Monday, July 25, 2011

Snow: Part One a.k.a. The Mayhem

I know, I know, this isn't much snow - right? You've seen much worse? Me too. I spent my first years in Ohio. But the thing I'm always mindful of, is that you peop's accustomed to snow can scoff at this, but locals really shouldn't. When it only snows a few days a year, a little city and its inhabitants are not equipped to deal with it, at. all. There are no snow ploughs - there aren't even snow shovels - there's no quickly-laid grit, no systems, and worst of all...there are very few drivers with snow-driving experience.

Things I have to say about my drive home from church yesterday:
  • Driving a car without windows would be stupid, yeah? That would make driving in snow (when you need to be more cautious and more aware of your surroundings) without windows really stupid. Yeah, that's what not scraping the snow off your windows is - you're driving blind, people. Being able to see only out of the two clear crescents created by your wipers is insufficient.
  • When you see six 2WD vehicles stuck or crashed within three blocks, and you're in a 2WD vehicle...if you can postpone your journey, you probably should. Or don't - make it seven. Yup, you made it seven. Eight. Nine. /head shake.
  • When there are two lanes, why - in the name of all that is good and decent - would you fly by in the right lane to create a merging nightmare half a km ahead? Whyyyyyyy? (And why exactly are you more important than everyone else in the queue?)
  • So, you have a 4WD? That doesn't mean you should speed. Or probably go anywhere at all, in fact...
  • But people with chains are cool.
  • It doesn't matter how much experience your father has driving in snow, or how much he assures you it's okay, you will have a knot in your gut the entire 1.5 hour (usually 13-minute) drive home.
  • You cannot control the other drivers on the road.
Yesterday, I saw a turquoise Falcon (going about 70km/h on the icy motorway) lose control and spiral off of the road - I'm talking spinning 360 degrees three times, without finding purchase, without slowing down, until he left the road and slid down a steep bank. I wanted to vomit. Can you imagine having kids in that vehicle?

Blessings I wish to count:
  1. Esky was so patient for the entire drive, even though she's still on the tired side after her bug, and is always a little drained after playing and singing her heart out in Nursery.
  2. I had planned to have a presidency meeting after church, and so had packed a lunch for Esky - otherwise I would have had one hungry 2-year-old on my hands.
  3. She didn't wet her pants, despite announcing, "I need to go to the toilet," before we left Dunedin (while we were gridlocked).
  4. Ivy slept the entire journey (if she had cried for any portion of it I'm pretty sure I would have too).
  5. We have a 4WD.
  6. I asked for a heatpump (air con) to be installed last year. We came home to a pleasant 21 degree home instead of a dormant fireplace alone.
  7. The youth, at church, are fundraising right now, and I brought home dozens of cheese rolls we purchased from them as a result. Could there be anything better than tomato soup and freshly-grilled cheese rolls on a snowy day? Maybe. A teleporter, for example. Definitely better.
  8. I usually shop on Mondays. I did the shopping Saturday - meaning we are well-stocked for a Sunday at home (instead of visiting the MIL), and for the next day/s home too.
  9. We had plenty of fuel for the unplanned long and slow journey with the heater on. (Thanks, Dad).
Nonethless, Dad, you are so lucky we got home okay (I expressed serious concerns a number of times). I would not have forgotten a cold motorway march from a vehicle with a nursing infant and toilet-training toddler for a loooong time. If said march had been necessitated by an accident (no matter who was to blame or how low the level of impact) I'm not sure I'd ever forget, or let you forget it. Sorry.
(Haki's still away...or we would never have made that drive - he's very cautious with his cargo. Dad loves us, to be sure, but he's a little stub...ahem, assertive about his competence in such weather.)
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