Snow rules

When snow and cold temperatures are incidental, when the area you live in is snowed on every winter all winter, when snow removal is a given, when you demand snow cover to make the cold air “worth it,” life goes on.  School doesn’t close, ear flaps on fur lined hats are a fashion, muck-luck is a word, you measure the length of the season in how many colds you get, and you overshoot the driveway at least once a year.  Dress for the weather and do what you have to do to maintain normal.

It’s amazing what one puts up with. If a White Winter is what you left behind or just read about, you just aren’t prepared and it’s a big deal.  Here in Tennessee I have great respect for the severity of snow and cold’s impact on hills and curves, and people who either don’t own a winter coat at all or wear parkas in the low 40’s.  Snow is just not normal.

School was called off in anticipation of snow.  Roads were brined ahead of the first flake.  And here’s the biggie — our company actually sent people home early not just one day, but two in a row!  School kids can’t make it in but the mail gets delivered.  Even though some parents can’t get the kid to school on time, others brave their way to the malls.

The snow started mid-day Thursday with a vengeance.  We were offered the opportunity to go home early.  I left a quarter to dark allowing me to tell what was slush or dry or ice.  Just an hour later, Honey reported his entire 15 miles as glazed.  Nobody said anything about the next morning so off we all went across slippery packed snow and streaks of ice, sharing it with terrified drivers who cleaned off only the 10″ round part of the windshield they need to see straight ahead.

Again, leave early.

Saturday I parked in the recliner and caught up on 3 months of checking transactions entering them manually into Quicken.  Never put that off that long, trust me, especially if you have to go back 7 months to find an error. Honey went to the shop, carefully, confirming again that our house was surrounded by slick’n’slippery.

So doesn’t this stuff melt away by the next day around here?  Apparently not every time and not this weekend.

About 9 last night I read a comment on Facebook from the music director that church was rescheduled for one service instead of two.  We got a full night’s sleep, casually headed out in the heavier car with the better defrost system and were promptly stopped at the end of our block by a young couple a half inch from sliding backward into the ditch from a cross way position in the road.  After carefully pushing them back into a forward position and instructing them to stay the heck off the brakes (which they didn’t — fishtailed all the way to the stop sign) and just roll over anything that isn’t a dry surface, we asked them where they were going.  After all, there has to be a darn good reason for inexperienced people to venture out on ice and snow. Maybe if it was an emergency we would offer them a ride.


But of course.  Well, “you’re better off turning right and swinging around via the interstate.”

They didn’t.

Snow’s a big deal here.  If it isn’t on a curve or a hill, it’s hiding on a section of road that is shaded year round by pines and remains icy days after the rest is dry and temps are above freezing.

When I was in school, if one could make it, the doors were open and the day counted even if we were immediately sent home.  Now, if one cannot make it, we’re closed until all those curves, hills, and shaded spots are clear and dry.  At least that’s the impression.  No one’s denied it.  “Well, you know those mountain roads….”  I say catch them up when they can get there.  It’s what — a week lost?  People with the flu can be out a week and catch up.  Why not snow kids?

The weekend’s over.  The roads are passable in most areas, no fear of sliding or being slid into.  All is back to near normal, today and tomorrow expect to have highs of 36 — “chiiiilllly”, four syllables — to the locals, but panic-free.  After a few more days, kids without coats, wearing shorts and flip-flops will shiver at the bus stops, but tomorrow co-workers will run across the parking lot in their parkas and fur lined boots to the shelter of the over heated building, telling and retelling their nightmares of bitter cold, snow so deep you can see your foot print, piling on the blankets, two pairs of socks, and so on and so on.

Maybe we’ll get another so called blizzard this month, maybe some sleet next month.

How far south do I have to move? Even Florida was only in the 60’s.


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