Icky weather for all, and something smart

My last post was a bit on the self-centered side. I admit it.

I mean, Nature most likely doesn’t sit around her fireplace thinking, “Now, what can I do that will cause the most aggravation and inconvenience for that one fat old decrepit hag?” Not really. It’s just that after almost eight weeks, with both ankles still sore enough that I can’t handle uneven surfaces (therefore avoid them), I’m maybe a tish oversensitive about the appearance of being picked on.

Right now, I’m just feeling thankful that my commute spans the width of my living room and I don’t have to get out in this, “this” being temps of 20 deg., high winds, and heavy snow. News tonight had the freeways completely halted in Seattle and horror stories of abandoned cars and awful messes and buses sliding sideways down hills, sweeping hapless cars downhill before them.

It annoys me when the newscasters yammer on about the weather being “frigid” and “brutal,” when it’s the first actual snow of the year and it’s only 20 degrees. It’s cold, yes, but not frigid or brutal. (Those don’t happen ’til 10 and 20 below zero, respectively. 🙂 ) But they’re only broadcast people; I suppose they can’t help it.

However, the roads truly are horrible here with not-very-much snow, because the roadbeds never freeze. The first snow that falls melts and then freezes into a layer of ice. The roads are extremely slippery and treacherous, even if you know what you’re doing; and the vast majority of people don’t. Or they think that having a 4-wheel-drive SUV exempts them from the laws of physics.

Poor KrisDi and Snaotheus are stuck in that traffic, albeit on surface streets so they can get home without the freeway, but streets blocked with a thousand cars are still blocked and you can’t move on them, and icy streets are slippery no matter what. I’ll be interested to hear their tale; maybe Snaotheus will do some off-roading on the way home.

Thanks to the aforementioned ankle issues, I haven’t been able to get into the yard to do the usual autumn things (eight weeks, remember?). So when the news guys said “make sure your outside faucets are insulated,” I thought, “Oh, crap. It isn’t. And the hose is still attached. And I don’t have one-a them nifty foam faucet covers, either.”

I dithered and dathered and decided that since it’s supposed to get down to 10-ish tonight and stay below freezing for the next few days, I’d better cover the dang thing with a towel or something to protect the pipes as much as possible. So I put the phone in my pocket, got out some gloves, squeezed my snowboots on (it hurt, too), picked up my cane, a big towel and some string, and started outside. The first step onto uneven snow, still on the deck, I realized this was going to rank right up there as One of the Stupidest Things I Ever Did.

Instead of continuing, I actually turned around, came back in, called one of my neighbors and pleaded with him to rescue me. And he did. My faucet’s already frozen, but at least it won’t freeze any farther back in (and I think there’s some kind of valve in there to help prevent that, anyway). He disconnected my hose (with pliers, for pete’s sake), too. And was very nice about it.

If this is the beginning of a trend, it could be a problem: If I start Doing the Smart Thing on a regular basis, whatever will I have to write about?!?

Posted by wordsmith

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