Friday, December 05, 2003

"Let it Snow", MY FOOT! Whoever said that oughta have the partridge in the pear tree lay an egg on their hat!

Let's backtrack. I suppose I should begin by mentioning that, although I got my car in 1991, I have always been able to take public transportation to work between then and now. Therefore, I have only had to drive in the snow twice. Once was several years ago when Karla and I were interpreters-in-training. The weather was clear (though overcast) that morning, so we drove up to the church in Norristown where we assisted the interpreter twice a month. At some point during the Mass, it began to snow, so I had to drive home through snow. The other time was one Christmas night several years ago; again, there was no snow when I left the house to go to Joe M's for a Christmas get-together, but there were flurries falling by the time I departed for home.

Considering that the more recent of these two episodes happened about 10 years ago, you can imagine how thrilled I wasn't about the prospect of driving to NJ this morning with wet snow falling.

I discovered a few interesting things before I even got in the car. Such as, there's a right way and a wrong way to clean the darn snow off the car. The process this morning went something like this:

- remove snow brush from trunk
- clean rear window (which is large, as the car is a hatchback)
- clean passenger side rear view mirror
- clean passenger side windows
- clean passenger side rear view mirror AGAIN while mumbling curses under breath
- clean driver's side windows
- clean driver's side rear view mirror
- clean windshield
- stow brush in trunk
- get in car

The first thing I discovered was that I should have cleaned the rear window LAST, not first. By the time I was done brushing off everything else, a film of snow had begun to accumulate on the rear window. But I was already cold and wet, and didn't feel like getting back out of the car, so I let the rear-window defroster handle the job.

The second thing I noticed was that as I was driving, egg-sized clumps of snow (which was mixed with rain) were detaching from the snow on the car's roof and slowly sliding down my rear window. Oh, joy. Note to self: next time, clean the freakin' car roof, too.

Fortunately, except for a nasty frosted-over off-ramp from the Walt Whitman Bridge, just about all the other roads between home and work were not in bad shape. Visibility was another story, though -- too bad there are no plows or salt to improve *that*. But everything was basically OK right until I reached the parking lot at work, which hadn't been plowed yet...! AAAH, CRUD!

So I slowly drove through the lot, none too happy about the unfamiliar creaking-wet-snow noises emanating from under my tires (did I mention I haven't driven through snow in ten years?) until I got to something that resembled empty parking spaces. I say "resembled" because the lines in the parking lot were all buried and I had to play "guess the boundaries of the empty space" before pulling into one. Hooray, I made it! Put car in park, turn off lights, wipers, and ignition, get bags together, get out of car. By the time I had the car door closed and locked, a glaze of wet snow had already formed on the windshield and rear window. Sheesh.

Work closed at 1 PM today, due to the weather conditions, so out the door I went to reverse this whole process and go home. When I got to my car, I saw that Karla, who'd parked in an adjacent space, was already in the process of cleaning her car off. I observed to her that maybe I'd like this weather better if I had a one-horse open sleigh. She finished before I did, and left while I was still brushing off my car. I did remember to clean the snow off the roof AND to save the rear window for last.

On the way home, I was waiting at a red light when I saw a red pickup truck on the opposite side of the road. He stopped for the red light, too, but apparently he did so a bit too abruptly. All the snow on his truck's roof went SLIIIIIIDING forward until it completely covered his windshield. There was so much snow, and it was so heavy and wet, the windshield wipers couldn't even budge. Good thing he was at a red light and traffic was stopped anyway, because he had to get out and clean that mess away manually. I had to laugh. Geeeee, I sure was glad I'd cleaned MY roof. ;o)

I also had to smile at someone's whimsical humor. On my way home, I passed a fire hydrant which had accumulated a large round clump of snow atop it. I noticed that someone had used their finger to draw a smiley face in the nearly-spherical clump of snow. I don't know who did it, but I appreciated their artwork. :o)

That's more than I can say for the way Mother Nature conducts her snowball fights. The precipitation was changing over from snow to rain; all those majestic trees, whose branches extend over Kings Highway like a canopy, were randomly dropping BIG clods of slush onto cars and pedestrians. No fair! When I was a kid, the rules of snowball fighting included prohibitions against ice chunks and slushballs. Mother Nature wasn't playing by the rules. I don't wanna snowball fight with her any more. >:o(

Anyway, I made it home without any misadventures. I'm STILL thawing out, and I think I need a dose of hot chocolate. And as for this weather... whoever thinks THIS is a winter wonderland needs their head examined.

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