It’s Been a Long Winter

When I wrote Winter is Here I had no idea how true those words were.  Old Man Winter and Mother Nature are still shacking up in the empty lot down the street and they have now added a foundation under their RV.  We may never see the other three seasons again.  All I can say is they best not be reproducing, I can only imagine how tragic that would be.  I’ve been dropping off birth control outside their door so hopefully they get the hint.

There was no easing into winter this year.  Winter hit us like the fat kid hits the buffet, hard and fast.  There was a storm, then another storm, then a thaw and then another storm and now the cold.  The roads are bad, the alleys are worse and my parking spots are the worst.  Putting the trash or recycling out to be picked up is like working your way through a corn maze in a blizzard.  You need climbing ropes, an ice pick and some oxygen.  Then you have to go through it again to put them back.  I’m thankful my neighbor does the garbage so I only have to do the recycling.

Each time I go outside I feel like I’m taking my life in my hands.  The odds of falling are at about 90%, the odds of getting stuck somewhere is about 60% and because I haven’t had one in this vehicle the odds of a flat tire are increasing every day.   Then I take into consideration the other drivers on the road and I completely panic.  The drivers that are out on the bad roads are the crappy drivers that were on the good roads during the good weather!!!  Not a pleasant thought.

School has been canceled around here so often the kids are all going to flunk this grade, they’re just going to have to do the whole year over again.  They may as well call off the rest of the year and get the little buggers a job.  Preferably clearing snow and shoveling for those of us who aren’t supposed to.  I’m not sure I remember a time when school was canceled due to it being too cold when I was a kid.  However, I actually wore boots, a coat and mittens to school and the bus picked us up.  I live near a middle school and those kids who have to walk to school should dress better.  I say my prayers for them every day.

I have to remote start my car twice before I can even get in it.  Then I have to go out and start it and let it run for 20 more minutes.  I’m averaging about 12 miles to the gallon right now because I let it warm up so much.  I also received a lesson in changing my car battery.  Wasn’t really a lesson I asked for but I was bound and determined to not be such a girl and do it myself.  That probably won’t happen again, nothing wrong with being a girl who needs to be rescued sometimes.

Here are my Facebook posts from the battery changing incident:

“Battery dead and won’t jump.  Determined to take it out myself so I text knowledgeable man for instructions. Instructions good, toolbox bad, smarty comments from knowledgeable man.   (Below is the picture of my pathetic excuse of a toolbox I sent him).

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Find wrench that might work hidden under hammer.  Get one cable loose. Open roomies truck to take off gloves to check phone.  Coffee container escapes and rolls under truck.  Lay on ground to try to reach it, need wrench to help retrieve it. Now wet from head to toe with one battery cable sort of off. If the battery weren’t already dead it would have been after my tantrum with the wrench. On a mission to find socket set and maybe a Valium. This is going to happen!!

Later that evening post..

“Thought I posted earlier but apparently in my celebration of still having all my fingers and toes I did not.
Borrowed a socket set.  Took out battery according to texted instructions, 10 minutes to get nuts and bolts off and another 30 minutes to figure out how to get it out around a plastic filter cover and a boatload of hoses.  Had battery tested.  Dead (obviously).  Bought battery.  One last text question to make sure I didn’t electrocute myself during install. Put it in and used all the parts to get it secure!  It only took 4 hours, a little frost bite, no tears, no booze and no drugs.  I did think I gave myself a black eye at one point but it hasn’t bruised yet so I think I’m good.  It’s been quite the day.”

Next time I think I can get the battery changed in under 2 hours!!

I procrastinated putting up plastic on my living room window this year.  That was a really dumb thing to do.  I now have folded laundry stacked on the back of a chair in the living room and I leave it there because it blocks some of the cold air.  A very redneck way to take care of the issue but who’s to say I’m not a redneck deep down.  Okay, okay, I’m a redneck on the surface too.

I have discovered that I do the ‘sneak and floor it’ move several times a day.  You know the one I’m talking about.  You’re at an intersection you sneak, sneak, sneak out to attempt to see beyond the giant snow banks to see if anyone is coming.  When there comes a time you believe you can make it you put the pedal to the metal and say a quick prayer.  You certainly don’t go very fast because it’s slippery but your wheels are turning like you’re in the Daytona 500 until of course you hit a small patch of dry pavement, then you get a mild case of whiplash.  It’s a tricky move but I think I have it mastered.

