It is cold. Ordinarily that wouldn’t be something to talk about in January–it is winter, after all, and we sort of expect it to be cold, right? But here in Central East Texas we define cold differently than the rest of the country. For us, “cold” means that it’s below 60 degrees. We start to panic when it hits 40, and we start stocking up on rations when it looks like it might actually freeze. If we see a snowflake it’s an event, and ice is something we put in our drinks.
But so far this year we’ve had not one, but TWO storms (well, one and a half–the second one is moving in as I write this) that include snow, ice, and temperatures well below the freezing mark. That makes a really ugly combination. I know that all of you Northerners who have parkas and snow shovels and ice scrapers readily at hand are laughing yourselves silly at us canceling school because we might get an inch of snow, but we are seriously unprepared for freezing temperatures and subsequently icy roads. My sister who just moved here from California is equally amused by it all. But here’s a traffic map from the morning of the last storm (the one we fondly refer to as #iceoftx):
Note the number of traffic accidents. There were 200 accidents that morning because they were driving on icy roads and overpasses and bridges, which is why everyone is buckling down for this next one.
You see, we don’t have giant snow shovels and large bags of salt or whatever it is you arctic people use to make your roads drivable in this kind of weather. And to get from one place to another–especially if you live in a rural area like we do–you HAVE to travel on those roads, and go over those bridges and you have to do it in your own car because we don’t have efficient public transportation systems because this is Texas, Damn It, and we believe that freedom equals having a giant truck of your very own that you don’t have to share. So when the roads are closed or stopped up from crazy 10-car pile ups because someone slipped on the ice or have a sheet of black ice on them that make them too scary to contemplate we’re stuck at home with our substandard leftovers, a half of a bottle of vodka, and whatever we DVR-ed the night before for entertainment. It’s enough to make you crazy. Which is why we make national news when there’s a threat of freezing sleet, like tonight. We act like the world is ending because…well, it kind of is. At least for a few days.
So…I’m going to go and stock up on my groceries and DVD’s and buy some firewood for the fireplace. It may be a long two days. Y’all enjoy the lists, and stay warm!
- My niece Olivia, who turned NINE today (How did that happen so fast??)
- snow hysteria
- my dad calling to tell me that Huntsville made the national news because we had snow on the ground
- the National Weather Service
- a husband who builds me a warm fire on demand
- hot toddies
- my winter coat, which I’ve been able to wear regularly this winter
- welcoming my sister Kellie and her family to Sugar Land last October (it’s been a while since I posted–sorry!)
- the fabulous Pin Lim of Forest Photography, who did my new head shots and made it a relatively painless experience
- The Disney film Frozen. It’s a fantastic movie with a great plot, clever dialogue, strong female characters, and that damn song that won’t get out of my head (Let it Go, Let it Go!)
- eating out when we should be eating leftovers
- The Blacklist on NBC. SO good.
- the smell of my husband’s body wash (Bleu de Chanel)
- getting to watch my nephew Jaxon’s Pinewood Derby event last week–he won “Best Design” for his Batmobile
- planning a summer cruise to Alaska
- Peyton Manning
- cardinals (the birds, not the sports teams)
- lazy Sunday mornings
- Raven Lake at sunset
- this exceptionally friendly squirrel at Huntsville State Park who decided to talk a selfie with Jamey’s camera
- everything cancelled because of the weather (although I’m sure the kids love the day off)
- losing my favorite gloves
- Driving on icy roads. It really is scary.
- my slow computer
- impending allergies
- people who stop for no apparent reason in the middle of the road
- cold feet (the literal kind)
- abuse of political power
- burnt popcorn
- Parks and Rec sans Ann and Chris