I drove in my first snow storm yesterday.

Yes!! It was a snow storm!!  As in, snow was blowing from the skies!! And some of it was even sticking to the ground!

And the more bizarre part was, it was TOTALLY unexpected.  Which, I thought, was impossible in Alabama.

You see, when there’s even a one percent chance of snow in these parts, there’s usually massive news coverage, minute-to-minute updates on what the blessed accumulation might possibly be, school closings before the event is even a sure possibility, and, of course, ridiculously manic grocery store raids, JUST in case the apocalypse is upon us.

But for some reason, this event tip-toed right past all of our beloved Meteorologists.

I had one errand to run, and lunch planned with a friend – a simple day, for sure.  As we left the house, there were a few raindrops, and then the SOUNDS of raindrops, but nothing was on my windshield.

It greatly confused this Southerner.

After puzzling over the invisible raindrops, I realized that it was QUITE cold outside (I’d left from the garage), and that the sound I was hearing was actually sleet.

…at which point I felt extraordinarily guilty about getting my six-week-old baby out in SLEET – especially since my errand was going to require a bit of outside walking.

(Feel free to award me “Parent of the Year” at any moment.)

We made it through our errand without anyone turning blue from our Antartica-Like-34-degree-weather, and then headed to lunch.

When we arrived at lunch, the sleet was picking up a bit, and my guilt intensified as I ran inside, trying to keep the certainly-dangerous sleet off my baby.

And then, as we ate, it began to snow!

SNOW??  It was 65 degrees two days ago!!

HUGE snowflakes!

And then, a blizzard!

I was hypnotized by the lovely snow falling aswe ate, and then all of a sudden I woke up to reality – I was about to be snowed in at a place that would most certainly make me gain 20 pounds in the two days – HUGE snow drifts were beginning to pile up all around the parking lot!!

(That’s what snow drifts look like, right?)

So we quickly decided that we should end our lunch and attempt to sled home before our cars disappeared under the snow – which obviously would be happening at any moment.

So we carefully ran out to our cars, me trying to keep the snow out of Noah’s car seat, all while not letting Ali get buried in a drift.

When we got to the car, Noah was seriously unhappy with my horrible parenting and for risking his life in a blizzard.  And I couldn’t blame him – look at the thick blanket of snow on his car seat!!

IMG_1770 copy
I strapped my children-that-now-looked-like-snowmen in the car, and headed up to my seat….to find…

My windshield!  How was I ever going to dig out of this mess without a snow blower??

…imagine my surprise when my windshield wipers did the trick.

(They must have been industrial strength.)

We began our arduous trek home, which included a HILL.

And, for the first time ever, I had to drive on a hilly road covered in ice.

(“covered” might not be exactly the right word, but it definitely existed, at any rate…)

And you know what? It was slippery!

As I slid off the edges of the road repeatedly, I began having a middle-child moment and thinking about all of those ice-driving-training lessons that my Dad gave my older brother, but was too terrified of my female-teenage-driving skills to give me.

(In fact, he just “happened” to be in Mexico when I got my learner’s permit.  My Mom still says that was the most stressful week of her life, and the most dangerous week of every mailbox in Birmingham’s life.)

(And anyway, as if driving on the mountain roads in Mexico could be less stressful than riding with your inexperienced 15 year old daughter…although according to Mom, her week was worse.)

And then I woke up from my daydream.

Noah was still angry and screaming his displeasure, Ali wasn’t too happy that Noah was filling the back seat with cacophony, and I was slipping all over the roads.

…then, as I was a block from home, the winter storm let up, the sun ALMOST came out, and the roads began to magically clear up.

And I realized that I had picked THE worst 15 minutes of the entire day to try to drive.  Because my timing is impeccable like that.

So, how was your snow storm?

24 thoughts on “Scoff, All Ye Northerners.

  1. LOL – hilarious. I love your “snowdrifts”. :) I started to take Beege out for walks in our Canadian (aka: real) snow when she was about 4 weeks old. I usually just had her in a snugglie on my chest. She’s still around, and I’m positive Noah will forgive you for dragging him out in such unbearable weather. Eventually.

  2. Yep, we hunkered down in Houston, closed everything at 5 on Thursday in great anticipation of our own personal blizzard. And we got – ICE. Not fair and no fun. It was worth the school closing because the roads were slick, but the news ran until 1:00 talking about it. How much can be said about slick roads and no actual snow? A lot apparently. I switched to pay per view channel and watched the last three episodes of Medium.

    1. That’s what happened to us a few weeks ago! We were supposed to get 4-7 inches, and all we got was a half inch of ice that kept us homebound for three days!! The exact opposite of fun.

