Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Is this Really Georgia??

I did the research. I looked at all the factors you would normally look at when contemplating a move to a different region of the country (in our case, a different country). I looked at taxes, cost-of-living, population, entertainment opportunities, geography, crime rate, ease of access to hospitals, airports and other major cities, and climate. All of the information we gathered kept pointing to the Chattanooga area. Climate was a biggie for us. Having lived in the heat of Northern Peru for the last ten years, we did not want to return to Wisconsin or any other cold weather state.

Using Google Map I ‘walked’ the streets in December. People were walking downtown in light jackets. Others were in shorts and t-shirts. Weather averages for January in Chattanooga are 49 high and 24 low. I’m thinking that’s perfect…we’ve got it made.

Do you know what the temperature is forecasted to be tonight? Nine. That’s right…nine. All day the radio has been announcing school and business closings for tomorrow. That’s not what we signed up for. Granted, in Wisconsin, Minnesota, etc. where we don’t start paying attention until it gets to -20 or so, nine would be nothing. But we didn’t anticipate having to buy snow parkas, wool hats and gloves. Georgia doesn’t show that in their tourist promotional advertising. They show southern belles in peach colored dresses strolling on a promenade.

City planners…in fact the entire metro area was not designed with temperatures of nine in mind. Earlier this month we had another cold front move through. A water main froze and broke in downtown Chattanooga. Television broadcasters kept advising people to let their faucets run slightly to prevent freezing. I didn’t pay attention to that, regarding it as being overly cautious. As I recall it was only going to get down to 16. The plumber bill was $95.00. Houses are not insulated to deal with a temperature of nine. And based on my experience neither are many of the small businesses. Oh well, I’ll probably be complaining when it’s in the upper 90s as I did last July.

And speaking of complaining, as long as I’m on a rant, let me comment about driving. The salesman who sold us our car said, “Let me caution you. Tennesseans are terrible drivers”. Those were his words, not mine. Was he ever right! In 60 years of driving my rule of thumb has been speed limit +5, unless I’m in a school or construction zone. It has been my observation that the standard practice here is speed limit minus 5 to 15. And there seems to be an obligation to constantly vary the speed. I have seen bumper stickers here that say, “The closer you get the slower I drive”. It is difficult for me to imagine how one could drive slower without stopping. 

I am not talking about an occasional driver. I am flat-out saying that it is the majority. I saw this same thing in New England in states like New Hampshire and Vermont. Maybe the cause is all the hills in those states and here in Tennessee and Georgia. Whatever it is, it sure is annoying. I would love to see some of these folks drive through Chicago during rush hour. They would probably get so rattled they would never drive again.

Okay…no more ranting. Despite the unplanned for cold and puzzling driving, we’re very happy with our choice. The greater Chattanooga area has a lot going for it and is a good place to live.

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