Wednesday, December 15, 2010
The weather here has been terrible the past few days--snow, bitter cold, wind--and it's about to get worse. Today, we're expecting the trifecta of crappy weather: snow, sleet and freezing rain. I haven't set foot outside the door since Friday, except to feed the birds and squirrel (who has not put in an appearance in two days), and it doesn't look like I will be until next Friday...or maybe not until next spring....
Weather like this always reminds me of an unexpected winter storm that hit in April when I was in college. It was a Saturday. Dad was off on a construction site some twenty miles to the south. One of our tenants came over and asked Mom to drive her to Fenton, a few miles to the north, to open a checking account. Sheila's lazy, no-account husband wouldn't take her. Mom was hesitant. "It's supposed to snow," she told Sheila.
"Only flurries," Sheila said. "It won't take long."
The flurries began shortly after they left. At the bank, Mom noticed the snow was increasing. She told Sheila they'd have to head home, but Sheila asked to stop at the grocery store first. Mom reluctantly made the stop.
That was a mistake.
The storm came in hard and fast. By the time they came out of Shop N Save, the roads were impassable. They ended up stuck at a service station in Fenton, unable to get any further. Mom called me to see if Dad had made it home. He hadn't. Sheila called her husband, who cussed her out and told her to get home even if she had to walk. Finally, the two, along with three others, got a ride with a guy in a four-wheel drive from somewhere up north who thought they were all a bunch of wussies for being intimidated by such an "insignificant snowfall."
They had to take Route 30 to Lindbergh and back south via Route 21, since Route 141 was blocked by stalled vehicles. Coming south on 21, they encountered Dad, who had also had to take an out-of-the way route, only to end up burning up his transmission trying to get his truck up a steep, icy hill.
They finally got home--together--but weren't able to get either vehicle home until the next day. Since that day, when the weather forecast says flurries, I always expect the worst case scenario.
Like everyone else, I head for the store to get the essentials: chocolate, milk, bread and eggs. And toilet paper!