Weathering the winter

When did I become such a weenie about winter weather?

As a kid, I loved the snow. It was beautiful coming down, and it marked the beginning of the Christmas season. I got to wear sweaters and mittens; Dad made a fire in the fireplace, and Mom gave us kids hot chocolate with marshmallows for our after-school treat.

Some days the snow would drop by the bucket-load, starting at night and blowing into huge drifts next to the house. The administration would cancel school, and everybody would “hunker down” inside for several days. No problem — I’d curl up with a good book and magically be transported to another time and place.

Not so any more.

All those weather casters need to do is hint at snow, and I go into a tailspin! I stock up on supplies — does anybody really need fourteen cans of pork ‘n beans? I gas up the car and make sure I’ve got a thick blanket in the trunk. I dig out the snow shovels and the long underwear; I check to see whether there are flashlights (with batteries) and candles (with matches) just in case we lose electricity.

And I watch the Weather Channel on TV or Accuweather on my computer, examining radar screens, long-range forecasts, and so forth until I, too, am a master of the lingo.

Honestly, I don’t mind the snow so much — it’s the ice. Particularly when I’m driving.

I know enough to leave way before I need to be some place, then creep “old lady style” until I arrive safely. Nobody else seems to have learned that lesson. They zip along, merrily chatting on their cells or balancing a cup of hot coffee or punching buttons on their radio, without even giving a thought to how trecherous the roadways are.

So I’ve just got one teeny request. Slow down, okay? We both want to get where we’re going in one piece, and you riding on my bumper won’t make me go any faster, I promise!

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