If we were having coffee today, well, we’d probably be doing it by phone or Skype or something … it’s snowing hard out there. It’s pretty and it’s nice and it’s a pain.
I grew up in Houston, Texas and I think I saw snow maybe twice in the first twenty years of my life. In looking at Houston history blogs it’s funny when they talk about snow … they’ll talk about this snow and that snow … basically a counting on the hands sort of thing. And although I haven’t lived in Houston since 1978 I know most of the earlier events they are talking about!
I’ve lived in North Carolina for almost thirty years. We don’t get a lot of snow here either, but we can expect at least one event a year. Some years more, some years less. We sometimes go two years with any. We also get significant ice storms every few years. I hate ice storms. You can expect days without power and I don’t care where you’re from, nobody is used to driving on ice. Don’t do it.
Now, don’t get all Yankee on me about driving in snow. It can be done, but you have to understand the fact that here, there just isn’t much snow removal capacity. Oh, they brine the roads beforehand … that always seems to me to be more like priming the pump. And sure, there is some snowplow activity, but the plowing appears to be more like they are using a Zamboni to prepare the ice rink. It amounts to scraping, scraping down to the point where they compact whatever ice is left onto the surface. We end up with a sheet of ice. If we are lucky and it gets sunny at some point, usually in the spring, the road clears pretty quickly. No word yet on when the sun will be restarted.
So, no matter what part of Maine or Minnesota or Chicago you are from, you’d probably be one of the people I really fear on the roads out here … zipping along with too much confidence and likely to slide and run into me.
Several times in my life I’ve had to drive long distances in snow and ice. Once, I was on a business trip, driving from central Virginia to Atlanta. I neglected to check the weather for my entire route. It was fine when I left. In NC I hit some flurries. As I went south, it got worse and worse. I just stayed in the wagon ruts and kept going hoping some overconfident Yankee didn’t run into me. Oh, I’m just joshing … it is the SUV drivers you have to worry about, really. I lost count of the number of SUVs I saw flipped, run into walls, or stranded dozens of yards out into fields by the side of the interstate. It was quite a trip. The entire state of South Carolina at twenty-five miles an hour … the only way to go.
There is a section in my novel THE FEVER where the hero gets stuck on the highway in such a situation … it was a compilation of some of those trips. One fan told me that was her favorite part but that she had to stop reading at some point and go put a sweater on.
So let’s sip our coffee and chat quietly and pray that the power doesn’t go out.
Author Thomas Fenske is currently hosting a paperback book giveaway in partnership with the TomeTender Book Blog. For more information: http://tometender.blogspot.com/2017/01/thomas-fenske-presents-traces-of.html
More information on his books can be found at: http://www.thefensk.com