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Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Snow (and ice, and slush) for Orthodox Christmas

Today is Orthodox (or Russian) Christmas, Christmas Day for those who follow the Julian calender. By tradition, we keep our Christmas decorations up and lights on until this day. After this day, it's just pretty much that we haven't gotten to them yet.

There is a belief, or at least a saying, that it always snows for Russian Christmas. This isn't true, as a quick review of the records for recent years will show. But this year we did have snow for Russian Christmas, albeit day-old snow.

Yesterday I took my mom out grocery shopping and to an appointment. This is something we do every Tuesday that I'm off, but we usually do it in her car, a big comfortable thing. My brother is currently borrowing her car while his is in the shop, so our trip had to be made in my car - a 1996 Toyota Tercel DX four-door with 299,400 "official" miles on the odometer and an additional 2,000 or so miles that were put on before I could get the speedometer/odometer cable replaced last year.

The car performed better than I expected. Anyone who has ridden in my car knows that the phrase "rattling deathtrap" is no exaggeration. But the car held together, and was as nimble and quick as it has ever been.

The first sign of a problem came as we were checking out of the supermarket. There, through the big picture windows in the front of the store, we could see snow falling on all the cars in the parking lot. It came down harder as we packed the groceries into every available space in my car, and harder still as we drove over the bridge and along Route 11 between a mountain and a river to get my mom to her appointment. I decided to wait for her in the car during her appointment, and got pelted with all sorts of snow.

After the appointment we stopped at a nearby Kmart. When we exited the store we found that the snow had turned to sleet. We also found that the route back the way we came was apparently blocked, as evinced by the line of cars that stretched from around a distant curve to the entrance to the shopping center we were leaving. So we drove back to Nanticoke using an alternate route through Wilkes-Barre, puttering along slowly with a conga line of other cars. A trip that should have taken us 15-20 minutes took over 45.

But we made it.

This morning I awoke to the sizzling sound of rain falling on sleet. It rained most of the morning, getting under the ice that had formed on the sidewalks and making it easier to remove. But it also made removing the ice a miserable, cold, wet task.

There were things I wanted to get accomplished on these four days off. Get my tires rotated, get new glasses, pay my garbage fee and post the sticker in my window, visit the bank and shuffle around the funds for the garbage fee and the sewer fee and the other sewer fee and the other fun annual stuff. I haven't done any of that yet. I have to get it done tomorrow, or - unless I'm laid off for all or part of the next rotation - I won't be able to get to it until next Tuesday.

1 comment:

whimsical brainpan said...

I hope you were able to get things done, not to mention stay warm and dry.