The conscience of snow

Published 11:15 am Friday, January 31, 2014

Snow brings out a multitude of human emotions.

On the one hand, there is the extreme joy. Driving around Franklin Wednesday afternoon, many children — and adults — were visibly playing or taking a stroll in the winter wonderland that was the more than 5 inches of snow brought to us.

The joy wasn’t just in Franklin, as is evidenced by the pictures that poured in from readers in both Isle of Wight and Southampton counties. Some of those pictures we have shared with you. Check out page B1, where we designed a page of some of the pictures that were sent in. We’re also taking more, and if there’s room, we’d like to do another reader page featuring snow pictures, with some of the photos that have already appeared, and those yet to come in. If you have any photos, send them to

Hopefully, you will see them in the paper. But if not, like us on Facebook and look for the photo album Snow pictures. Click here to see them.

Another emotion is caution. It was nice to see most people respecting their speed while driving. Fear for life never entered the equation during my ride through Franklin.

It can also be evidenced before the snow, where countless workers, both VDOT and many other companies, private and public, out putting out salt and other preparatory methods. As well as private citizens, who purchased rock salt and shovels.

In another method of preparation, VDOT, counties, municipalities and others got out very early to shovel the snow off the road. It’s very appreciated for someone like me, who had to use the roads due to work.

Yes, it’s also aggravating. This morning, when my heater was working overtime and still not even almost keeping up, it was more than aggravating. Especially once the news came in that the low of -4 degrees might be a record.

That said, knowing some in the county were without power helped me appreciate that it was still going — it certainly could have been colder in my apartment.

And then there was the story of the people stuck in Atlanta. After speaking to Franklin native Sheila Baxter, who spent 24 hours in her car to get home, on what is normally a 15-minute drive.

Thinking that my grandmother was probably at her home monitoring the weather for the Virginia area worrying about me, Baxter’s family, and anyone with family in the Atlanta area, had to be going through much worse.

Still, it was nice to hear that she had a positive outlook on the whole experience. Baxter will remember the fellow drivers and people who lived nearby who helped her and many others.

That’s certainly what I’ll remember, too, all of the positive emotions that came from this two-week snow experience in this city we call Franklin.

CAIN MADDEN is the managing editor of The Tidewater News. He can be reached at 562-3187 or by email at