckians can’t handle a little snow.
Whether it’s from out-of-towners or people who have moved away and forgotten what it’s like driving on a slushy holler road, all I have heard, it seems, are jokes and comments about how people in this area freak out when a snow flake falls.
I have a friend from Michigan, who, anytime schools are closed or she is advised to stay in due to wintry weather conditions, her first reaction is to scoff and say something along the lines of, “I’m from Michigan! We don’t even pay attention to weather like this. You guys must just be afraid of a little snow.”
I’m sure many of you have friends, family members, or co-workers like this who laugh at the local school board’s decision to delay or cancel school when there doesn’t even seem to be an inch of snow on the ground or your own decision to call in when the roads may only look slushy.
What I think people like my friend fail to realize is, they’re not in Michigan anymore. They may have to contend with two feet of snow in the winter, but two inches here seems like two feet when you have to make it down Rowdy Mountain in one piece, or travel Route 7 before the salt truck drivers have even had their first cup of coffee.
We may not have monstrous amounts of snow (although my house sure seemed to get buried this weekend), but we do have mountains, hills, ridiculous curves, and even more ridiculously managed roads.
Out-of-towners and those who have moved away and maybe forgotten their roots need to remember, Eastern Kentucky’s not like anywhere else.