Many years ago and right out of college I worked for a good ol’ boy who owned a successful home remodeling company. We’d get to the job site on a blustery morning, the kind where the wind feels like tiny icicles stabbing through your clothes, knowing that we were outside all day. Before we could say anything, he’d say “Don’t like the weather? Stick around ’cause it’s gonna change.”
He didn’t have a lot of patience for me back then, but I like to think that at least I amused him.
Another one of my favorite sayings I stole from him came from when we were about to start the demolition on a 150-year old house in Atlanta. The interior walls were horsehair plaster over old wooden slats.
As we stood there ready to get started, I was pontificating about any possible pipe or electrical wire that could be hidden in the wall that he didn’t already think of. I pointed out the location of the bathrooms, kitchens, electrical boxes and explained scenarios where those things could be connected via a pathway through that wall. After standing there with a sledgehammer in his hand and watching me go on, he finally shoved it at me and said “Boy, you about to find out.”
And I did. Quickly.
With that said, I’ll get to it. The weather here in Georgia is quite insane, especially this time of year. The changes are mostly due to the jet stream sliding north and south of us. When it’s to our south, it’s cold because we are feeling the air coming down from Canada. When it is north of us, it’s warm because we are feeling the air coming up from the Gulf.
That’s why a couple weeks ago we went from a beautiful spring day with a high of 72 degrees on Thursday, to a high of 42 degrees with snow on Saturday, back up to 70 degrees the next Tuesday.
That is a huge shift, but do you know what the weather was for that same time period in Chicago? It was a high of 32 degrees on Thursday, 30 degrees on Saturday and 35 degrees Tuesday. As I’m writing this, it is 0 degrees in Chicago and “feels” like -15 degrees. No wonder I have so many friends who moved from there to here. I’ve been there in the summer, and it is a truly wonderful city. It occurs to me that the winters must be truly awful to push people away from there.
My Chicago friends laugh when they see us natives freak out over the first hint of snow. But for us, for our children, we know snow here is fleeting.
I was at a Cub Scout Pinewood Derby when the snow began to fall last week. A dedicated group of dads had worked hard with their sons to carve a small car out of a block of wood and were eager to see how their car competed against the others. An even more dedicated smaller group of dads had worked the night before setting up the track in the Queen of Angles gym. But once those fluffy white flakes started falling and accumulating, we had no chance. It could have been full-sized drag racing with Guardians of the Galaxy superheroes driving and there still would have been no possibility of keeping the young scouts inside.
The snow did accumulate. Snowmen and snowwomen were made. Sledding occurred. And by 4 p.m., the roads were clear.
Here in Atlanta, we are admired for the success of our business community. We grow more jobs every year than almost every other major metropolitan city. We talk about the work done at the ports, on growing our logistics, fintech, data-centers and auto industries. We talk about the genius in laying fiber-optic cables all over the place and making the climate here business-friendly. But I will tell you that, in secret, our top economic development experts will tell you that our greatest asset is our weather.
While we may be famous for shutting down during snow days, those days are far and few between. We don’t have hurricanes or earthquakes. We get a little of every season, and for the most part, our businesses stay open.
So enjoy those short bursts of spring and fall. Because they don’t last long here in Georgia. The weather will always change.