Monthly Archives: January 2014

Snow Freak Atlanta – Tuesday, January 28, 2014 – A Confluence of Events


The governor called it an “unexpected storm,” but thousands of state residents thought different Interstateas weather forecasts rolled in for days beforehand, indicating the possibility that Tuesday’s arctic conditions existed. Public school systems in Atlanta, Fulton County, and DeKalb County began sending their kids home early on Tuesday afternoon, notifying parents by phone to arrange for someone to meet them. Around this same time businesses began closing.


A quarter of a million people all hit the strained highway system of Atlanta at the same time.  Kids on school buses were stranded, many overnight in schools, many more on the buses that headed into the thick of things. People abandoned their cars in parking lots and subdivisions, even alongside the road, choosing to walk for miles in sub-freezing weather to get home. Some slept in the aisles of a Publix grocery store, at a community center, a neighborhood clubhouse, and restaurants. Others chose wisely and stayed the night in their workplace, while some braved the nightmare to get to children only to wind up sleeping in their cars.

AirportEmergency workers spent long hours, often hampered by the same snarls that stranded thousands of motorists. With limited resources to de-ice the airplanes, even the airport was affected, stranding thousands of people in the busiest airport in the world.



Mayor Reed blames the disastrous day on timing. Parents blame the school systems for School kidssending their kids out into the mess. Employees blame their employers for not taking the weather reports to heart and closing their doors earlier.

I saw many foolish drivers clogging intersections as they tried to force their way through to a street that — you got it — wasn’t moving.  Are they to blame? Individually, no. Collectively, they sure didn’t help. 

In the end, we have to face the ugly truth — for a city the size of Atlanta to be so very vulnerable to two piddly inches of snow is unacceptable. Our population has grown, but our infrastructure hasn’t. Face it people, we’ve fussed about Atlanta’s traffic for decades, but it’s only gotten worse. Atlanta’s road system, highways, surface streets, all of it, cannot support the sheer volume of traffic. And shame on us for allowing it to continue and grow worse.


I said many times after the Katrina disaster that regular folks will always step up and help out. Why should we wait for an incompetent government to take charge? They’re like a monster ship that can’t respond quick enough. But we can. And do.

Side streetI heard stories of a China Wok feeding hungry school kids stranded when their bus could no longer traverse the hills.  Men–regular Joe’s– who used their trucks and even four-wheelers to ferry stranded motorists to safety. Stores, restaurants, and businesses that opened their doors for overnight guests, offering shelter and whatever food they had. Heroes everyone; not expecting anything in return.

Sure, we have some rotten apples in the barrel, but I still believe in the innate goodness of mankind. There are way more who care and are willing to help than those who kill and maim innocents. Kudos to Atlanta’s heroes who stepped up when they didn’t have to.

Tweet if you love social media!

Drag me kicking and screaming into the 21st century! Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Hoot Suite, Google Circles, and on and on …

ink well and feather quill

I first learned to type in high school on a manual typewriter. Yep, the one you had to pull the handle on the right side to return to the left margin. When IBM came out with an electric typewriter, it was a miracle! I thought my fingers would fall off from the speed alone. And then came the MEMORY typewriter. No more correction fluid, correction paper, or typing erasers for me. Now you could correct (back space over) your mistakes before the ink hit the paper.

I first used a Panasonic that (in all honesty) looked like a microwave oven! About that size, too. The memory strip was a ribbon-like window, approximately one-inch high and maybe six-inches long. You could actually “see” your typing–or at least the last 25 characters. The memory cache would hold approximately 500 characters before the print mechanism triggered, and wow, it sounded a lot like a  burst of machine gun fire.

I remember the first time I sat in front of a computer. We had step-by-step instructions: 1. Push this button. 2. Press F3 to access the reports from the night’s run. I became a whiz at working all the “F” keys in Word. And then they gave me a mouse?

