Friday, January 03, 2014

SNOW!

Me this morning, two steps outside our garage door in the 19 degree temps - there must be at least TWO inches of snow on the ground!  Good thing I stocked up on bread and milk yesterday!

Holy smokes!  When I left work last night at 11:06 PM it was snowing!  WHAT?  And here I've been lording it all over my friends in upstate Delaware (that would be you Lar) and Pennsylvania (that would be you Bill B.) that we NEVER get snow here in LSD (Lower Slower Delaware).  Folks, last night that bragging right ended for me. 

Well, let me tell you, driving home last night was no picnic.  This is the first time in my ENTIRE life that I've driven in a blizzard.  Always in the past Bill would pick me up in his '81 Jeep Cherokee but we left his vehicle go last year when it opened a money pit of repairs.  Folks, when I ventured out in that horizontal, big wet snowflakes, I had to put on my Big Boy Pants.  


The view of Pilottown Road lat night when I went out to my car.  Not a whole lot of traffic. Checkout the "sideways" snow a blowing.
I get to my car, "beep-beep!" open the door with my remote control, and then look for the snow/ice scrapper.  The temperature was about 35 degrees, thank goodness no ice.  Now where was that scrapper?  Ah, I found it!  I scrap the snow off of my driver's windows and get in my car.  Turn on the ignition and back out of the parking lot.  Any cars coming?  Nope.  Only Chuck, our maintenance guy in the other parking lot spreading rock salt, yelling to me "Be careful Ron! Those roads are pretty bad!"  Thanks Chuck!  I needed that encouragement, lace panties that I am driving in the snow.  

So I back out and begin my slow journey home.  I'm only about four miles from Casa Tipton-Kelly.  Normally I'm home in about fifteen minutes.  Last night?  Forty minutes.  Oh yeah.  Slow going all the way.  

I go down Pilottown Road a mile or so, then turn left on New Road.  Normally I don't see any cars at that time of night.  Wouldn't you know it last night I encountered FIVE cars coming at me.  WTF?  Then I couldn't see the road.  I was afraid of driving off the road into a ditch then I really would be a Damsel in Distress. 




Half way down the road I noticed I really COULDN'T see the road ahead of me, even through the blinding, horizontal snow.  I stopped my car in the middle of the road (yes I did).  Got out in the horizontal show which was beating against my weathered, 72 year old face.  Checked my headlights to see if they were on….they were but covered with snow.  I immediately assessed the situation and wiped the caked snow off of my headlights. Viola!  Lights ahead of me again.

Back to my car, covered in heavy wet snow now (my car seat upholstery - I hope this is clean snow and won't leave watermarks) and resume my slow crawl home.  

Finally, after what seems like a really long time, I arrive at the end of New Road where it turns onto Rt. 1 north, the last leg of my ride home from work.  Home to Alaska!  

Thank God there were no other cars out on Rt. 1 as I made my right turn to merge into traffic where there was no traffic.  But where is the road?  Another "WTF?" moment.  WHERE IS THE ROAD?  Now I'm to a religious guy except when I'm in a scary situation like this.  So I started to pray.  "Please God, let me find this road so I can get the f_ck home."  My God doesn't mind a little cultural vernacular from me when I'm making an emphatic point.  




I had another good two miles to go.  Still no vehicles going north of south on Rt. 1.  Was I the only fool out here?  I had visions of missing the road and getting stuck in a ditch.  We have a LOT of ditches here in LSD (Lower Slower Delaware). Flat land, drain offs.  

A couple of times I heard the "BRRRRR!  BRRRRRR! which indicated to me that I was at the edge of the road.  That is the sound made when you fall asleep at the wheel and your car tires run over the side of the road that has those treads imbedded in it to wake up nodding off drivers.  Thank God!  Yes, "Thank you God".  I did have a momentary vision of my red Subaru Forester being discovered int the bright sunlight the following morning, stuck in the snow off the side of the road with my cold, stiff, OLD body behind the wheel.  The rescue folks who would discover my frozen body would wonder "Who was this fool who was out driving around in this blizzard?"  Well folks, I'm glad to say I got another stay of demise, I made it home.  And again,  with my newly found religion I said "Thank God!" when I drove my snow ladened car into my driveway.  Home, safe and sound.  

Bill was waiting for me, worried almost to a frazzle; poor Bill.  He was relieved that I was home and said "This is good for you because when I'm no longer around (Bill is 85) you're going to have to learn how to drive in weather like this."  Ah, so true, so true.  

