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Holiday on ice

January 7, 2014 - Rob Weaver
The drive to work Monday afternoon reminded me of making the same commute during a holiday.

You might not realize it, but because The A-T is a morning newspaper, some newsroom staffers get the day before a holiday off, then work during the actual holiday. That happens on Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day. Plus, a reporter and editor always work Thanksgiving Day.

The times I have worked those holidays, the drive to work has been oddly reassuring. True, I'd be a bit disappointed at having to work on a holiday. But, while driving past the closed stores, shops, restaurants and even gas stations, I knew other people were enjoying a day off, and I was happy for them.

Yesterday, and again today, the west-end shopping district looked as it does -- or at least looked as it used to -- during national holidays. Monday, especially, the parking lots at Westgate and Wolf Creek were vacant, the storefronts dark.

But I'm not sure how much the employees were enjoying the day off. Outdoor activities were largely nixed, and the Florida State-Auburn game was hours away.

Then, when I drove to NorthStar Park to give my son a lift from work, I experienced deja view. (For those not familiar with the Sniglet, deju view happens when you only catch a TV show twice, but by coincidence, it's the same episode.) The trip down Tyber Road brought to mind scenes from the reality show “Ice Road Truckers.” Arctic temperatures. Wind whipping snow across a frozen tundra. A sheet of ice for pavement.

Driving home Monday night, the landscape seemed even more barren. This morning, however, a few places had reopened. With the roadway advisory scaled back to a Level 2, I expect more to resume business.

Until outdoor temperatures rise closer to the freezing mark -- perhaps Wednesday, more likely Thursday -- the ice road will linger. So use caution when you venture out.

And resist the urge to wear shorts Sunday when temps are forecast to reach the mid-40s.


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