Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Tell me why I live here again?

Despite this being a pretty cold winter so far, we haven't really had anything in the way of snow. (Actually, we haven't had much snow as long as we've lived here). They predict snow with some frequency, but they're usually wrong. This is the typical progression:

DAY ONE - "We think there's a chance we might see some flurries in a few days."

DAY TWO - "We can't rule out several inches in the metro area." [Which results in everyone in town rushing to the store to buy milk, bread, and toilet paper.]

DAY THREE - "It's looking like a wintry mix, but it depends which way the storm goes."

DAY FOUR - "It looks like all of the snow is staying off to our north and west, so we'll just see rain in the metro area."

I bring this up because we finally got our first halfway decent snowstorm today. Only a couple of inches, not enough to close work or anything, but we'll take it. (That's probably for the best, because anything more than a half-inch causes mass hysteria on the roads here. Half of the people in the area see snow and say "good thing I have this SUV so I can drive as aggressively as I always do," while the other half grew up in sunny climates and refuse to drive faster than 10mph. Then there are people like Gretchen who grew up driving in snow and just shake their heads at the rest of us.)

The problem is that our beautiful snowstorm has now turned to ice that threatens to make the morning commute nightmarish. DC seems to perpetually be on the boundary between rain and snow, which results in more than our share of freezing rain. It's beautiful to look out your window and see everything glazed over and sparkling, at least until you try to go out to get the morning paper and fall on your ass because every paved surface is an ice rink. And the real fun comes when iced-over tree limbs fall and knock out power lines. Good times...