Friday, January 25, 2013

Everything is Cancelled Until the Ice is Gone

That Martian landscape above is the current top of my car.

Yesterday there was some discussion of an incoming winter storm and how we should prepare for it. I received no fewer than four messages from friends and family who were (mostly facetiously, I hope) advising me to go pick up bread and milk. In the South, if there should be any upcoming situation which might threaten to disrupt your access to these two things, it is akin to the Apocalypse, and must be prepared for.

This morning was mostly just gray, like most mornings are, so I figured it had broken up and wouldn't be anything. Until Jason noted that there was a thin coating of ice on our back porch from sleet.

I was at work for a couple of hours; they've shut the whole county down and sent us all home. We were pretty sure once they closed the schools around 10 that we would be next in line.

That half-hour drive was... interesting.

I basically drove home on a giant stretch of ice they were still calling a road. I know my car pretty well; me and Carl (yes, his name is Carl) have been together for almost ten years now. I know when my tires are having a hard time finding purchase, I know the slight pulls on my steering wheel. I basically coasted home as much as I could.

If you ever start to feel your tires skid or like you might be beginning to lose control, don't brake. I cannot stress that enough, and it's a piece of advice that it appears people are not being given in their Driver's Ed classes.

Just let off the gas, guys. Don't yank the steering wheel; you should be able to come back into control by letting off your accelerator and just barely touching the wheel whichever way you need to get back to. Braking only makes it more likely that you'll totally lose control.

I witnessed three separate people who went off the road after slamming on their brakes, a bunch of people already in ditches or just sitting in the road with their hazards on. A girl three cars in front of me hit her brakes, lost control, and slammed her (thankfully empty) passenger side right into the guard rail. (I stopped to check on her, she was okay; rattled but okay.) Granted, that's better than if the guard rail weren't there and she slammed into the ditch with the trees, but still.

Once I hit Greenville, the roads were more wet than frozen. I am holing up in my house for the rest of the day and you can not make me go out there.

Not even for Starbucks.

Indy, on the other hand, finds this sleet stuff on the porch totally cool, until I expect him to go out into the (cold, wet) yard to do his business.

Then he's not happy about it at all.

Well, I'm just going to hang out here and worry endlessly about everyone I know who might be on the roads out here today, as well as a friend of mine hopefully about to board a plane in Ohio to come home for the weekend. I am hoping the part where he's coming home to his beautiful pregnant wife will induce the universe to be kind.

I have a lot of faith in the universe.

Added, several hours later:

 My faith was misplaced. My friend's flight was delayed, pushed back some more, cancelled, he was placed on the last flight from DC to Greenville... and now that flight has been cancelled and he's stuck in DC for the night.

I will no longer place my faith in the universe.

I am debating placing my faith in hot sauce.

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