15 Thoughts ALL Knoxvillians Have When It Snows, Even Just A Bit

15 Thoughts ALL Knoxvillians Have When It Snows, Even Just A Bit

Snow? In the Tennessee Valley?! Well I have never heard of such a thing!

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Getting snow in East Tennessee, specifically in the Tennessee Valley, is something that happens about once a year and it is not very welcome. Our snow is slushy and dirty and normally just turns into a solid sheet or black ice on the roads.

While some people love the snow here in Knoxville, most people hate it. Here are 15 things people think when it snows.

1. Three inches of snow is in the forecast?

Let's close every school and university besides UT because who cares in students who walk two miles to class slip and fall.

2. We have to go to the grocery store now! Who knows when we will be able to leave our house!

Milk, eggs and butter are the essentials we need when we cannot leave the house for three hours because of ice on the roads.

3. What are snow tires and do I need them? 

I drive a Honda and I honestly do not think they make snow tires for this car so the real question is "Will it snow enough to need them?"

4. Let's go sledding! Oh, wait, I don't even know where to buy a sled.

I think you can buy bright orange sleds at Walmart, but besides that, I wouldn't even know where to get a sled or how to use it!

5. Did the weather channel just say it is going to be 7 degrees outside tonight? I don't own a winter coat!

I honestly do not own more than a heavily lined fleece jacket so I am not equipped to walk around in weather that is well below freezing... and neither is anyone that is a Knoxville native.

6. How many days can I tell my boss my driveway is iced over and I can't come to work?

Sometimes you just have to say there is a sheet of ice on your drive way to get out of work #MentalHealthSnowDay

7. Yay snow! Let's have a snowball fight!!

Our knowledge of snowball fights comes from TV shows and movies, but our snowballs definitely look like chunks of mud covered in snow and no one wants to be hit with that.

8. Should I be letting my dog eat snow? What about my toddler?

Since snow is basically just water it is totally OK to let the dogs and children eat right? I can just ignore the grass clumps in it!

9. I hate this. I hate this. I hate this. I hate this. I want summer.

I hate snow.

10. I literally moved to the South to get AWAY from below 40 degrees weather and this awful white powder.

Honestly, I just need it to be sunny and 75 every day forever.

11. Do we even have salt trucks?

I know the news always talks about salting the roads but does the City of Knoxville actually own salt trucks or do we rent them from another county in the mountains??

12. What exactly is the point of putting salt on the road to combat snow?

No one understands how salt is going to melt snow and ice and make the roads clear so I think someone should explain it.

13. Should I be trying to enjoy this because I am not enjoying this?

It is too cold, too wet, and I am too over this weather.

14. I need more coffee.

There is never enough coffee when you are cooped up inside and cold all the time.

15. I cannot afford the heat bill if it decides to blizzard like it did in the 90s.

The one legit blizzard Knoxville has had seems like a horror story and no one can afford to crank their heat up if we actually got a giant snow storm again.



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I Visited The "Shameless" Houses And Here's Why You Shouldn't

Glamorizing a less-than-ideal way to live.
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After five hours of driving, hearing the GPS say "Turn right onto South Homan Avenue" was a blessing. My eyes peeled to the side of the road, viciously looking for what I have been driving so long for, when finally, I see it: the house from Shameless.

Shameless is a hit TV show produced by Showtime. It takes place in modern-day Southside, Chicago. The plot, while straying at times, largely revolves around the Gallagher family and their continual struggle with (extreme) poverty. While a majority of the show is filmed offsite in a studio in Los Angeles, many outside scenes are filmed in Southside and the houses of the Gallagher's and side-characters are very much based on real houses.

We walked down the street, stopped in front of the two houses, took pictures and admired seeing the house in real life. It was a surreal experience and I felt out-of-place like I didn't belong there. As we prepared to leave (and see other spots from the show), a man came strolling down on his bicycle and asked how we were doing.

"Great! How are you?"

It fell silent as the man stopped in front of the Gallagher house, opened the gate, parked his bike and entered his home. We left a donation on his front porch, got back to the car and took off.

As we took the drive to downtown Chicago, something didn't sit right with me. While it was exciting to have this experience, I began to feel a sense of guilt or wrongdoing. After discussing it with my friends, I came to a sudden realization: No one should visit the "Gallagher" house.

