Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Now I know how Hillary's campaign feels

On Monday, we had an ice storm in Springfield. If you've never been through one of these things, imagine the most torrential downpour you've ever seen or heard, but with ice instead of rain. Walk outside, and you're moving like Michael Jackson playing hockey. "I'm dreaming of a White Christmas. Hee-hee!" Then you slip like Joe Pesci in Home Alone. "Aaow!" Either way, Macaulay Culkin should be hiding.

Ice storms are, to paraphrase George Carlin, very Republican. They destroy trees and leave property alone. Also, they put people at the mercy of energy companies. And even where property does get iced, such as with cars and roads, such measures hit the hardworking, non-garaged stiffs of America the hardest.

Man, I think too much.

Tuesday brought a much milder snowfall, but all that really did was make the ice prettier. Even as I write this on Wednesday, all of it is still on the ground. In the words of my friend, who was riding with me on Monday night as we headed for her house on a steep hill, "It sucks, but it's really beautiful!"

Foresight is key when dealing with an ice storm. It helps to live in an area with power and to not need to go anywhere, such as the store or a job. If you must go somewhere and aren't lucky enough to take the bus, allot at least two hours to melt the ice cube your car has become.

This picture does little justice to how frozen solid my car was on Monday afternoon (yes, afternoon!). You could not touch the actual car, only its 1/3-inch-thick icy sheath. It took all my effort, and all of my shovel's effort, for nearly half an hour just to access a door handle (on the rear passenger-side door, at that). Cracking that door's seams took more time.

Once I was able to get in, I cranked the engine and the defrost mechanisms. After an hour of that, the ice began to sort of budge. It came off in thick, huge shards suitable for skating. It also left perfect impressions of my car's logos, which would have made a sweet picture if my hands hadn't been numb at that point. After a lunch break (!), I came back and saw that some of my effort had already been canceled out by the evil forces of Mike and Mitt. People talk about hell freezing over, but fire can't possibly be a worse punishment than ice for all eternity...

Two days later, the ice that had a choke-hold over my side mirrors is finally trickling away:

Objects in mirror? What objects?

Still it's been fascinating to see, hear, feel, touch and inhale/cough a genuine winter storm. For a native Louisianian whose first two experiences with snow occurred in 1988 and 2007 respectively, I've got a newfound nostalgia for the tan I once had. And also, admiration for those who devote their lives to helping in times of disaster, no matter when, where or how difficult it is. Hats off.

As you can see from the above two pictures, trees hate winter. But ducks are apparently OK with it. Weird.


gg said...

I poured some of the windshield deicer stuff on my side mirrors and scraped the ice off with my ice scraper. It seemed to work.

Hathor said...

Put warm (but hot to the touch) water in a teapot and pour down the seam between the doors. Deicer for locks
in the lock.

rhonda said...

even to someone who hates days colder than fifty degrees, i must say that the pictures are quite beautiful.

the word "surreal" comes to mind.

GumboFilé said...

There was an ice stormm in Lake Charles while I lived there. It was in January, 1997. 40,000 homes lost power for most of a week and mail delivery was interrupted for two days. It left as much debris as a hurricane. But instead of it being blazing hot with no AC, it was freezing cold with no heat. All the streets were lined with continuous piles of branches piled higher than my head. It was months before it was all hauled away.

David in Grand Coteau

Anonymous said...

Beautiful pix! Thanks for a day in the life.