We’ve certainly come a long way since then and, while I have no complaints about the incredible advances in technology, I do sometimes wish the world would slow down a little. I don’t move or think as fast as I used, too.  I blame it on having stuffed my head so full of knowledge over the years that anything new has to fight to squeeze in. And the room may or may not be available.  Have to run. Got to go tweet!

Help Us Find Mara’s True Hero…

ADA 1x0.72A DOZEN APOLOGIES is such a creative concept. I invite you to share in this sometimes funny, sometimes sad, but always entertaining story woven by twelve different authors.

The lead character, MARA ADKINS, is not the same person today that she was in college. In a ‘Mean Girls’ meets ‘Touched By An Angel’ journey, she sets out to try and right some of the wrongs from her past by apologizing to twelve men she deliberately and cruelly hurt. There’s just one little problem—she’s lost her job, is broke, and had to move back in with her parents. Any job at all looks good at this point if it’ll put gas in her car. Or so she thinks.

Follow Mara’s antics as she takes on unique jobs…and loses them. Meet the men from her past who have done their little bit of growing up. And best yet, help us finish the book!

This is how it works:Hearts

– Starting January 20th – February 5th, you can read the chapters (one posted each weekday) at
– At the end of each chapter you’ll find links to other stories, including Mara’s daily journal, interviews with the ‘heroes’, and special blogs from the authors.
– The authors will not be revealed for now because once all the chapters have been posted, we’ll ask our readers to vote for their favorite hero. — who will get the girl!  That’s right, you get to pick the HERO (and that author will have the privilege of penning the finale chapter)!

There’s a catch though, and a BONUS: The book will be released on February 14th and is the ONLY place you can learn which hero is chose BUT the book will be available for FREE through the Valentine’s weekend.

Spread the word, read the chapters, pick your hero, and VOTE!


Cold Weather, a New Year, and Resolutions

After a December filled with flu bugs, runny noses, congestion, and a cough that won’t leave, I am thankful  for the bright hope of another New Year. Even wearing three layers of clothes as I type while my trusty/toasty space heater cooks my left side, I remember my blessings: I have electricity and a space heater. A house and clothes. Winter Storm Hercules bypassed Atlanta (sorry my Yankee friends). For kleenex, Nyquil, cough drops, and the Doc-in-the-Box down the street. And quiet, the kind that comes when your grown children don’t want their kids to catch what you have. (At least until they need a babysitter.)

2014 is shaping up to be one of those life-altering periods for me. Such moments don’t usually come with advance warning, but this time I’m the one initiating the change. I like to tell people that I’ve finally figured out what I want to be when I grow up — RETIRED! At the end of this year, I’ll make it official. And savor each month leading up to it. I’d be a liar if I said it doesn’t make me a little nervous, especially given the state of America’s healthcare system. I’ve always worked, except for a short period of time after my first child was born. Without an employer to set expectations and provide insurance coverage, I’ll have to take care of myself. A scary thought, but freeing.

I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. Never have. It’s impossible to project what your life will be like in…. say April or September. For sure your circumstances won’t match what you have in January. Resolutions are broken because life has twists and turns; because resolution goals are not practical, but mostly because the goal setter relies on hope and chance. (Fail to plan = plan to fail.)  Set smaller goals instead..Achievable goals. Daily goals. Be clear about why you want this goal. Understand what you want. Determine what it will it take to meet those daily goals. Take a “glass half full” approach and celebrate your successes. Look ahead to the next one. Don’t dwell on any you don’t quite reach.

My daughter once asked, “If you could go back and relive any one year of your life, Mom, what age would you want to do again?” I challenge you with this question. If there is a favored year, what happened that would induce you to want to repeat it?

After thinking about my answer for a bit I said, “None of them. I have great memories and some not-so-great memories, but each one made me into the person I am today. Each year gets better and better.”

I’ll leave you now to ponder on that thought. What do you have to be thankful for from 2013 and years past? What do you look forward to in 2014?