Now I was home.  I could have stayed at the hotel. One of the advantages of working at a hotel, if you're snowed in you have a place to stay.  I really didn't want to stay at the hotel though.  I have a very comfortable home and I wanted to sleep in my own bed, not a bed that hundreds of who knows who slept in.  Besides, I didn't want to be stuck at the hotel the next day or so. That happened once when I worked at the Hampton Inn in Lionville, Pennsylvania.  I was stuck there for three days, literally.  It had rained all day then the temperatures dropped and everything, including my red Forester (an earlier model) was literally frozen to the ground. I.could.not.move.my.car.  

I live at that hotel (in the same underwear)
for three straight days.  I ate hotel breakfast food and whatever else was in the kitchen.  I lived and breathed that hotel for three days.  Hey folks, I like hotel work but I don't want to live there.  I felt so liberated when the temperatures finally warmed up and I could break free of my ice prison.  

When I woke up this morning I was exhausted.  My whole body ached.  Wow.  And I didn't even shovel any snow.  Must have been all that anxiety. But here I am folks, at Casa Tipton-Kelly telling you all about my adventures.  And here I stay for the next three or more days.  I don't have to go back to work until next Wednesday.  Hopefully all this white stuff will be gone by then.  



The view from our garage this norming at sunrise - must be at least two inches of snow on the ground.


Ah yes indeed.  Every day is an adventure and I love it!  Beats the alternative.


The view from our back deck this morning

20 comments:

  1. Yessiree! That there's some snow! We had rain. Today the sun is shining.

    I am glad you made it home OK! That must have been a harrowing trip. I've driven in crap like that, and I don't like it one bit. But those new lane markers you hit are a Godsend.

    Peace <3
    Jay

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    1. Jay,
      The sun is shining here too, making for a beautiful, snow covered landscape. The temperature is 16 degrees so this snow will be here for a while until the temperatures rise and the rain washes it away. This is the first time I've actually driven in a snow storm where I could hardly see the road. It was indeed scary. "Land markers", that's the word I was thinking of. I think they saved me last night because I hit them about four times. I probably would have ended up in a ditch if not for them.

      Ron

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  2. Ron,

    You know that when we were younger and living in the Philly area there were many bad snow storms. I drove in many and thought nothing much of it. Now that we are older driving in just a little snow (for me a couple of flurries) will send me into a panic. That's because I haven't driven in snow for probably 30 years. Fortunately I live in a relatively no snow area where we get appreciable snow every 25 years or so. Of course last night it was raining and temps were predicted to plunge to the teens so pretty much everything in the fine city of Chesapeake/Virginia Beach was already declared closed. That's the way we do things down here, look for the worse and hope for the best but we'll cancel everything because....well it just might....you never know. Anyway, I have felt your anxiety before so I know where you're coming from. Fortunately for me, snow, cold, or hot mean nothing to me unless my heat or air conditioning fail. Then there is real anxiety.

    Sorry I haven't written lately, the holidays took their toll on me this year, too many losses put me in a dark place I really didn't want to be but couldn't break out of until the past few days. Hopefully that won't repeat itself this year.

    Happy new year, good things for you and Bill.

    Jack

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    1. Jack,

      Good good to hear from you again! I was thinking the worst. I'm sorry that you went through a period of blues. I've been through those myself, they're no fun but sometimes we have to just get through them.
      This is the first time I actually drove myself through a snow storm. It was scary but I was determined to get home. Thankfully there was very little traffic and no ice, just heavy, wet snow.

      Jack, you have to come to the Bloggerpalooza. I just contracted to have a hypnotist for a comedy show to add to the other happenings at this year's Blogggerpalooza. You don't want to miss it. I guarantee your spirits will be lifted.

      Take care,

      Ron

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  3. holy crap! some adventure. change your undies.

    we have 7 inches (of snow), 25 mph winds, and 19F temp. no one in the neighborhood has moved yet. todd shoveled the back walk this morning and the blowing snow has covered it again. we'll wait til tomorrow to fire up the snowblower.

    both of us had a snow day off work. and we have plenty of snax left over from new year's eve, and the cats have food/litter too. we're ok.

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    1. Anne Marie,
      Well honey, we didn't dodge this snow bullet. No fun driving home in that mess last night but I made it. The white stuff should be gone by Sunday when the temperatures are up to 50 and the rains come. I'm hoping.

