Doesn’t have quite the flow of the original, does it? But then again, nothing in North Texas is flowing very well these days. My Texas neighbors, you see, aren’t used to cold temperatures, and they’re absolutely not used to driving on ice and snow.
School was closed on Friday, which is a real annoyance as I’m rushing to finish Julius Caesar and also complete A Christmas Carol before the 17th. Mrs. Manor is also annoyed because she decided she wants a new embroidery sewing machine for Christmas, and we were planning to find one that pleases her today (Saturday), but of course, the sewing machine store is closed.
I know what you’re thinking: “Oh my goodness! If North Texas is closed, the winter conditions must be absolutely awful!” Keep in mind that I grew up in Aberdeen, SD, that’s NE South Dakota. When I was in elementary school, school would be closed during blizzards only if in-town visibility was less than a block. If one could see for roughly a block, Mother would securely bundle us up and off to school we’d walk. Climbing over snow banks was enormously amusing, as was climbing up the snow drifts that would reach to the top of our house and jumping back off the roof into the same drifts. Mrs. Manor grew up in Indiana and Illinois, so cold and snow aren’t the least daunting to us.
Well, that’s not quite what’s happening to North Texans. Here’s a photo of my neighborhood. That’s the most snow we’ve had on the ground in three or four years. In fact, last year there was no snow at all on the ground all winter. That’s what
paralyzes North Texas: any real snow or particularly, ice.
My last police patrol assignment was in Rapid City, SD, which gets more than its fair share of snowfall and bad weather. It’s a very hilly town, and I worked the hilliest and most treacherous areas. I had a Chevy mini-Blazer as a patrol vehicle with four wheel drive, and had a great time. In fact, I grew up traveling all over South Dakota as a performer, so driving in blizzard conditions was par for the course. Anything less was scarcely worth mentioning. Of course, I carried all of the emergency supplies I might need and knew how to dress for the weather.
Yesterday, and today, Mrs. Manor and I saddled up the old paints and headed out into the pasture, just for the fun of it. Driving in snow and ice is fun, particularly when you don’t get to do it very often. By the way, our new Ford Escape works very nicely indeed in these conditions (PS, Ford Motor Company: I’ll be happy to graciously accept any perks you might like to grant for the plug.) So we whizzed past Texans crawling along at 5 MPH, and had a jolly time. Besides, I-HOP and WalMart are always open.
Actually, it’s the ice that really scares people and shuts down North Texas. Here’s a photo of the parking lot of my high school. Yes, it’s just a sea of ice, which is the state
of many of the local roads.
The weather forecast suggests we’ll have some white on the ground for the next few days, but by mid-week, it should all be gone. White Christmas came a bit early for us this year, but you take it when you can get it in Texas.
Have a safe and warm weekend and week, gentle readers!
I’m working on a definitive update and analysis of the Sandy Hook shooting. I should have the first installment up on Sunday. Hope to see you there.