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Turn your thoughts to our February snow to ease the heat
The heat these days is so intense that chickens in the hen house are willingly springboarding into the cook’s frying pan just for some relief.
It’s so hot babies in our county are taking swigs off bottles of pureed jalapenos to cool down their innards.
Yes, even sun worshippers who pride themselves on their metamorphosis into bronze statues are petitioning their congressmen to have the ultra-shiny sphere in the sky transferred inside to the air conditioning.
It is toasty – real toasty.
The good news is it is only the beginning of July so enjoy this refrigerated triple-digit temperatures before it really gets boiling later on this month and into August.
Before we get to witness bubbling, simmering local ponds do their best impressions of pits of molten lava, let us all turn our thoughts toward what extreme heat means to us.
That’s right – snow. S-N-O-W.
As for me, I have a self-preservation system that forces me to blurt out the musical ditty “Winter Wonderland” during the perpetual sauna of the summer months. I also do a stunning rendition of “We’re Having A Tropical Heat Wave” when blustery arctic winds knock you down in January with more force than a trampling herd of elephants.
So if you will, I ask you wipe the sweat off your brow, get out of your seat, and stick your head right into that freezer where your children put that souvenir snowball from the white stuff that fell on Screven County Feb. 12. Now stare at that mounded frozen goodness, but resist the temptation to shove it down your shirt as a cooling mechanism. Remember you have big plans for that man-made artillery. In two more years, you can sell some of our now-famed great balls of Briar Creek for top dollar on eBay.
When the fluffy snow began to fall almost five months back, we were amazed. When it stuck to rooftops, lawn gnomes, and farming equipment, we were thrilled. When it stayed on the ground for hours, we were mystified.
That many flakes piled on top of each other turn into inches of snow. That’s not normal around here. It only happens every 30 years.
If we get 4 inches of snow, that is equivalent to Phoenix getting a 14-foot blizzard. It just doesn’t happen.
But before I got the chance to see the ski mountain rescue St. Bernard save lives, Frosty the Snowman tip his hat to little kids, and some parent yell out at their child “Get away from the yellow snow,” we squeezed our four kids, my wife and I into our family van for a trip.
Yep, a miracle was occurring in our small town and I was leaving. This hurt me on many levels. Here I am a father whisking his family away from the excitement. I am a newspaper editor leaving the rest of the Sylvania Telephone staff during one of the most electrifying stories of the year, maybe the decade.
But I had a scheduled trip to take – a trip 80 years in the making.
A celebration for my mom’s birthday was planned for that weekend. I had to keep my promise to my mother no matter what. I love that lady. Any person willing to put up with the likes of me since I was hatched has to be either something special or her brain is tragically oxygen-deprived. Either way, I needed to be by her side.
A typical road trip to mom’s residence in Rome, Ga., is about five and a half hours. That timeframe does include the mandatory children-adjusted quotient for too many bathroom breaks.
We did leave snow in Sylvania, however, on this trip we saw snow. Lots and lots of snow. We saw so much snow that we came up with more names for that cold precipitation than the Eskimos have.
Nobody in our van slept. There was too much intrigue. It snowed on us all the way to north Georgia. We went by an Augusta auto dealership that had absolutely no variety. Every car on the lot was white. The red-hot pepper on a Chili’s restaurant sign right next to the dealership seems oh so much cooler with a foot of crystallized powder on top.
Our van arrived at its destination at 2:30 a.m. It took NINE HOURS to get there. We drove at a robust 35 mph through snow that came from our left, right, above and somehow below.
When we started this excursion, our van was fire-engine red in color, but by the time we got to mom’s our vessel was so cold, it changed to a light blue, the color it remains today.
For those of you who think I am a weenie because I didn’t press the gas pedal more to speed up, take this into consideration: All the cars and trucks that passed us we saw again 30 to 45 minutes later spun out in a median. Those speed racers were OK, but they needed a tow truck which would be by in about seven hours.
For the first time in all my years as a driver, I passed another car on a four-lane highway as I floored it at 25 mph.
“Kids, dad is passing someone while we go 25 miles an hour,” I remember informing the passengers.
With that, I heard, “Go, go, go … yeeesss! Wooooo hooooo!”
At 10 o’clock that night, we made a welcome center “pit stop” in Morgan County and family members then commenced into a snowball battle. Now that was some fun. The kids all fell down in the deep snow repeatedly. With their rosy cheeks, they then hopped back into the van shivering and their teeth chattering.
“We’re cold. Turn the heat on!” they pleaded.
Children, your request has been granted. Just go outside. The heat definitely is on now.
I think I’ll go check to see how my frozen February snowball collection feels on the back of my neck. I suggest you do the same.
Enoch Autry is the publisher-editor of the Sylvania Telephone.