Dazed and confused? Not me. I’m just Lost in the Cheese Aisle.

Monday, January 10, 2011


Snow on the Deck
About five inches of snow decorates our deck furniture.

With nearly about 4-5 inches of snow on the ground here - and a thin, Krispy Kreme-style glaze of ice atop it - She Who Must Be Obeyed and I have no immediate plans to leave the neighborhood.

We’ve spent enough time in icy northern climes to know that the best way to drive on icy roads is... to not drive on ’em at all. And around these parts, once the roads get ice on ’em, it tends to stay there until Nature makes it go away: Snowplows and salt trucks are thin on the ground.

Snow Jam 1982, the snow-ice-snow event that struck Atlanta twenty-nine years ago this week, would have served as lesson enough. My afternoon office commute, normally a sedate seven-mile affair on the local side streets, turned into a hair-raising two-and-a-half hour slip ’n’ slide, during which my heart was in my mouth the entire time. It’s something of a minor miracle that I made it home at all... and that’s before the storm really got underway. The hills and curves here, coupled with the total lack of snow removal, make for a degree of excitement you just don’t experience in, say, the Northeast.

Twenty-five years ago, on a business trip to North Texas, I had a similar experience with icy roads, driving from the Dallas-Foat Wuth airport to Iowa Park in a snowstorm. On the way back, in Wichita Falls, I hit a patch of black ice and slid into the back of a truck, knocking out my left headlight. (Even if you’re only going two MPH, you can’t stop if you’re on black ice.)

After a scary three-hour drive back to the DFW airport - think snow-covered, icy roads, dusk, and one headlight out - I flew to Houston, where there had been an ice storm. Every freeway overpass was shut down, rendered completely impassable by an inch-thick glaze of ice. Out of the frying pan, into the fire, was all I could think at the time.

I remember my first experience with freezing rain, back when I was a newly-licensed driver. Even on quiet neighborhood streets, it was impossible to keep my car on the road; it would slowly slide to the curb if it moved at all. And as I rolled my windows down, half-inch-thick “windows” of ice remained frozen in their place. Weird.

I guess you can drive in these conditions, provided you follow a few simple rules:
  1. Don’t accelerate.
  2. Don’t brake.
  3. Don’t steer.
  4. Don’t tailgate. If there’s another car within 1000 feet, you’re too close.
Even better: Don’t start the car. Leave it in the garage.

As for us, we’re going out for a walk. Hope we don’t slip and break our necks.

Update: We ended up bundling ourselves against the freezing drizzle and taking a nice hike over to Gary and JoAnn’s house on the other side of Roswell Road.

The normally busy thoroughfare was desolate...

Roswell Road, Deserted

...as was the nearby shopping area.

Quiet Avenue

And in a few spots, a wisp of greenery would struggle to show itself.

A Wisp of Greenery


Houston Steve said...

As you know Hacienda del Houston Steve sits at the base of a very steep driveway. My rule of thumb (based on the following anecdote) is that if I can't make it up the driveway I can't get killed while driving.

Several years ago I made the attempt to go out to my office after what I thought was a reasonable period of waiting. Having left the family sedan at the top of the drive I could get out. I made it out onto Highway 120 (a 4 lane strip with a nice wide median) only to see an 18 wheeler jackknifing down the hill on the opposite side of the road. I waited until he had made it to the base of the hill, found the first turnaround spot, and gingerly made my way home.

I have since made it a rule. . .put the car in the garage and wait. Which means I am still here to bug the crap out of the Grouchy Old Cripple.

Danielle said...

Remind me to tell you about my December adventure on ice in Waleska. I'm am truly grateful to be sitting this one out in a warm home with a big pot of soup simmering on the stove and no plans to leave.

LeeAnn said...

I've always wanted to find a nice, untouched bit of snowy road, lie down in the middle, and have someone spray a yellow paint outline around me. Hey presto! Instant crime scene.
It doesn't snow here so I have to make do with chalk and the local grade school playground.
Your pics are lovely but make me want to skin a Wookie and make socks.