Thursday, February 18, 2010

Another Winter Weather Rant

It had been three days since it quit snowing. THREE WHOLE DAYS. The sun had come out and shone brightly on the winter wonderland all around and the wind had calmed down.

But, guess what? There was still snow on the roads.

Like any logical person, I had stayed in out of the weather and waited the snow storm out. I ignored the impulse to get my shopping done. I pushed everything that involved something outside my front door to the very end of the list. Like a good citizen, I stayed in out of the cold. Off the roads. Out of the 40mph wind gusts.

I gave the salt trucks, the snow plows and the snow, plenty of time to get their duties done. I even ordered boots online so I wouldn't have to go out in the bad weather in order to find necessary condiments for the bad weather.

Then, a whole THREE days after the snow quit, I finally peeked out from under the blanket of snow my house was buried in. I dug my van out of a snow drift, brushed off the windshield and then made a wise decision to get to the gas station first off, making sure to fill my gas tank full before embarking on some necessary shopping.

I slipped and slid the whole way there.

I chalked it up to the fact that perhaps I drove on the one and only bad road in town. And that road just happened to lead all the way from my driveway to that gas station.

After filling up on gas, I poked carefully out of the gas station parking lot careening my vehicle gracefully over the packed snow and iced over road. Trying not to be ungrateful for the non-working snow workers, I ignored the fact the road I was driving on was a well traveled high way.
I made my way to the the interstate and found it was clear and dry. Thankful my speedometer could safely match the posted speed limit signs, I assumed the rest of the roads would be safe from then on.

Since I was shopping in our state's capital, I just knew the big city would be clear and clean of snow and ice. I braked carefully, just to be safe, as I veered off the highway and on to the exit ramp. I was surprised snow and ice on that exit matched the small city roads I had just come from but figured that the particular patch of asphalt and concrete I was driving on, had taken a rare but direct hit from The Arctic Blast.

Downtown was even worse. I happened to trigger every red light I came close to and found my anti-lock brakes became quite efficient as I slid to a stop each time. The vehicles next to me became uncomfortably close one too many times as the tires of my vehicle spun out when the lights turned green and I slid to the sides as the tires gained traction.

(repeat above scene several times.)

Suddenly, I was stricken with an island feeling of, oh no! I'm surrounding by a sea of snow and ice and dry land is far, far away! I almost turned back because THREE days after the last of the snow had fallen, the roads were STILL bad. But I braved the treacherous roads as I was determined to make the best of the gas I had just put in my van.

All through the bustling, busy city, I careened and slid and swerved. Trucks, plows and other defenders of snow-stricken drivers were unseen on the roads I traveled. I thought it was funny that posted above one of the main thoroughfares through town, a brightly lit sign flashed an alert,

"Hazardous Winter Roads"

And I wondered if the effort and money and time could be put into telling us all what we already know, then why couldn't the same effort and money and time be put into something we'd also really like to know: CLEAN ROADS.

Weather is a slave to no man and all of humanity has found itself prey to it's vengeance at some point or another. And when it comes to winter, I should really be used to it because I am from the North. I come from The Place where snow and winter and ice are a constant companion that accompany the months of November to April. And it's okay. People's lives don't shut down just because an inch of snow fell during the night. "Don't cha knowah way up Nort der" they don't get a "Winter Weather Advisory" all because 2 inches of snow is predicted.

But, here in the not-quite-south-but-definitely-not-north (aka: Nebraska), I just really don't like winter. Or the roads. Or the snow. Or the ice. When the society in general is not equipped to handle snow, ice and winter, this weather can be hazardous both outside (bad roads) and inside (Cabin Fever.)

Because even when the wind dies down and the Nebraska prairie lies calm and placid, the ice still sticks to the free-ways and one of the main arteries of civilization and industry (aka: Lincoln, NE) still lies dormant under unsalted ice.

Give me Spring. Or give me the North.


A Joyful Chaos said...

I hear your frustration. I'm tired of living caught between the north and south too. (Far enough north that you don't escape the occasional inch or two of snow, and far enough south that road conditions are horrible whenever there's a little snow and ice.)

Anonymous said...

Oh my, YES, YES,YES! I (we) totally agree! My husband was born and raised in Upper MI. and has said all of you just said SO MANY times!
We are amazed at the condition of our roads here- you would think we live 100 miles from civilization Why? Because they don't want/know how to/think it's needful to go out and p-l-o-w when it snows! Have a great day! Do they deliver groceries there? :)

pat ve said...

I have lived in Iowa and Neb. all of my life except for one year in MD. It makes me upset to hear northeners gripe about road conditions here. I have done the same, however, considering roads in states south of here--KS, AR, OK and TX. Those states generally get ice when we get snow. When I lived in MD for that year, the capitol and where we lived came to a standstill with an inch or two of snow. (I can't imagine 30 some inches right now. You can't see my smirk) Well, I have considered all these complaints--yours and MINE--and have figured out that it boils down to is and one factor--BUDGET! Budget is figured on the basis of what they consider "normal" winters. Normal winters up north recieve more care and $. Down south, less, and here-- well what you see is what you get. Take it or leave it.

Andrea Herrlinger said...

Sounds like NC. When I was there, they had just got through a "huge" snowstorm that left 5-8 inches, (depending on the area) and they had a couple more inches during my stay there. The roads are as you described, snowplows practically non-existent, the stores sell out of bread and milk, and people don't go anywhere except to buy the aforementioned bread and milk. I found this all quite amusing, but then, I don't live there. :-)

Jean said...

Too bad the budget can't be shared around the whole of north America - but then nobody would have anything to complain about.

Sarah said...

LOL just be glad you have off street parking. It has been crazy trying to park with 3 ft high snow banks and trying to unload and load kids, let alone my self from the van. You can't even open the doors if you park as close to the curb as you can. So we have to park, unload then re park!! What fun!!! Esp when I am doing on my own and have to leave the kids in the house unattended, move the van and then come back and get them. LOL Aw well. such is life in the big city:) Yes spring is being longed for in this house too!!

Phu Dang said...

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