It seems like it wasn’t too long ago that we all survived the Blizzard of ’93. Then it was the Ice Storm of ’96. I remember well where I was for both of those winter events, as do most of you reading this. Today as the temperatures started to drop and the snow began to fall here at my home in Jasper, I noticed that my telephone was uncannily quiet but my Facebook friend’s status updates were going bananas!
Having grown up in Whitwell for a good part of my life, I remember braving several snow storms, ice storms, and just generally “yucky” winter weather, and I remember sitting anxiously by the television, radio, and telephone just waiting to hear the word on school closings. It was somewhat of a hobby of mine back then (or maybe I was just really wanting that snow day), either way it was a inclement weather tradition.
Usually the phone would be ringing off the wall with friends and family members calling to talk about, what else? The snow or weather. It was an event that seemed to bring us all closer together. And as the area phone lines hummed with excitement and a near play-by-play of the weather event, it seemed to bring us all a little closer together somehow (at least until the local phone company exchange threw a rod or an ice-covered tree limb took down a phone line). I can still hear it in my head… “Well, we’ve got almost 3-inches of snow over here in Crossroads! Roads are icy, too! Bet school’s gonna’ close for sure!” and “I just talked to so-and-so up in the Pocket…and he said the roads are impassable!” and let us never forget the “…Wonder what it’s doing down around Jasper! I heard it wasn’t as bad in South Pittsburg except up on the mountain!”
Today, as I watched it snow I did make a few phone calls here and there, but I found myself talking more and sharing more with my friends by means of social media and Facebook specifically. I was able to see what friends in Whitwell were seeing at there home. I could check in on my friends and family in Chattanooga and North Georgia. I could also see what was happening on Monteagle and Sand Mountain without even having to attempt that trecherous drive! It was great connecting with old friends and new ones online and even seeing their families having fun in the snow before it got too cold.
While I do miss the buzz of the phone lines from time to time, I don’t really think this whole social networking thing is so bad afterall. I felt as good of a sense of community today online as I do when I go to the Kimball Walmart or the Jasper Post Office and all without having to leave the warmth of my home.
And since blogging (and news sites such as this are all a part of social networking) — I’ll share with you a few of my “snow pics” and some video from today:
How the snow started…when it started “sticking” at my house
Logan Carmichael is Publisher and Editor-In-Chief of MarionCountyMessenger.com