Saturday, February 28, 2015

when we got four inches on thursday night, they called off everything on friday - public school, university, bluegrass jam, everything. i thought maybe they were kind of wimps but when i went out i did see that virtually all roads were packed down snow turning to ice, and besides, it's really a matter of the collective skill of the people - if they're really bad, you don't want them out there. there's a whole range of skills required to drive when you have no brakes, and to get your car out of a ditch that's solid glazed ice. you don't get out by spinning your wheels.

so we stayed home much of yesterday and today, and i went out to clear the driveway and walk a little, and it started a fine drizzle freezing mist even as i did it. on my walk, three miles in this fine, glazed snowy fog, i had to be careful most of the way because so much of it was frozen. at one point this monster truck decided to come into the park and tear it up; he was driving around, doing donuts, making a racket, driving right over culverts, etc. i tried to call 911 but my phone wasn't cooperating so i just put it away and watched him. when i finally got over to where he got out of there, i noticed that he hadn't really done all that much damage; much of the park was so frozen that it was impossible to tear it up. and though he made a lot of noise and spun a lot, some places, he was on ice, so it didn't really matter. if he was tearing up mud, then it might be good to intervene.

throughout the neighborhood, all weekend, we could hear tires spinning. people truly don't know how to deal with it. one poor kid came to the dead end at the park there, a couple of nights ago, and, instead of just driving over the park as some people do, he actually did the right thing and tried to do a three-point turn to turn around and go back the way he came. that put his back tire in a frozen gutter, and spinning, he couldn't get out; and, he was alone. but i helped him push it out; i have experience in such things, and even though he had to push and drive at the same time, and even went over another curb before he was done, still we got him out and going. i felt like all my years in the snow belt were coming in handy. it's not that it takes so much pure strength to get a truck out of such a rut, but you have to have a sense of balance, rocking, to put the truck on the place where its wheels will catch. it's an interesting game and it makes me feel like an old master. how many ditches have i been in over the years?

the vast majority of us are just staying home, and the town is very quiet, peaceful, with the exception of tire spinning which you can hear here and there. the news seems to have shut down too; only the weather guys work in this kind of stuff, and even they pack it up early and go home. tonight, i think, we lose an hour, and if you're going to lose one, might as well be one of these, since they're kind of bleak. in the end, the kids get a little stir-crazy and can't cross town very easily to be with friends; they're stuck with each other, or maybe the ones across the road, who in our case, aren't so bad. as for me, i'm enjoying being only three icy blocks from the neighborhood store, though being sixty, if i'm carrying a gallon of milk i have to be careful, walking on solid ice. one person said they shut down the town just so we could experience it, because actually four inches is pretty rare, though they've seen such things here. we have a lot of students from houston and san antone, who really have no clue, and they'll probably be more set back by the cabin fever than anything else. but let them try and get out and drive in it, and they'll see; it gets more glazed as time goes by, as the sun comes out and melts part of it but it refreezes slicker than it even was. it's a curveball from the weather people; the groundhog has spoken. s'posed to be warmer tomorrow.

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