OK, our first Dallas winter storm’s here! Fun. Nashville’s already had five this year, so we’ve lucked out with this whole move thing so far, I guess.
I’ve lived lots of places where people talked about the weather changing fast. But jeez, this is a bit much. We have both our winter and our summer clothes out. Saturday, it was 73 degrees and we played Frisbee in the park. Today, there are several inches of ice on the roads, a couple of inches of snow on the ground, and almost everyone’s hunkered down at home ducking the 45 mph wind gusts.
I, however, didn’t get the memo about our office being closed until I was already within sight of our building. Damn. Never had good timing.
It was a slippery trip. About a block from our house, the first thing I saw was a “school zone” sign — the bright yellow one, with the protective big brother carefully escorting his skirt-clad little sister — lying on the ground. Snapped clean off when a driver skidded through the red light. That’s not a good start to the day. I also saw a few dozen cars either sideways across the road or angled into the ditch.
I blame our friend Bill, who came in Monday. He’s from Chicago, and I think he cooked up this “business trip” to Dallas so he could enjoy a little warm escape from the wife, the kids and the snow. Except that this morning, he woke to snow, temps in teens and a rental car that looks like an ice sculpture.
Heh. Heh heh heh. Fooled him, didn’t we, Dallas?
Rest assured, though, from my three years living in Green Bay, I am well-equipped to handle these blustery days. Even though this fall D finally forced me to throw away the snow shovel I’ve hauled all over the country since my Wisconsin days. Even though I can’t find any of the 13 ice-scrapers I know I own. Even though I no longer have my four-wheel-drive SUV. Even though we never got around to weatherstripping those doors that needed it.
I still am, however, in possession of my Sorel snow boots, 17 woolly hats in various colors, multiple pairs of warm gloves (and even a few that still match) and my driving skills. That’s something in short supply here today, for real.
My trip in, however, did allow me some fun people-watching and provide fodder for a snowy-day blog:
1. Dear Mr. 18-Wheeler Driver: Everyone else on the highway — most of us in way smaller vehicles than your 40-ton behemoth — is driving 25 mph. Is it really necessary for you to be doing 65? I mean, I know it’s really important to get those boxes of WhizBang laundry detergent to the Wal-Mart in Waco and all, but still… Slow the hell down.
2. And the next time you stop, how about knocking off a few of those Smart-car-sized icebergs hanging on your rear bumper? I just saw one hurl itself off a truck onto I-35, bounce 5 feet into the air and nail a guy in a green pickup. He’ll be shopping for a new windshield soon.
3. Mr. Guy in the Blue Honda Accord: I do appreciate your desire to keep your windshield clean, in order to see better. And it’s fun to watch you with your arm sticking out your window as you weave amongst the piles of snow and ice separating the lanes, pathetically scraping at your windshield with that old hoe with a sawn-off handle. But maybe you could pull over next time? Just a thought. I kinda kept waiting for the wind to catch that thing and whip it backward into the car behind you. Had that happened, of course, I’d have just been sad I didn’t have my Flip camera. Imagine the YouTube hits on that bad boy.
4. Hey Neighbor Kids Playing Ice Hockey in the Street: Cool.
5. From the Never Too Late to Experience Something New file: This morning was my first experience with thundersnow. Yes, we had a full-blown, freak-out-the-dog storm at 4 a.m., complete with driving snow/ice. Ka-BOOM! Ka-BOOM! It was pretty rockin’, with the sleet making little ticking noises as it hit the house and windows, and the disco-night strobe flashes of lightning.
Rockin’ except for the freaked-out dog thing, of course, which as always led to the pinball-around-the-room dog, then the quaking-in-fear dog, then the “I’m only going to sleep right here on top of you” dog, conquered at last only by the “oooh, look, Mom gave me a puppy Valium” dog.
He’s fine now, I think, if a bit groggy. Although he seems to have no desire to go outside and pee in the 15-below-zero wind chill. Can’t imagine why not.
And “thundersnow” sounds like a smoking-hot name for a minor-league sports team, doesn’t it? “Wellllcome to the Thunderdome, home of ThunderSnow hockey!”
6. Hey, Other Mr. 18-Wheeler Driver: Those tight little U-turn thingies that swing drivers back onto the other side of the interstate, like the one you’re stuck under at Crosby and I-35, aren’t really meant for you. Even in the best of times, and much less when big crusty ice blocks have narrowed them further. Next time, you’ll want to use the regular, two-lane intersection. Which I’m sure you’re now explaining to your dispatcher while you wait for the big-truck wrecker, the six 50-gallon barrels of Crisco and jackhammer you need to free you.
7. Tomorrow is D’s birthday. Rules state that she has to cut me some slack if our dinner/Ovo plans get canceled due to weather, right? Act of nature and all? Someone please remind her of that.
I do think this ridiculous weather is a good omen for the Packers in the Super Bowl this weekend. I mean, Pittsburgh cold and all, but it’s not Green Bay cold. Really. I’ll never forget scraping ice off the INSIDE of my car windows there while driving to work. And blades of grass that would snap off cleanly because they were frozen solid.
Not to mention shoveling snow, which I thought was fun and great exercise — the first time I did it. It snowed 8 inches, and I was so excited, because I’m kind of stupid. I got out my shiny new snow shovel and got to work. An hour or so later, I was the proud, hot, sweaty and tired owner of a clean driveway. I went into the house to shower and dress for work. When I came out 15 minutes later, then snowplow had come and shoved a four-foot barricade of icy snow right back into said driveway.
I said a bad word.
So, I’m willing to bet that Packers fans already here for the game will be wandering around downtown Dallas tonight in shorts and green-and-gold T-shirts, clutching their beers and wondering where everyone is. “Hey, dere, nice lady. It’s not cold out, no sir. Why’re you guys inside that bar dere? C’mon outside and enjoy this nice wedder with us, yeah!”
And I will bet you $100 that there are three Green Bay guys already here — Lars Andersson, Gregg Gabryszenski and Louwy Levandowski — figuring out how they can sneak into Cowboys Stadium and get that top open so they can feel the cool breeze on their faces Sunday.