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Columnist, Sheila Moss, is humor writer from  Tennessee. She writes  a weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny things that happen to everyone.

   She has written for  the Daily News of Kingsport,   Griffin Journal, Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton Advocate,  and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal. She has been published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks at Guidepost Books.  Her articles have appeared in numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.

    She is a former board member and past  Editor of  the, website of  the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, the oldest and largest professional organization for columnists. She is the Web Editor of Southern  and  a founder of the Southern Humorists writers' organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of

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Winter Storm Wasn't....

The Winter Storm that Wasn't

I suppose I should be thankful that we dodged the bullet and did not get the ice storm that hit much of the South from Oklahoma and Arkansas to Kentucky.

I am thankful, but I am not thankful for all the panic created by media and especially TV weather.

They seemed so certain. The ice was coming. It would be here the next day. They even told us the time that it would arrive, about 10 AM.

So what do you do? In spite of the many times weather is predicted incorrectly, can you afford to just ignore the dire predictions and risk getting caught unprepared?

Somehow, I just had a gut feeling that it wasn't going to happen. But what do my guts know about weather fronts? My arthritic knees are better at predicting weather, but even they cannot be trusted as they sometimes hurt for no reason at all.

Schools were closed for the day. Surely if schools are closed there must be something to it.

We saw all the pictures on TV of what havoc the winter storm was creating elsewhere. It was awful. Roads, trees, power lines coated with a thick layer of ice. Tree limbs cracked and fell behind the TV reporters. Power lines were down; there was no electricity or heat.

How can you ignore predictions with the weather people jumping up and down, pointing to maps, and screaming that it is coming?

The road crews salted the streets. Surely if they were using the precious salt supply, the ice was coming.

Problem is, we are right on the border of where the weather fronts usually go. We don't get rain and we don't get snow. Right on the border is where you get ice. And we remember the big ice storms that we've had in the not-that-distant past.

So, people make plans to stay home from work. With the ice hitting in the middle of the day, they don't want to get caught downtown and have to spend hour after hour in traffic trying to get home.

Surely with everyone staying home from work, the ice is coming. We stocked up on bread and milk and snacks. I don't know why, but it seems to be a southern tradition to stock up on food prior to a big storm. As you can imagine, grocery stores love winter storms.

We watched the weather on TV and on the Internet and braced ourselves for the big storm. We bit our fingernails and worried about whether we would have electricity and whether we would be able to get to work.

We watched and worried. Surely with all the grocery stores sold out of bread and milk, the storm was coming.

At ten o'clock, it started, a wintery mix of rain, sleet, and snow, just as they promised.

At 10:10 it was over.

That's it? Ten minutes and its over? They have got to be kidding? They closed the school, salted the roads, and created general panic over nothing? Again? What little bit of ice we had melted in two minutes.

Newspapers ran picture of the big ice storms in 94 and 97. They didn't have anything else to run. TV stations sent reporter north to Kentucky to report on the ice that fell there. They didn't have anything here to cover.

And so, we dodged the bullet. I should be glad. I am. It's not that I'm ungrateful. Maybe prayer and worry work better that weather dances. I don't know.

And I don't know what the explanations were for why the weather front went north of us instead of making a direct hit. I didn't watch TV. I went to work -- late.

Maybe my guts know more about weather than I thought they did.

Copyright 2009 Sheila Moss

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