Well, folks, it’s nearly the end of January. In some parts of the country, that means upwards of 2 MONTHS of dealing with snow. We had a white Christmas, a White New Years, and I can’t think of many days we haven’t had some accumulation of snow. So, since it seems to be a crazy focus around here, I thought I’d discuss what I like (or don’t) about snow (more don’t like than like, of course!).
1. It’s pretty! Of course, it goes without saying that it’s one the most beautiful forms of precipitation. It’s been glossed about or mentioned in many songs and poems, and who doesn’t love seeing a freshly fallen field of snow?
2. It’s fun to play with. Hello??? Snowball fights! Need I say more? I still haven’t found the pair of glasses T knocked off my face his first winter here in WNY, which he did by getting me in the face with a snowball! And snowmen! We all have one or two great snowmen in our memory that we just had the best time making, or worked really hard to make. Oh, and I don’t ski or ice skate, but I loved going sledding as a child. There are just not many good places to go around here anymore 😦
3. Snow days! Well, it’s not about the snow itself, necessarily, and certainly it’s not always the greatest thing for parents (though I’m a SAHM with a husband who works nights, so what do I care?), but I know kids LIVE FOR THEM. It was funny when I was in high school—our snow days would always been on the days where, invariably the main road through the district would be clear (which is a BIG THING). Thing is, I went to a rural high school, and we had to not only worry about that main road, but also the back roads. Which were not fun to traverse some clear days!
4. Delays. Can’t say many good things about snow, really. The delays can be the worst—whether it’s having to drive carefully because of unclear roads (which is an item all to itself), or if it’s because of a big snow storm hanging over something like an airport, delays aren’t fun.
5. Visibility. Or, rather, the lack there of. Sometimes, it’s just coming at you so hard and so fast, you can see little. I can tell you stories about going up that same main road in my school district (though, a different part of the road that isn’t [or is it?] right in the district), where I was giving mom and dad a ride because their car was in the shop, to go to the store or whathaveyou, and they had to talk me through the ride down the hill. OMG….you learn to watch for those lines at all times. And thank goodness we know the roads we dare to travel on during heavy snowfall so well…because sometimes you’re just going by the snowy landmarks you know!
6. Unplowed roads. I almost put “unclear” roads, but I might get you confused in thinking I was talking about the visibility. No, not even when I’m talking about having to find those lines—you can have roads where you can’t see the lines even when the snow has stopped. You know, I noticed something interesting this last week when we had a super cold snap. It seemed as if those who were blessed with the task of clearing our roads were having a much harder time of it than usual. And I think it goes back to a news report I saw on one of the local channels, talking about how the colder it gets, the less effective the salt and sand are on the roads. I noticed it wasn’t melting, something that helps with the clearing–because while it’s wet and disgusting and irritating, it’s easier to push up and over…and when you go over it with your tires, it’s more likely to get pushed out of the way and tracks are more easily formed when it’s warmer and thus wetter than when it’s just cold! Oh, and this doesn’t even include the streets the plow HASN’T gotten to yet! Because sometimes a plow can go over a road several times, and it’s just not clear!
7. Snow tires. Actually, these are a GOOD thing. Which we weren’t able to get this year. My dear hubby might find this item a good one, because he likes the slipping and sliding that sometimes occurs, but I get a bit jittery (though, I’ll be frank—a bit of a shimmy here and there is kinda cool too 😛 ).
8. People who don’t completely clear off their cars. Again, not really the snow itself—it’s going to blow around one way or another whether you like it or not. But this brand of people, they burn my britches!!! I call these people and their cars Blizzards-in-a-Car! And I don’t see how they can really say anything in their defense. It’s just wrong on so many levels!! First of all, it’s illegal for your license plate to be obscured (a funny—T pointed out a police car we pulled up behind at Tim Horton’s whose license plate was obscured–but if you didn’t know it was a police car, with POLICE written in 4 or 5 different places on all sides, you were blind enough you wouldn’t have seen his plate anyhow…still, it’s the principle of the thing). Next, they are putting everyone else on the road in danger, in two ways. (1)They are limiting their visibility. If they’ve only got 1 foot of windshield cleaned off in front of them, they might not see me or my child coming closely from their right. (2) There’s also the blow off from the tops and backs of their cars. People who leave just the top of the car are almost as dangerous, because the snow can blow off of their car too, but at LEAST they made an effort!!!
You know what I do when I go out to my car, whether it’s me or T driving? I take out a snow brush (they sell them, ya know! Sometimes year around!), and do an almost 360 around the car…I clean off the headlights, the windshields (front and back), the windows (all 4), and the back bumper and both license plates, plus as much as I possibly can of the top and sides and hood of the car. I might not always get it perfect—but I MAKE THE EFFORT!!!
9. Hardly plowed driveways. This is why I sprained my ankle last year. Because the people that had been hired to plow our driveway (by the landlord—if it was by me…well, we’ll probably be digging ourselves out when we buy our own house for years, but it would have been a LOT clearer!) hadn’t come in a while. So the snow that was there had been allowed to accumulate, and what wasn’t evaporated off by the sun (there are spots that remain in shadow nearly all day) had been shaped and reshaped by the tires of fellow park residents. I know we could have done SOMETHING about this—it’s not all the landlord’s fault…but, truthfully, 3 or more feet out of our door is solely the landlord’s responsibility, and that’s where I was standing! All I did was move my foot!
10. Unplowed driveways. There is roughly an hour where a driveway not being plowed or shoveled is okay. I even understand it. But, when you want me to come and pick you up (like in the case of my daughter’s friend), you had better at least clear out the front of your driveway! Because I DON’T like getting stuck!
11. Getting stuck. Never fun. Whether in the mud or in the snow. I’ve personally gotten stuck twice so far this year—in the aforementioned friend’s driveway, and in my dad’s. I’ll give my dad and my sister and her husband the benefit of the doubt, because dad wasn’t there, and it accumulated after my sister and her husband left for their thing that day—but it wasn’t fun. At least, most of it wasn’t. I kinda get a laugh out of the rocking that needs to be done to get yourself out of a spot. Hmm….I’m not counting when I got stuck in our own parking spot…but that has more to do with #9, because another part of the hardly plowing is that sometimes the timing is off—like this weekend, the plow showed up after T got home. Sometimes they come as late as 6 or even 11am, but sometimes they come at 4am.
12. The accumulation of slop in a wheelwell. This is another thing that deserves its own mention. It’s just disgusting. And I think it contributes to the ability to maneuver your car in the snow. Some cars have it all around each wheel, and it looks the worst on a large vehicle. I understand that the friction and heat created by the tires might make this better….but I’ve taken to kicking the area just in front of the front tires and the back bumper behind the back ones, and taking the scraper to these areas. I hope I don’t and try to be careful not to hit the brake lines (like I’d know if I did, before I got in and used the car), but it drives me batty. Turns out, it’s not just me—I get it from my dad (and the kids are getting it from me. It’s funny to see P do it.) I broke our newer scraper/brush on Tuesday doing this! it was a cheaper plastic one, while our older one’s handle seems to be sturdy. The brush is all smashed though 😦
13. Pictures. Okay, I can’t gripe at you the whole time. Because, while in this man made world dealing with snow is a hassle—it really is one of God’s most beautiful creations! So, more pictures (because they didn’t completely fall in other categories!)!
Bonus: My daughter’s favorite—a recipe for Snow Ice Cream!
To see other Thursday 13 Participants (many of whom came from the original Thursday Thirteen), go here!