Winter is here.

The past couple days have been an adjustment for me: Getting around with small children in the snow! You have to understand, I grew up in TX. Things shut down with the threat of snow! I clearly remember school either being delayed or canceled all together for a dusting of snow. Now, to give them credit, roads were sanded instead of salted. And salt does a better job of clearing roads (as well as lowering the freezing temperature). When I went to college in the North (Wheaton College), I was mesmerized by the amount of snow I saw all winter long. And was equally as shocked that classes were never cancelled for it (nor were any businesses in town)! So, I learned to dress for it, walk in it, bike in it and drive in it. After a few years, I was pretty good at getting around in winter. I fit right in. Can I actually admit I somewhat enjoyed it too! Then, we had a baby. This changed everything. It takes longer to get ready to schlep through the snow. It takes longer to get in the car. And while I don’t worry about forgetting my gloves occasionally, I worry about how cold the baby might get! And driving around in it takes more caution. I never really thought too much about what would happen if I fishtailed, got caught in a snowbank or spun into a ditch before. After having a baby, I thought about it every time I got in the car and every mile I drove. Now, we have THREE children! A significant snow storm hit us yesterday and left us with flurries all day today. I was out in this mess this morning and afternoon. We live approximately 10 miles outside of Dekalb and most of the two roads into town were covered in ice and blowing snow. I was not a happy camper. I saw nine cars in ditches bordering the harvested corn fields. It was hard not to give into fear. I kept praying, reminding myself God is in control (even if we were to spin out).

On a lighter side, here are a few reminders with the winter season upon us:
–Don’t forget to tap the snow off your your boots before getting into your car or house. It saves frustration over puddles of slush later.
–Don’t freak out over a minor fishtail. Staying calm is the best way to get out of it.
–Invest in SOMETHING to keep the kids distracted (and relatively quiet) in the car when you need to put all your focus on the road.
–Carry a bag of salt and a shovel in your trunk. You just never know when you’re going to encounter a snowbank with an attitude.
–Five minutes of pre-salting will save you thirty minutes of hard shoveling!

Ever wonder why or how:
–A small blanket of snow can hang onto a stop sign. How does it stay on there when half of it is draping off the bottom?
–How gorgeous are the snow dune off the side of the road!!!
–Why are there no snow/wind fences in rural areas? I think I drove through five snowbanks today!
–A non-plowed street of tired pressed snow. How is there a thirty foot circle of dry street. No manhole or salt in sight.

and you know you’ve experienced too many Mid-West winters when (this is my 11th):
–You can identify the different types of snow.
–You use winter gear to protect, not as fashion.
–You pre-salt (well, sometimes).
–You don’t like it, but you drive on ice.
–You think about season snowfall totals in feet, not inches.
–You think a low of 15 degrees is ‘not-so-bad.’
–You know what REAL white-out conditions are.

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One Response

  1. I can relate. I grew up in NC and VA (mostly–we moved a lot).

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