It was 20 degrees here in the Northland today and someone posted on FB they spotted a man on a motorcycle.  We sure are a desperate bunch around here!  Sounds like it’s going to be in the high teens and twenties over the next few days so I think I’m going to sneak over and pack up Old Man Winter and Mother Nature myself and run them out of town.  This is Wisconsin and I’m pretty sure I can find a mob of people to help me.

Winter is Here

Old Man Winter has arrived in the Northland and I believe he’s here to stay.  I spotted his RV parked in an empty lot down the street and it looks like he’s not planning on going anywhere anytime soon.  I think he’s shackin’ up with Mother Nature these days and it’s pretty disturbing.  Can’t they vacation in Arizona like the rest of the old folks?

There’s always things worth mentioning as we hunker down, snuggle up and start drinking hot totties.

A four-hour trip turned into a five plus hour trip after Thanksgiving weekend because drivers have completely forgotten how to actually drive in the snow.  Going 15 MPH doesn’t help anyone, especially when the roads aren’t THAT bad.  I realize you have no idea you just caused that 27 car pile up but it was you, completely you.

I spotted a car that had slid through a stoplight, as I approached I thought, I should stop and help them push the car out.  As I got close, I realized they had slid through the light, went in the ditch, taken out a pole and completely abandoned their car.  As if they said “oh crap, well, nothing I can do, I’ll come back for it later” and walked home.  No cops, no other cars, nothing.

Snowplow drivers will get the finger more in the next four to five months then any other drivers on the planet.  As if they can help that you JUST finished shoveling the sidewalk when they come by and push snow back on it.  And they can’t help that you JUST finished shoveling what they pushed back on the sidewalk and they do it again.  And they certainly can’t help that when you throw your shovel at their truck because it happened for the third time, that your shovel gets run over and lays mutilated in the street.  On a serious note, I do respect these people, they put endless hours in during the middle of the night so that we can have decent roads and parking lots.  Try to wave normal at them in between waving with the middle finger.

I will wish every single day for a man to be around to shovel, put plastic on the windows, take care of me when I’m sick, warm my side of the bed up and all sorts of other winter chores.  When summer comes I may change my mind and send him back but for now I will wish.

I can’t wait to see all the dog crap that doesn’t get picked up sitting on top of the snow in our yard.  Not only will it be on the neighbor’s side it will be on my side as well…and I don’t have dogs.  It’s so pleasant to look at everyday and I like it a lot when they leave a present for me on my sidewalk.  My hope is to look like a bunch of rednecks who can’t be bothered to pick up after their pets.  Makes such a great impression when I have company.  And I can’t even tell you how awesome it is when spring comes and everything thaws, gets mooshy and smells….it’s so great.

I’m looking forward to falling somewhere between 5 and 100 times.  I have a tendency to not stay on my feet at times anyway so when you add snow and ice it really makes for a busy falling season.  Good thing I packed some extra pounds on the old tush so I have plenty of padding when I fall.  Here’s to a bruised ass for the next five months and several chiropractor visits.

We will start drinking things that we never would otherwise.  I will choke down a hot brandy with lemon when I get a cold or sore throat, only because Mom used to say “drink that, it will help”.  It sure did, I passed right out and forgot about my illness.  Bars will blow the dust off their microwaves for hot totties and will stock up on Bailey’s so they can serve it with hot chocolate or coffee.

I will put winter survival stuff in my car.  Boots, blankets, a jacket, hats and gloves.  I don’t actually wear a jacket unless it’s well below zero but figure I better have one in the car just in case.  I do wear gloves though, I’m not completely insane.  For those of you who have read my book, you know that I needed those things when I found the ditch one evening in the middle of nowhere.  On my 5 hour trip a few days ago I panicked because I did not have those things in my car.  I would have looked pretty silly with no coat, hat or gloves if something had went awry.

We will see poofing out of chests and ‘my truck is bigger than yours’ wars until 4WD is no longer needed.  This time of year gives those boys who have big trucks a license to drive fast, act 16 and think women should not be on the road.  I just nod and smile, all the time thinking to myself “I can’t wait until I see you in the ditch a mile down the road in need of my help”.

And last but not least for now, if anyone is driving by on 21st Street and sees me laying in my front yard unconscious please call 911, I probably collapsed from shoveling or perhaps fell and hit my head instead of my ass.  Stay and make sure the good-looking EMTs are the ones working on me, I don’t need the toothless guy who hasn’t showered in a week giving me CPR.