I had a moment today, a moment that compelled me to pause, close my eyes and take in the sound of nature. It was the sound of snow falling. It happened in a very unlikely place: the Wal-Mart parking lot. I walked out of the store with my cart full of groceries to find the parking lot almost completely empty. It was quiet enough that I could hear my breath and I could hear the snowflakes hitting every surface: the windshields, the shopping carts, the patches of grass, the asphalt. I strolled to my car overcome with gratitude for the alarmist nature of my fellow East Tennesseeans. They hear the word snow and run for the hills. If so much as a flake falls from the sky the world stops turning, schools close, people start filling bottles with tap water and stuffing canned goods into their fallout shelters. They think I am nuts for doing my grocery shopping in the middle of a Nor'easter. Their paranoia is my gain.
I spent my teen years in the Midwest and have plenty of experience driving in the snow. The current weather in my neck of the woods hardly qualifies as snow. Every blade of grass is visible under a thin white, wet blanket and there isn't a flake of snow on the road. It's wet. There's no ice. There's not a car in sight. I was standing next to my car when I closed my eyes. I listened to the snow hit every manmade surface and pretended it was hitting the branches of evergreen trees and the forest floor. I smiled. I couldn't help myself. If only I could count on inclement weather on all of my grocery days. Life would be a lot less stressful.