Monday, February 10, 2014

Oh, (S)No(w)!



As I posted on Facebook this morning...

Dear Mother Nature,

What the (fill in the blank)?

Yes, I know February is one of the winter months.  I expect cold and even snow.  But the past week has netted us 13 inches of the white stuff.  9 inches last Tuesday, which had not melted away, only melted a little and froze...harder and harder throughout the week.  And now another 4+ inches over night.  One sweep of the car with a broom last week was quite enough.  This morning invited another, and I had no excuse not to accept.

I'll admit that snow can be pretty.  I've seen the beauty of Jack Frost's artistry.  But I'd really rather see it in pictures, not deal with the stuff.  My three oldest daughters and I once spent five hours sitting on a country road, two miles from home, and no way to get there, thanks to an unexpected blizzard.  The road grader/snowplow had gotten stuck, and five cars full of neighbors and friends, including ours, sat and waited, while he hoped help would arrive while we tried to stay warm.

At that time, my girls were 3, 5, and 7.  I'd left work early and picked them up at the babysitter, then drove ten miles farther--sliding sideways once--to meet their dad at a small gas station.  The plan was to follow him and the road grader.  Until the road grader got stuck.  And so did all of us who thought we were smart by follow the snowplow.  Uh, no.

We had no snacks, no drinks, and just enough gas to keep the car warm enough so we wouldn't freeze.  After four hours of waiting, we all walked more than half a mile to the closest neighbor's house.  They offered all us warmth and friendship, fixed us sandwiches and drinks, and assured us that help was on the way.  Help came from two other neighbors, who drove their four-wheel-drive tractors and picked us up to take us home, when they could have stayed snug and warm in their own homes.

No driving the tractors on the roads.  No one could see where the road ended and the deep ditches on both sides began.  We traveled cross-country over winter wheat fields.  And let me tell you, a driver (my brother-in-law and the only one seated), plus five of us in the cab of that tractor was not a picnic on the plains of Kansas.  (Hint: Tractors in fields are not smooth-going.)  The girls were bounced around like billiard balls, and I lost track of how many times my head hit the top of the cab.

When the driver let us out across the road from home, we headed straight for our house---only we forgot about the ditch.  We couldn't see it.  I nearly lost the youngest in the 4 feet of drifted snow.  I kept telling my daughters that we were on a great adventure, and that someday we'd look back and laugh.  I chuckle now, but a laugh is hard to come by.

We're not the only ones who've been dumped on this year.  The Pacific Northwest has had more than its share, as has the East Coast, the South, the Midwest, and most of the country.  Really?  If I wanted Canadian weather, I'd move to Canada.  It's beautiful there and they know how to deal with snow and blizzards and cold and...  All those things I'm not so crazy about.

Frankly, Mother Nature, I've had enough, and I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one.  While Spring is not my favorite season---thanks to tornadoes---I really wouldn't mind if it came early.  This is one of the longest cold spells in winter that I can remember.  So cold, the City opted not to salt the streets to melt the snow and ice for two reasons.  Isn't that an oxymoron?

  1. They're low on salt.  It's all sitting at the salt mines, fifty miles away, and the roads are too bad to go get it.  
  2. It wouldn't do any good.  The temps have been in single digits, making the use of salt, well, useless.

But we'll thaw.  By the weekend, temps are expected to hit 50 degrees.  I'm not sure I want to look beyond that.  In spite of wishing for spring, we have at least five more weeks of winter.  I don't expect my feet to thaw until July.

What's your weather been like?  Have you been snowed in?  Spent far too much time clearing snow from your car so you can crawl to work, hoping you don't get stuck and/or no one slides into you?  Or are you basking in the Florida/Arizona/etc. sunshine?  (If so, a resounding raspberry to you. ;) )

A lot of people like snow. I find it to be an unnecessary freezing of water. ~ Carl Reiner

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