[From the Reporter Newspapers, week of Feb. 8, 2014]
It took Peggy Shaw, public relations coordinator for Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School, nearly 24 hours to get from Sandy Springs to Decatur.
“’I love snow!’ I actually said these words Tuesday morning as we gazed at snowflakes fluttering down outside the windows of Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School. Feeling confident, , since I’m from Virginia and had parents who taught me to “drive in snow,” I dallied until 1:30 p.m., taking photos, before heading home.
“By the end, almost 24 nerve-wracking hours later, I had slid backward down one Sandy Springs hill, crept in a crush of cars and trucks inching along Roswell Road, and, finally, slip-slided down Peachtree Road, swept along in a mass of bumper-to-bumper traffic moving ahead like nervous cattle.
“Between Buckhead and Midtown, I noticed the big, Italianate Atlanta Amtrak Station looming ahead. And about the same time, I realized that I was approaching the I-75/85 overpass just beyond… with, possibly, a glaze of hazardous black ice. I gingerly managed to navigate the frightening overpass, and soon afterward spotted a place I later thought of as the Stay-At-Your-Own-Risk Motel. I was able to rent the last room for $99 a night plus tax—a dingy smoking room with exposed wiring, torn-up carpet, and a TV that offered one channel, Fox 5, my one real link to the nightmare happening outside.
“I felt incredibly grateful, however, for this shelter from the storm as I watched vehicles being abandoned on the interstates, stranded travelers walking miles in snow, and people hunkering down in places like a Kroger or Home Depot. After 12 anxious hours of not knowing whether or not I would remain stranded another night, my son, a young police officer, rescued me in his four-wheel drive Jeep. We got my SUV about halfway home before having to leave it in a grocery store parking lot. By Wednesday around noon—just about the same time that on Tuesday I had pronounced my love of snow—I was home.”