The plot largely revolves the Gallagher family and their continual struggle with (extreme) poverty. It represents what Southside is like for so many residents. While TV shows always dramatize reality, I realized coming to this house was an exploitation of their conditions. It's entertaining to see Frank's shenanigans on TV, the emotional roller coasters characters endure and the outlandish things they have to do to survive. I didn't come here to help better their conditions, immerse myself in what their reality is or even for the donation I left: I came here for my entertainment.

Southside, Chicago is notoriously dangerous. The thefts, murders and other crimes committed on the show are not a far-fetched fantasy for many of the residents, it's a brutal reality. It's a scary way to live. Besides the Milkovich home, all the houses typically seen by tourists are occupied by homeowners. It's not a corporation or a small museum -- it's their actual property. I don't know how many visitors these homes get per day, week, month or year. Still, these homeowners have to see frequent visitors at any hour of the day, interfering with their lives. In my view, coming to their homes and taking pictures of them is a silent way of glamorizing the cycle of poverty. It's a silent way of saying we find joy in their almost unlivable conditions.

The conceit of the show is not the issue. TV shows have a way of romanticizing very negative things all the time. The issue at hand is that several visitors are privileged enough to live in a higher quality of life.

I myself experienced the desire and excitement to see the houses. I came for the experience but left with a lesson. I understand that tourism will continue to the homes of these individuals and I am aware that my grievances may not be shared with everyone -- however, I think it's important to take a step back and think about if this were your life. Would you want hundreds, potentially thousands, of people coming to your house? Would you want people to find entertainment in your lifestyle, good and bad?

I understand the experience, excitement, and fun the trip can be. While I recommend skipping the houses altogether and just head downtown, it's most important to remember to be respectful to those very individuals whose lives have been affected so deeply by Shameless.

Cover Image Credit: itsfilmedthere.com

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Dear Mother Nature, We're Cold And Ready For Spring!

Where is spring and all the fun, warm weather activities it has to offer?

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It begins to set at the same time of year, around the end of February, the overall frustration with the post-January, pre-spring winter blues. Mornings are dark and cold, nighttime starts at 4 p.m., and the motivation to do anything is just nonexistent. Which brings up the question of where is spring and all the fun, warm weather activities it has to offer?

Come December, the holiday season brings out the love of winter the strongest, everyone is merry, spending time with loved ones, ice skating, drinking hot cocoa, cuddling up to watch movies, and just overall taking advantage of the cold weather. However, the weeks following New Years is when the mood starts to change and happiness begins to plummet people seem to fall into a post-holiday funk and the cold weather sure as hell doesn't help. It seems like the month of January is centuries long, I don't know if it's because it has 31 days or if the cold weather somehow stretches out the month, but making it through January is an accomplishment in itself. January is basically Winter in its own, so when it ends, people are more than ready to shake off the snow and get into some warmer days.

Then, February second rolls around and people are eagerly scoping the news to watch a groundhog predict our fate as they anxiously hope for him to not see his shadow and an early spring arrives at last. At least that is what happened this year. It seems that year after year the groundhog sees his shadow, gets scared, sprints back into his hole and we are left with six more weeks of winter, but this year told a different tale. The groundhog saw his shadow and ultimately it was predicted for an early spring. This prediction alone has sparked warm weather anticipation epically. People went straight to online shopping for bathing suits and shorts, rather than sweaters and boots.

Now, it may just be Virginia's wishy-washy weather but I somehow believe mother nature is playing tricks on us. One day will be 65, the next will snow, the next will rain and be 42, and the next will be 75. I even think the early spring prediction made Valentine's day for singles a little more bearable, because the 15th, the day after Valentine's day, was sunny and in the 60s. So mother nature, when is the inconsistency going to stop?

I think I speak for most when I say that we are ready for some spring weather. Ready for no jackets, shorts, getting in your car without having to clear it off first, longer days, flowers in bloom, and baby animals running around. Not to mention actually enjoying walking places in the warm spring breeze, rather than speed walking bundled up in 5 layers with a wind-chill that chaps up your face. It's something about warm weather that just makes people nicer, and overall puts us in better moods. Even on my most stressful day, if I walk outside and its anywhere above 60 and sunny, I automatically feel at ease.

I am not asking to fast forward to summer I am just ready for some mood enhancing, sunny, spring weather to make its way on over and terminate the winter blues.

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