Wintry war

Snowy road

I’m no snow bunny.

After the wicked winter we endured last year, I still get panicky on icy roads and drive like an inebriated toddler as soon as the first fat flakes begin to fall. A Marylander through and through, I’m unused to bad winter weather and would prefer to, you know, never go out in it. Ever.

But I work at a newspaper. Believe you me: we close for no man (except for the year we got three-ish feet of snow in two days . . . but that was freakish. So.). Even with falling temperatures and scary, slick roads, we operate on a normal schedule — and I had to get my little self into the office.

I understand, though; snow isn’t supposed to slow us down. By day, I’m an editor and columnist and really like my job. There are always stories to edit! Pages to lay out! Columns to . . . columnize!

(That’s not a word. I apologize.)

But this year? I’m commuting for two. When I spy an icy patch of pavement, I legitimately think about how I cannot fall because I’m carrying a baby — and though he/she is partly to blame for my clumsiness lately, I’m already a mama of sorts. Totally in protective mode.

It’s making me nervous.

As a hardened New Yorker, my husband isn’t phased by any of this. Snow? Sleet? Press on. What scares him are, of course, the people like me — the nervous Nancys who drive 10 under the speed limit and shake a fist at the renegades who fly by in their BMWs on salty highways. The ones who have no idea what they’re doing.

When we visited Spencer’s hometown over Christmas break, I couldn’t believe how unfazed everyone was by the inches of snow that fell overnight. Where everyone in D.C. would be off work with hot cocoa watching “Judge Judy” snug at home (just me?), the good people of Western New York were donning their boots and setting off into the squalls without hesitation.

It’s kind of impressive, actually.

Though he’s lived in Maryland for half a decade, Spence hasn’t forgotten the tricks of the wintry trade that make him such a pro. We have shovels and salt, snow blowers and winter car wipers. Pretty soon I’ll pack my car with emergency rations and begin practicing my patented white-knuckle-grip on our back roads.

Last year we lived right off a major highway — and on a major plow route. This winter? We’re not in the middle of nowhere, but we’re in a neighborhood off a side street off a thoroughfare that’s off a highway . . . and in terms of being stuck, I have no idea what to expect. Will someone come to dig us out? Who will save us?

I’m being dramatic, I know. Extra-crazy hormones? I mean, it’s just winter. But where I’d rather be inside making homemade Hamburger Helper, burning candles and watching the woods whiten from the comfort of my window, I’m mentally preparing myself to join the masses schlepping to work and school without complaint.

Well, with a little complaint.

I’m only human.

(Is it too early to ask if it’s spring yet?)

12 thoughts on “Wintry war

  1. Driving in snow is scary! I lived in Chicago for over 7 years and had no problem conquering snow and ice on foot or public transportation, but I didn’t have a car while I was there. I had no idea what driving in snow was actually like until we went to Tahoe a few years ago and got hit with a freak snow storm in the middle of March where 2-3 feet of snow fell each day the whole weekend we were there! I drove the whole way up, right when the snow storm began, because The Husband assumed since I lived in Chicago I knew how to handle the snow. Um, no. I totally understand where you’re coming from. 🙂


  2. Unfortunately, like your husband, I am also a Western New Yorker. We are totally used to insane amounts of snow, but my poor husband is from California and still can’t take it. Poor fella! Haha.

    Yes, be super careful this winter! I am going as slow as possible when I’m walking around so I don’t slip and hurt the baby!


  3. I feel ya. It’s normal for those mamabear instincts of protection to come in. Wait till the baby arrives. This will be my second winter baby (i.e. baby born during flu season) and you should see the hairs stand up on the back of my neck when people try to get too close to my baby in a grocery store or something. LOL


  4. You can never be too careful in the snow, on foot or by vehicle. I guess some people/places are just better at coping with it. Here in the South East of the UK we are usually phased by even a tiny smattering of the white stuff – trains stop, roads close, hospitals fill us with people who have fallen on the icy or slush! I tend to stay home as much as I can, venturing out only when it’s necessary! I am with you, stay in, stay warm, drink hot drinks, tv on! he he


  5. When I lived in Indiana, I drove a rear wheel drive car with a V8 engine. Not good in the winter. I was afraid for my life every time I left the apartment. So I get it. And it’s one thing to be afraid for yourself, but when you are being afraid for the innocent little one, it racks it up a notch. I’m glad we were in FL before we had those kids. Stay safe!


  6. I feel your pain! I’m not a mother but I hate driving in the snow as well. I’d rather be home with that hot cocoa. Good luck this winter!


  7. Ha! I’m Wisconsin-born and well-seasoned by almost forty years of midwestern winters. I know how to drive in snowy weather but it doesn’t mean I enjoy it. What I get even less are those people who seem to enjoy going outside and participating in outdoor winter activities. Me? The less I go outside, the happier I am. Sure, I’ll go to work in negative temperatures and drive in a snowstorm if I absolutely have to do so, but purposely staying outside to play in the snow flabbergasts me. I totally understand the desire to hibernate.

    Take it easy this winter! I’m sure you’ll look back on all of this and laugh next winter!


  8. I agree, winter driving and walking can be treacherous. Personally, I’d like to hibernate once the temps sink below 40. Some days, I’m lucky enough to be able to do that but other days I have to motivate myself to bundle up and leave the house. I’m already dreaming of Spring.


  9. I am so ready for the cold to be over. It hasn’t been that bad really this year, compared to last year. Still, I hate it more this year. I am already a very clumsy person on my feet. I’ve fallen more times than I can count, in front of more people than I wish. Today’s it’s freezing rain here, and I’m hoping my feet know how to do their job.


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