Stuck in the Middle or Gone Over the Edge?

Late Friday night, I read a blog post on Jeff Fowle’s blog about winter weather and the differences between locals being prepared and others seemingly careless. As I watched current weather reports and saw tweets from friends in the Pacific Northwest indicating they were fairly home-bound due to the storms hitting them, I thought about how many times I’ve seen similar situations. I can even remember a time when I was young and maybe a bit braver about things and was headed out from Colorado Springs with a friend in her Camaro, driving through the harsh winds of Eastern Colorado hoping we could stay ahead of the road closures.Today I would definitely stop, get a hotel and wait out the storm to pass just like friends did last month when they were driving in the southwest & got caught in a storm that produced a foot of snow.

After grad school in Memphis, I decided to take a job in New York. I decided I wouldn’t be a sissy. Couldn’t let myself be wimpy about digging my car out of the snow, especially if everyone else would be at the office. So I kept on top of things and was there every time the others were knowing I must have been the slowest driver in White Plains. But I couldn’t let it reflect badly on the South. Ah pressure of the opinions of others. LOL!  Living in the Mississippi Delta for more than a decade, I got a big break from winters. There, winter is just really grey and wet but it rarely would freeze. Moving to Memphis put me more in the line of ice since the city is in a place where weather patterns can come together and give you a “wintery mix.” The roads are slippery and folks slide into each other, off the road, into signs and other things. We absolutely do not have ANY interest to get out in this stuff at all. And I’m sure quite a few of the folks who were permanently scarred by the snow that crippled Atlanta last January happen by this blog now and then.

So I’ve definitely had a mix of winters of my own. There are some things though that after 15 years in the south, I’ve thought I better prepare for: ice cleats to prevent falls

  • Getting to & from work — I bought a house pretty darn close to our office thinking I’d be best not to have a long commute! So far, that seems to have been a good decision. Since things have changed so much from my NY days, I know I can work from home when the weather is bad, but I figure most days its open, I should be going into the office.
  • Walking  — Ok, its goofy but this is what I worry about most! Southerners don’t walk on snow and ice very often and flashbacks to NY and packed snow on frequent walked paths can get slippery. Ice is killer. And since I haven’t had to get out in it, I need a way to gain a bit of confidence (experience can create that too but alas, that will take time). In August I bought some snow boots with good insulation (thanks to my cousin Lisa taking me to a boot outlet!) and this week, I saw a convo on Facebook that led me to get some lightweight ice cleats that you simply put over your shoes/boots. My friend Jesse Bussard says she has some and gave us the website and all. This was the subject of much discussion! I had coworkers mocking me for overreacting and others getting the info to buy their own. What do you think? (By the way, the ice came & went without me donning the cleats.)
  • Having an accessible vehicle — As you can guess from the point above, I doubt I’ll be walking to work! Little things like I’ve been trying to decide where best to park. In this, I am hoping the streets in my neighborhood get visited by plow and salt trucks!  I do have ice melt and a snow shovel ready to go as needed. The ice melt is usually useful on the front steps and maybe even the walkway.
  • Driving — I think I’ve kept a bit more of this from days in NY…. and as long as road crews are working, I should be ok by remember basic tips for driving in bad weather as well as remembering Jeff’s ideas on being prepared.

There are lots of other things I’ll need to know… things like this that Chicago-based farm broadcaster Max Armstrong posted on Facebook:  “Every second counts when the people who need this thing are making a house call in your neighborhood. Give them every chance to do their job superbly. Shovel this out too. This message brought to you by the Commissioners of the Lisle-Woodridge Fire Protection District.”

shovel the snow around fireplugs in your area

What else do you think I should know before winter storms really knock me around?

About Janice Person

I'm Janice & this blog is about my passions -- photography, travel, agriculture & whatever else comes to mind. Putting all those things together is intriguing to me…. I can spend a lot of time soaking it up! It's almost always a colorful adventure!

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10 Responses to Stuck in the Middle or Gone Over the Edge?

  1. Robyn January 21, 2012 at 5:55 pm #

    We have been so blessed with a mild and open winter. With a “normal” winter I end up taking almost a week of “vacation” days due to snow and the fact I can’t get to work. I drive almost 30 miles to work and over half of the commute is on gravel. When the weather is that nasty the Rancher can always use an extra set of hands at home.

    I laughed at your shoe cleats. I should have a pair. I slipped on some slick packed snow. The good news is I didn’t fall. The bad news is I think falling would have been LESS painful. I stretched muscles I didn’t know existed.

    • Janice aka JPlovesCOTTON January 21, 2012 at 7:07 pm #

      Well Robyn, I got a text from the one giving me such a hard time…. she said she could have used them afterall! LOL! Said karma is toying with her a bit now.

  2. pearlsnapsponderings January 21, 2012 at 7:00 pm #

    Well I don’t know how much time you plan on spending outside during the winter weather but if it’s for any extended period of time I recommend investing in some good warm wool socks and under armor or other types of what I refer to as “long johns” :) And always remember layers are your friend! And the #1 best thing I can recommend for staying warm in winter weather outdoors is a good hat. I prefer a toboggan (that’s Appalachian English for a knit cap) but there’s many other types to choose from. As long as it keeps your noggin warm, it’s good!

    • Janice aka JPlovesCOTTON January 21, 2012 at 7:09 pm #

      Oh, how could I forget that! I have various weights of wool socks and long johns (including silk, cotton & wool!). They’ve all come in handy as well as hats & gloves! Yes, I may be a tiny bit overboard but I HATE being cold!

  3. Bruce Sallan (@BruceSallan) January 22, 2012 at 9:28 am #

    Snow is good for ONE thing to me: Skiing!

  4. bocafrau January 22, 2012 at 9:52 am #

    I can’t really give you any proper Winter advice since I’m living way South in beautiful, snow- and ice-free SoFla… and I’m grateful every Winter that I don’t have to deal with all this stuff anymore!!! :) Good luck! :)

  5. Mimi January 23, 2012 at 4:02 pm #

    Have a survival pack in your car. A small shovel would be handy, too! I’m from WA and saw those same reports. Kind of made me laugh because everything stops there if there’s a hint of snow. Now I’ve lived through 13 MN winters and feel like I could drive anywhere.

    • Janice aka JPlovesCOTTON January 24, 2012 at 11:06 am #

      Thanks for the reminder! I used to have that in NY and hadn’t even thought about it. I know I’ll get the hang of it again, just expecting its not second nature anymore. LOL.

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