Well… the snow started falling in Oregon. I was born and raised in Alabama. Once I got married, I moved around quite a bit. I lived in Virginia, Texas, Montana and now I live in Portland Oregon. I have never seen such mindless hysteria as I have seen here. We didn’t get snow that often in Alabama, but when we did, things went on as usual. The kids were ecstatic to be out of school. The parents were proportionately unhappy to be driving to work in the slush with the added bonus of having to find child care on the fly. I also lived in Montana for six years. Being from Alabama, I was the butt of a lot of jokes. No matter how bad it snowed, everyone always made it to work on time. It could be six feet deep and if I happened to be just five minutes late for work, they would all tease me relentlessly saying things like, “Did the Alabama boy have a tough time in the snow today?… Did your little hands get cold?… Maybe we can get you a little sled…” As a result, I became very self reliant. I got up early on snow days. I packed flares, extra gas, and emergency supplies in my truck. I even got a snow cat, for when the snow was too deep for my truck. No matter what the weather, I was never late.
It’s simple… I get out of bed a little bit early, and I get a little earlier start (with my emergency supplies just in case) to set off for the day. I drive a little slower and with a little more caution. I always get there, if not on time, a little early. That’s it. Anyone could do it. But here in Oregon, common sense just goes out the window. The drivers here not only totally wig out with the tiniest bit of snow, they have no common sense to boot. This morning, there was some ice on the off ramp, from the interstate, heading to my place of work. At the end of the off ramp, there was a red light. The car in front of me skidded a little when the light turned green. The lady totally stopped the car, got out and ran away as if her car was on fire. She abandoned her car, blocking two lanes of traffic… crazy. A few years ago, my temper may have flared, and I might have said a few colorful metaphors to the hysterical lady. Today, I calmly got my pen and made a note on my “to-do” list for me to “get a bigger brush guard for the truck” so that I can push idiot’s abandoned cars off into the ditch when this happens again. I put my truck in four wheel drive and eased around the abandoned car and gently headed on to work.
When I got to work, there were 6 call-ins, (nurses and techs) and two doctors, because of the snow! It’s funny… 100% of the patients made it to the hospital for their scheduled surgery. Deaf, blind, amputee, it doesn’t matter, they all can make it with ease but the staff are all “snowed in!”
I have just one more observation about Oregon drivers. After enduring the staffing shortfall, I got loose and headed home. The snow had melted and there was only rain and icy slush on the roads. The traffic should have been moving along normally, but Noooo! The road was riddled with idiots. The typical “on-ramp” is built to “get-on” or transition to the interstate. It is intended to allow a person to accelerate to near hi-way speed and then merge into the flow of the traffic. Today, a car had gone all the way to the end of the on-ramp and then stopped dead. He was looking back into the stream of oncoming traffic waiting for a mile long break so that he could pull out at 4 mph… Grrr.
I’ve gotten a lot more tolerant since I’ve been living here… well almost … Let’s just say, after living here a few years, I have completely lost any tolerance for jokes about Alabama redneck drivers.