Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Hometown Geography & Weather

We had an inch of snow here Tuesday night, and every school and most businesses shut down for a rare and precious snow day. Tuesday, in anticipation of wintry mix, everyone was also closed, though freezing rain didn't arrive until sunset (the Ross where Mums and I went for Senior Citizen Discount Day closed at 5:30).  Before noon Wednesday, the roads were dry and clear, and the dusting of white was retreating from the curbs, exposing the dead gold grass, but Augusta was still like a ghost town.  I wanted to drop off two batches of consignment items, but both stores were dark and locked, as were many, many others on the main and back roads, including groceries, restaurants, and car repair.  I went to the gym instead. 
Then I came home, showered, and prepared for bed.  Before I dozed, I decided to update the prices of my Amazon book listings.  I have 164 items in my inventory, and with the click of two buttons, I intended to "match low price" on all.  I was using my iPhone instead of my laptop, and hit the wrong line on the tiny scroll-down menu.  And accidentally closed all my listings.  Turns out, you can close 'em all at once, but you have to re-open them one by one.  Which process took four hours.  At least I had an audio book to listen to while I did this.
Hot weather doesn't faze Georgians, but the sight of a single snowflake sends us into tizzies.  As a re-engrafted native, I find this amusing, and also have to chuckle at the uncanny juxtaposition of several hometown enterprises and signs.  There's the high-tech laser eye surgery center built thirty feet from the heavily-traveled freight train tracks.  Just diagonally across the road, a sophisticated spine-treatment center, encased in hideous primary-color avant-garde concrete, glass and steel, sits right next door to a squat and ramshackle house fronted with a peeling sign (topped by a tiny rack of antlers) which reads "taxidermist". 
And then there's the familiar (to me, from years in the liberal north) "War is not the answer" sign stuck in the front yard of one of my mother's neighbors.  Just around the corner, at the stoplight, you can see an enormous billboard (14' x 48'), with the smiling faces of two lab coat-wearing men and in gigantic black lettering the shouted assurance: "We have the answer!"  
Because of the telephone and electrical wires at the intersection, you can't actually see what the billboard is advertising until you pass under the lights--varicose vein treatment, it turns out. 
I suppose war isn't very good for treating unattractive leg veins...

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