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?)


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