By Camille Nesler
Let me be the first to say that I WAS not one of those people who were running around hoping for a “White Christmas.” Honestly? If I had my way, I’d live on an island in the middle of nowhere, surrounded only by blue ocean waters and the ONLY time I’d leave is when there were threats of a hurricane. Or a tsunami. And maybe a volcano eruption? Ok, ok, I get it. No place is perfect no matter where you live, but I have to say, if I wanted to shovel snow and drive on icy roads, I’d have stayed in Chicago.
Yesterday morning I turned on my computer and the first thing I saw was postings by news stations, wanting to know what everyone “thought about the snow” and was it a “headache” or were people “having fun” with it. That struck me as kind of ironic, considering the previous posts by the same news stations said, “Hundreds of Thousands without Power in Freezing Conditions” and “Two Toddlers Killed in Accidents on Icy Roads.” Really? So you want to ask what we THINK about the snow, after reading THOSE kinds of headlines? I’ll tell you what I think: I think it’s dangerous and I don’t care how “pretty” it is. Snow serves no purpose what-so-ever. I hear a lot of people claiming it will “kill off the bugs” so we won’t be bombarded by pests next summer, but guess what? Freezing temperatures will do the same thing. We don’t need the blanket of ice and snow along with it.
It’d also be really great if everyone from other parts of the country could quit saying things like, “None of you southerners know how to drive in snow.” First of all, I’m from the north. They can get a blizzard in Chicago and guess what? A few hours later, the roads are clear. States like Illinois or Wisconsin have road departments who are used to this kind of weather, and they also have equipment like snow plows. The minute the snow starts, they are ready. But guess what? Arkansas road departments DO NOT have the funds to invest in snow plows which they may only have to use once every two or three years. Yes, they can come out with some salt or some sand but they don’t have the equipment to clear off the roads the way the road departments can in the northern states. It’s not that people don’t know HOW to drive in these conditions it’s that the roads are not SAFE to drive in these conditions. I invite anyone from a northern state to come down here and try to drive on an icy back road that hasn’t been cleared by a snow plow. I’m betting they’d be just like the “southerners.”
And last but not least, I’ve saw many news stations asking people how many of them were without power and where they were located. Luckily, we have service with Benton Utilities who don’t service the entire state, and not with Entergy, so we were only without power for about two hours. But what really surprised me were all the people complaining about how “slow” the Entergy workers are, and complaining about their wait time and acting like it shouldn’t be any trouble at all to get the power back on. Immediately. Um, hello? There were close to a quarter of a million people across the state without power! Yes, I get it. Entergy is a big corporation and nobody likes their rich CEO’s. But guess what? Those CEO’s aren’t the ones out there fixing lines and poles in the snow and ice and rain and freezing weather. Those are the actual WORKERS. So cut them a small break, OK? I’m sure they are doing the best they can.
Maybe everyone should think twice before they ask for another white Christmas. You think?