White Knuckles

I was bitching this morning about having to go to work on Black Friday, but alas, I have ended up working from home. Which still isn’t not working, but at least it’s working in the comfort of sweats. One of those split-the-difference scenarios, I guess.

For the record, I tried to go to work, but we have had freezing drizzle since mid-day yesterday and as a result, the streets are a sheet of ice. I didn’t think conditions were going to be all that bad, but Tara and I left at the same time, and I watched in horror as her truck slid sideways down our hill. My brakes were equally ineffective. I almost turned around right then and there but I soldiered on, slipping and sliding, and finally decided going into the office just wasn’t worth chancing, especially since I had my laptop with me anyway. Making matters worse, there’s a 1/2″ glaze of ice on the ground and every step is super treacherous. So I turned around and headed back. If I’d stayed, I would have worried the whole time about getting back home anyway; we have a Blizzard Warning beginning at 6 p.m. and lasting until Sunday morning, so the weather is only going to get worse. That freezing drizzle is going to turn to snow, the snow is going to get heavy, and the winds are going to really pick up. Nobody needs to be out in weather like that.

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The drive back wasn’t much better. Even going 5 mph through the neighborhood I was fishtailing and struggled to get up the hill. Hardest of all was making it back up our driveway; my wheels were spinning helplessly, so I really had to gun it and then hope I didn’t go careening into the side of the house. We just had our sewer line repaired; the last thing we need is exterior damage to our house! Talk about a white-knuckle drive. Apparently Tara slid into a curb in the parking lot of her work, so I will breathe easier once she gets home this evening. I’m hoping they’ll let her go early.

I had planned on taking advantage of a one-day Black Friday sale on a snowblower at Lowe’s on my lunch hour today, but I’m not going to chance those roads again. Too bad. It hasn’t taken us long to realize shoveling our large driveway and sidewalks is a real chore, one that a snowblower will really help with.

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So, about our storm: it’s looking to be a doozy. They are predicting heavy snow (8-12″) on top of that glaze of ice, and winds gusting to 65 mph. Sadly, Rapid City’s holiday winter market, downtown tree lighting ceremony, and festival of lights parade are all scheduled for tomorrow, plus it’s Small Business Saturday. It looks like Pennington County may issue a no-travel advisory, so all those events are likely to be cancelled. We were looking forward to them, but what can you do? I’m just hoping our power doesn’t go out now that we have a new aquarium full of tropical fish. We have plenty of food and plan to work on putting up Christmas decorations, so we don’t have to go anywhere.

On a brighter note, our first Thanksgiving in our new house was just about perfect. We always enjoyed hosting family for the holiday, but I’m not gonna lie, being able to kick back and do our own thing is pretty nice. Other than a last-minute trip to Family Fare for a can of evaporated milk, and having to spread rock salt and shovel the driveway and front stairs, it was a pretty leisurely day. We drank wine, listened to music, and ate delicious food. After, we retired to the basement, where we started a blazing fire and watched “Planes, Trains & Automobiles.” Really couldn’t have asked for a better day!

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Great first Thanksgiving in our new home.

Now, let the hunkering down commence.

17 Comments on “White Knuckles

  1. Your basement really does look cozy, and what a fun movie! The weather part–that’s just scary. You’ll let us know how Tara manages getting home? Can you order a snow blower on amazon? Real bummer about the fun events needing to be canceled. :/

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I can let you know. Thanks for your concern! I’m sure I could order a snowblower on Amazon. This one was an excellent deal (I’ve done a lot of research); I haven’t been able to find as good a bargain anywhere online.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Glad you made it safely back home Mark, and hope your wife does as well.
    I know you must remember how the world would grind to a halt in Washington if even an inch of snow covered the roads! I cannot imagine ever leaving my house if I lived in your neck of the woods. Stock the pantries, stock the freezers, do without what you cannot get within 20 feet of your house and only emerge once the ground has thawed and you see spring birds in the trees.
    I refuse to do anymore white knuckle drives for anyone anymore 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, I remember that well, trust me. Many a Portland/Vancouver commute came to a grinding halt as soon as snowflakes started flying through the air. It’s comical now to think about that. (OK, it was comical back then, too!) Fortunately, I never got stuck anywhere.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This post pretty much concludes in a nutshell why I hate winter, and specifically snow. I did my first donut on a major road at age 19. I’ve lost count how many times I’ve been on a hill, praying to Jesus that I either make it up or don’t rear end someone coming down. And don’t get me started on the Christmas I missed, numerous winter birthday parties, etc. that had to be called off. Heck, this cancelation crap has been pissing me off since I was a little tyke!

    The snowblower has its pros and cons. I even did a post on it once. Hope Tara gets home safe and you two can chill (not literally) the rest of the weekend.

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    • I’m curious to know more about your snowblower experience. What would you consider the pros and cons? Just watched my neighbor across the street plow through foot-deep snow with ease…I’m more sold on the idea than ever now!

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      • They can be hard to use. We have 2 gas powered ones. The small one I can easily push, but only if it’s less than about 5 inches of snow. It has the shoot that you use a crank handle to move it to different sides. If it’s windy, it blows the snow in your face and the snow tends to get clogged in the shoot often. The big blower is self propelled and way too much for me to maneuver on our steep driveway, but is necessary for large snowfalls. Only my husband uses it.

        They are difficult to start, though I can sometimes use the electric start option with success. Then there’s the gas smell that requires a shower afterwards….lol! If we only get 3-4 inches, I just find it easier to use the shovel and push the snow to the sides of the driveway. Good luck with whatever you choose. Obviously, being a female factors into my difficulties!

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      • I have no idea why I couldn’t spell ‘chute’ yesterday . . 🤔😱

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  4. Mark, your display of the next several days forecast is incredible! Not only the temps, but all that SNOW! Now, I know most people would be dreading it, but damn…I’d love that. Now, that’s what a call a REAL winter. Which I know technically it’s not officially winter, but pretty darn close.

    Glad to hear that you stayed home today, instead of driving on those dangerously icy streets.

    Your Thanksgiving Day sounded and looked awesome! Don’t you love celebrating a nice, quiet, low-keyed holiday, where you can stay inside, watch movies, eat, and drink wine?

    Have a great weekend watching all that wonderful snowfall from the windows inside your house!

    P.S. It’s been very cold here, but no snow yet. However, I heard we might be getting some Sunday and Monday. 🙂

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    • “Don’t you love celebrating a nice, quiet, low-keyed holiday, where you can stay inside, watch movies, eat, and drink wine?”

      There is NOTHING better than that, Ron! The cozy fire was the icing on the cake. Fingers crossed you get your snow!

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  5. You’re the second or third blogger to mention Planes Trains and Automobiles. I’ve never seen it!!

    Yikes! Glad you guys got home safely. Sorry you will probably miss your fun holiday community activities. That’s a bummer.

    Your cozy basement looks like the perfect place to hunker down!

    Liked by 1 person

    • “Planes, Trains & Automobiles” is the quintessential Thanksgiving movie. We watch it every year! You should check it out. It’s both funny and heartwarming.

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      • Be safe. If we get hit with 6 to 8 inches again in North Carolina at 70 with heart condition I won’t be able to dig myself out. Even 4 to 5 will be imprisonment. Last year two neighbors helped me but then the snow plough truck came down the street and left a 4 foot wall where driveway meets the street.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Your weather is why I moved away from the Midwest, all those years ago. Good thing you have a snug sanctuary, and you can work from home. I telecommuted for much of the last year of my last job. I really think that’s the way to go unless you need a lot of face time to do your thing.

    Liked by 1 person

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