By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Hetzel: When Momma Bear Gets Snowed In
Placeholder Image

Truth be told, I was excited about last week’s snow forecast.  Snow forts,  snow skis, and good ‘ole snowball fights are a huge part of my childhood memories from Ohio.

But Tuesday, when the weather forecasters started giving us winter storm countdowns, I worried.  Motherhood changes perspectives about everything.  Here in Georgia- snow is usually accompanied by ice. That translates into dangers on the road, power outages, and falls.  Sometimes, that also means barriers between us momma bears and our cubs.  

When our school system announced that Tuesday was going to be an early dismissal day, I understood. The ground was dry. Our county had false alarms before.  I’m sure that our school leadership would have received more than a little flack if the storm had missed us completely.

 But I know how long it takes to get all of the students home in our neighborhood on a half day: it’s usually around three p.m. by the time the final students get home. The news kept saying that we would be hit between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. 

So, before my ninth grade son headed off to school, I made him add layers of warm clothes. 

 “Mom, I’ll be fine. My bus ride is short.”  

 I argued that in cold weather, the bus might have trouble.

 “What if you get stuck and there’s no heat?”  

Several eye rolls and another sigh of exasperation.

“Aw, Mom, you worry too much.”

Maybe I do. But I call it old fashioned preparation.  

I keep a kit in my car: jumper cables, flares, and a flashlight. On Tuesday morning, I threw in an old quilt, just in case my cub (son) was a little chilly when I met him after school.

So, I went to my job at Barksdale Elementary. I love teaching the kids in the Science Lab. However, Tuesday morning’s schedule changed. Everyone pitched in to make calls to parents. We had to be sure that every one of our parents had made plans for their children to be dismissed early. Our bus drivers bring students back if no one is home. We didn’t want any children to wait at school.  

It wasn’t long after that when we started dismissal. We started at 11:30.  By 12:15, we had a confirmation that every student had been delivered. What a relief. 

Now my attention returned to my son.  He was at a friend’s house, playing video games. So, of course, his friend came over to our house.  Their rationale was that, if we had a snow day on Wednesday, they could hang out. 

 Beautiful, huge flakes were falling. The roads were clear and the car was warm.

Once home, the boys donned gloves and hats to join the rest of the neighborhood in the winter wonderland. It was beautiful. Even our dog had fun as she tried to bite falling snowflakes.

Even though I had anticipated traffic snarls, I had no idea about the disaster that was developing all over Atlanta. I couldn’t believe the thousands of people who were stranded because of icy roads.  

Our neighborhood was calling around-checking on each other. Do you have power? Food? Firewood? It wasn’t until later that we learned that some of our neighbors were stranded.

I was relieved to hear our officials cancelling school each day.  Many neighborhood entrances and school routes had huge icy patches. I’d rather play it safe.

For my part, I didn’t venture outside. I’ve had too many falls and emergency room visits to tempt fate. I watched the kids play and sipped my cocoa.  As long as my son was safe and sound, I was perfectly content being snowed in. 

Lisa Hetzel is a local Christian freelance writer, speaker, teacher and mom. Go to to find out more.