      Ron

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  4. Ron,

    Visibility, that was the worst thing coming home from dinner in PA. last evening, other than the cars around me that kept sliding side-to-side. You couldn't see where the road was half the time. I'm lucky I wasn't rear-ended on 202 where I wanted to turn right on Naaman's Road. There are two right turn lanes there and the right turn lights were on red. Problem was a guy was in one lane waiting to turn and the other lane was totally hidden by the snow. I thought I was in the outer turn lane and I stopped, but I was actually in the straight lane and that had the green light. I wondered why the guy behind beeped. When I realized it I went straight and made a U-turn at the next intersection and then carefully inched over into another buried turn lane from that direction. I was glad to finally get home. We did pass one accident, there were probably more. Lar

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    1. Lar,
      That snow storm caught me unawares last night. I had assumed that we would miss the snow again here in LSD. Not so. I was surprised when I left work and the snow had already started to accumulate. But I was determined to get to my comfy nest at home. I didn't not want to spend a night at the hotel, no matter how upscale the hotel is there is no place like home.
      I'm glad you didn't have an accident on your way home last night but it sounds like you came close. Last night was the first time I actually drove myself in a snow storm like that. Fortunately there wasn't too much traffic out on the road nor was there ice. If there was I would have probably stayed at the hotel. But of course if I was half way home and saw the ice, I would have been screwed so I took a chance going home. It is scary isn't it when you can't see the lanes on the road? I was glad that I was at least familiar with the roads I was traveling one. If I wasn't, I think I would have had a problem. I'm glad you made it home safely.

      Ron

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    2. Ron,

      All the forecasts were showing it as rain below Dover. It was supposed to be rain here starting at 6:00 and changing to snow around 7:00, but the snow started at 5:00 and we didn't get rain at all. We were also supposed to get between 2 to 4 inches, but then we got 8 according to the local radio news. It was definitely more than 6 inches that I shoveled. Had to go out this morning and scatter some rock salt. It was brutally cold when I was doing it, single digit temperature . My hands froze up in minutes.

      Lar

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    3. Lar,
      This time we here in LSD didn't dodge the bullet. The snow is still here but should be gone after the 50 degree temps hit us this Sunday. We haven't gone out since I got home from work in that "blizzard" Thursday night. Maybe tomorrow.

      Ron

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  5. Hey Ron - love that shot you took of Pilottown Road!! Boy it can be really scary when you drive in conditions that you aren't used to. The surroundings change - and like you mentioned/inferred - the road disappears. Glad you had no incident on your journey home - and - you get to hibernate for five days before returning to the hotel.But now, of course, you can try your hand at building a snowman. Okay, maybe not.

    Pat

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    1. Pat,
      I liked that picture too of Pilottown Road. I snapped it quickly out the back door of the hotel when I peeked out to see how bad it was. When I saw the snow blowing horizontally, I knew it was bad.
      Oh I am so glad that I can hibernate for five days. That's why I wanted to get home so bad, just get into my lair and my computer, books, TV and comfortable, familiar surroundings. You know how it is.

      Ron

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  6. But the snow photos are so beautiful...

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    1. Nadege,
      You're right, the snowy landscape is beautiful. Like a picture postcard. No fun to drive in though. I'm so glad I made it home safely.

      Ron

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  7. I, too, have driven in a near blizzard just before sundown, the snow is all new and is thickly covering the ground fast, and you cannot figure out where the road is. It is a two lane road with ditches on both sides. No traffic yet to establish tire marks for the lanes. Just a white sheet from left to right. You have to be the pioneer, but it's just a guess where to steer. Happy that it was a familiar road with just enough landmarks still existing to give me hints. Scarry.

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    1. David,

      This is the first time I've driven in a near blizzard like conditions. Scary stuff for sure. I was having trouble determining where my lane was. I'm glad I was familiar with the roads I traveled because I had to made an educated guess that I was in the right lane. Oh yes, I was the "pioneer" for much of the trip last night. My tire tracks were the first in the snow until I got behind a slowly traveling car about a mile before my turnoff. You're right about familiar landmarks giving you hints. That's what I did, look for those landmarks. I can't imagine traveling in conditions like last night in an unfamiliar area. Scary.

      Ron

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  8. Anonymous9:39 AM

    With all that snow, it's nice to come home to speedos and a good book'.'

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    1. Anonymous,

      Speedos? Who has Speedos? A good book, yes. :)

      Ron

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  9. How exciting! Snow! This looks so much fun!!

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  10. I miss the cold and the snow a lot since moving to the SW but I also know my view of it is nostalgic. I doubt I liked it quite as much when I lived there and had it months at a time.

    I love the pictures though

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