nature, weather

walking (carefully) in a winter wonderland . . .

Well it’s Groundhog Day and that fat, furry little buck-toothed bastard popped (or more properly, was pulled) out of his hole by a man wearing a top hat in ::snicker:: Gobbler’s Knob, Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. “Punxsutawney Phil, King of the Groundhogs, Father of all Marmota, Seer of Seers, Prognosticator of Prognosticators declared to a host of booing people in groundhog hats that it’s going to be cold and we’re all going to hate it for six more weeks.

In related news . . . i know several people who have slipped and fallen on snow and ice. People are showing up to work with bruises, sprains, and abrasions. A couple nights ago i nearly lost control of my car. In a tailspin on a slippery dark country road, i saw headlights, tail lights, trees, barriers, ditches and then with a maneuver straight from a Starsky and Hutch, i finally skidded my car to a halt facing the opposite way at the side of road and then called a couple people to affirm that i was indeed, still alive.

i have been parking my car at the top of the VERY steep hill that is my driveway; otherwise, the tractor will have to pull me out. i love my old Mercedes but it is an absolute sled in this weather. Four wheel spins in 2” of ice or snow and forget it, i’m crippled. i’ll have to rock out, dig out and have someone push me. This has happened 5 times or so already.

Tonite i amused myself by venturing down the driveway, found myself slipping, attempted to back up, made the loud squirrelly, scratching sounds of tires with no traction, nearly slid into a tree and then into the NO TRESSPASSING sign, and finally made it back out of the driveway and onto flat land where i could park safely. The only reason i was seeing how far i could go is because i have been accumulating heavy items that need to get into the house, but are too cumbersome to carry that far. There is a huge mirror with a wooden frame in my backseat (for three days).

But tonite, the 40lb box of kitty litter had to come in.

i slung my purse over one shoulder, my messenger bag for work over the other, decided the now empty Chick-Fil-A bag i had for dinner could stay, and i hefted the box of kitty litter out in front. i descended the treacherous driveway of white hell slowly. It was dark, cold and the box was slipping out from my gloves. Before it got dicey and i lost my footing, i got this brilliant idea . . . “put the box down and kick it along.” And why not! Everything else was sliding and sure enough, the box of kitty litter careened down the hill like a toboggan, much to my delight! At the bottom of the hill nearer to the stairs i began laughing like an idiot to myself as i pushed the box along like some perverse curling stone, and the thought of THAT sport got me laughing again.

“Kitty litter curling!”

Now if i just had one of those ridiculous brooms . . .

i know i know – i shouldn’t make fun . . . it’s a very old Scottish sport and hey, the oldest Curling Club in the U.S. is the Detroit Curling Club, in my home town, which started playing on Lake St. Clair, in the early 1820’s. Of course, it is those kooky Canadians, who probably are able to subsist on snow, that boast more curlers in total than any other country. But i digress, i don’t care for winter sports . . . skiing is a bit rich for my blood and sledding is a death trap headed for trees and then there’s snowboarding. the idea of strapping myself to any size wooden or otherwise highly polished, waxed synthetic plank is of great consequence to the way my limbs are arranged. Getting in and out of my driveway is sport enough and if i wanted to do any of that, i’d simply hurl myself down it with wild abandon and great style and see how it all turns out.

The groundhog only comes out once a year during mid-winter, and if it gets worse, it may very well require a man in a top hat to pull me out into the snow any time soon . . .