February 28, 2008

Snow-covered and slippery

Snow-covered and slippery

One of the things that makes February such a long month here in Snowstorm Region is that it takes forever to get anywhere. A simple car trip that might take 15 minutes on dry pavement can take 45 minutes on icy, snow-covered roads. On a winter afternoon, even quiet country roads can get crowded with traffic because everyone is moving so slowly, and because we all have to maneuver around the cars stranded like big snowy lumps in the ditches.

In other parts of the world, this kind of weather would probably mean that people might cancel events, stay home from work or school. But that kind of solution would be impractical in Snowstorm Region; we might as well cancel the whole month of February. Actually, that's not a bad idea. I've often thought that if I were dictator of this region, I'd declare February a month of hibernation, a time to stay home by the fire, drinking hot tea and reading.

But unfortunately, that's not the thinking in this culture. Instead, we have huge snowplows that keep trying to clear the roads, even though the wind just blows the snow right back onto the roads, and big trucks that spread salt to melt the snow and corrode our vehicles. We put snowtires on our cars and go out anyhow, pretending that the storm didn't really happen.

I hate winter driving. By the time I make it to my destination, my eyes are tired from squinting through the blowing snow, my shoulders are tense from hunching over the steering wheel, and I've got a tension headache from all the times I almost went off the road.

We get plenty of snowstorms in March, but somehow that's different. Because in March, there's at least the possibility, the hope, that spring will come.

18 comments:

Inside the Philosophy Factory said...

We don't get as much snow as y'all do (I doubt that anyplace does) -- but I can understand that reluctance to cancel stuff because of winter weather - it is kind of like a cancellation is a sign of some kind of moral weakness.

I actually kind of like February, because you can see the difference in the time the sun stays in the late afternoon. Here December and January are so dark, cold and snowy -- and February is a little less dark, not quite so cold and still pretty snowy.

The nice thing is that February ends tomorrow... enjoy Leap Day -- Leap right into March!

jo(e) said...

Less dark, not quite so cold, and still pretty snowy? In this part of the country, that's March.

Silver Creek Mom said...

I don't like Febuary at all and I LOVE your idea of hibenation and tea and reading by the fire. I'd SO Vote for you. ;)

Of course I would have to change countries first. OR you could come up here and try it.

I can't wait for the warmer SUNNIER weather of March. PLEASE one more day!

Seeking Solace said...

Philospogy Facotry...My neck of the woods gets about as much as jo(e)'s place!!!


Winter driving is just crazy in Lake Effect Snow Central. People know they should be careful, but somehow, they seems to forget when they get behind the wheel.

I do get a chuckle out of places that close becasue there is six inches of snow. That's a dusting for me!

I am happy that March is almost here. It does seem like you are turning the corner.

Songbird said...

We've had so much more snow this year than usual, I am really, really tired of it. Most years I can avoid actually driving in much of it, but when it's snowing all the time, you do have to go places.

east village idiot said...

I don't think I am tough enough or sane enough to live in the snow storm region. My niece is up in Syracuse at school and as a first year she is experiencing a baptism by fire uh...I mean snow up there. I can't imagine how you deal with driving around in a storm. At the same time, I lived up in Cambridge for a large chunk of my adulthood -- when I walked outside the wind off the water felt like a daily slap in the face - - on both cheeks. I guess I'm used to be a whining New Yorker again.

kathy a. said...

condolances to everyone with snow. we don't get it here, and i think it is just fabulous on those rare occasions i'm somplace that gets an inch. though i don't like driving in that stuff, and have no idea how i'd manage if it happened regularly.

everyone can feel free to make fun of me for living almost on top of an earthquake fault. at least i'm not as nuts as the people who do hurricanes on a regular basis. :)

anonymous blog reader said...

awww, in February we have hope that March will come, and with it Spring. There is always hope.

chip said...

I hate to be perverse, but I'm really enjoying the snow! It's just so beautiful. Of course I am looking forward to spring...

AF said...

I totally sympathize. But here's one thing. You do have all that fabulous skiing. Think of what it would be like if winter was only gray and leafless. I guess I like what nature throws at us, as long as it's not actively destroying anything.

Sarah Sometimes said...

just looking at that picture induces tension. not the usual experience of reading your blog. :)

Rev Dr Mom said...

I think hibernating for the month of February sounds like a lovely idea....and we don't even have snow like that.

Gawdess said...

the picture and what you wrote makes me think of the book "Katie and the Big Snow".

Joy said...

Here in WI, snow and cold has been relentless.

As far as traffic goes, be glad you weren't caught up in the 1000+ car stand-still. Several semi trucks slide into the ditch when they they could not get up a hill and the tow trucks had trouble getting traction to pull them out.

In the meantime, 1000+ cars got stalled behind them. Some people didn't get out off the highway until TEN hours later. Snowmobiles were sent out to give people water, food and gas. Even the National Guard were out in helicopters.

I just looked the info up and there were over 689 semi trucks plus over 663 cars Northbound...

AND southbound there were 535 trucks, 124 cars!!!

That was one day I was glad I could not drive!
Joy

lookoutlady said...

Where I live we get snow so rarely, that I watched a 4yo run around his front yard with his tongue out trying for a flake on one of the days we actually had a short burst. Spring is coming according to my daffofils that are in full bloom.

Coffee-Drinking Woman said...

We're at the 10th snowiest winter seasonin recorded history. I'm sure you are snowier than we are, but I am sympathizing.

Wayfarer Scientista said...

See, February is one of the reasons I like to live close enough to ski to work. There is a song by Jan Garret that has a line "February was so long it lasted until March" and though it sounds straight forward I know exactly what she meant about this decieving month that claims to be shorter then the rest. Drive safe Jo(e).

listie said...

Lying in bed this morning, I realized birds were singing. I thought, "YES! It's March; we've turned the corner!"