  3. I once got a verbal scolding from a man for taking my baby out in cold weather. Granted, it was probably about 12 degrees but he was bundled in three layers of clothes, two blankets and his carseat and had been out in the elements for about 30 seconds between the car and the coffee shop. Living in Montana, with two very small children, if I stayed in everytime it dipped below 35 degrees or snowed, I would have gone insane by now!! Glad you survived your first drive on snowy roads and I appreciate your sense of humor!

    1. That is crazy in Montana!! I can’t believe people aren’t more understanding there – I mean, you all MUST have thicker northern blood to be able to take the cold anyway, right?? :)

  4. I love it! It warmed up to the lower thirties here in southern Indiana today, so I took the liberty of not transporting my little guy from car to store and back in his full infant carrier getup. Just a sweatshirt for me, a baby sling and a hat for him. I’d say you get the better mommy award if a judge had to choose between the two of us!

  5. Julie, I’m surprised that someone in your area would challenge your decision to take your children outside. I’ve found that the colder the climate, the more accepting people are of children combining with low temperatures. When we lived in Vermont, no one blinked at zero degrees, as long as the kids were well-bundled and not out long (20 minutes, maybe). However, when I lived in DC, few ventured out when the temp dipped below freezing.

    Rachel, you made me laugh again! And, Noah will survive. We drove our 2 day-old son home from the hospital in 20 degree weather. He is now enjoying his third winter.

    1. Me too! I totally figured that old Northern people didn’t do that like old Southern people do. But then again, I’ve been scolded before for not having Ali bundled in the middle of summer…so maybe there’s just no logic to it.

  6. Rachel, we had a very similar experience in the B’ham snowstorm. The kids and I met Tim downtown to go to Children’s Theatre (btw, – if you haven’t taken Ali to the “Wee Theater” productions you totally need to check it out. It’s perfect for the 3-6 yo set.) and then go to lunch on Morris Ave. We had to park 2 blocks away from the restaurant and when we came out the “blizzard” was in full force. Tim just had shoulder surgery so I was carrying Willow whom I had foolishly dressed in a dress and tights. I was in high-heeled boots trying to run down the Morris Ave. cobblestones while carrying a 25lb toddler in my coat to keep her little legs warm, then drive the kids the 20 miles back home in the blowing snow. We survived, but just barely ;) I am totally NOT cut out for this cold weather.

  7. Haha, too funny! But I am here to inform you that you behaved exactly as a northerner would in driving home as soon as possible b/c it almost NEVER gets better! When it starts to snow here it is only going to get thicker and icier so getting home as quick as possible is definitely the best option. And we also try not to lose our kids in the snowdrifts. :)

    P.S. If you want to read about some serious cold you should visit my friend Jami’s blog http://leifandjami.blogspot.com/ She and her husband are missionaries in Siberia and the Russian people think it’s good for babies to be outside in the cold! They actually bundle them up and put them on the balcony to take their naps. I think their cutoff for that is like -15 or something! CRAZY!

  8. That is way more snow than I’ve ever seen near my house. So scary! :P

    Seriously though, glad you made it home on the slippery ice. One of the reasons I like where I live is not having to worry about driving in all the elements.

  9. Rachel, you did just fine! LOL, and yes, that is indeed what snowdrifts look like, in their infancy, so you’re lucky they hadn’t had a chance to get all grown up yet!

    Up here in North Dakota we’ve had some rollercoaster weather lately, one week in the negative double digits, the next week (last week) in the 30’s. Next week is supposed to get back down to some serious negatives. I’m so ready for Spring, I actually contemplated going to Punxsutawney and BRIBING that groundhog to stay in his hole this year. Luckily, he didn’t see his shadow (those cookies I mailed must have gotten there in time!), so we should be seeing our drifts melting soon – say in June.

    Honestly, driving on ice is the same no matter where you live. Slow and easy does it, and make it home in one piece with children maybe ticked, but healthy. Loved this post, thanks!

  10. Taking babies out when it’s snowing is good for them. Stimulates the senses :). I don’t recommend hail though (I had that happen once and no one was amused.

    Clearly y’all need to come and visit us here in Canada’s capital where we get real snow. We have a guest room and everything. Ottawa boasts a fantastic winter festival and the world’s largest skating rink. I haven’t posted our snowman pictures yet but will in the
    next couple of days. We’ve hardly had any snow this winter but our
    normal standards, even Toronto has had more!

    About driving in snow. Even here with all our experience it’s well known that the first snowfalls of the year are very treacherous because everyone forgets how to cope and drives like it’s still summertime!

    1. I’d LOVE to experience a “real” snow once in my life!! The only time I’ve been to Canada, it was in the middle of July. So I’ve obviously been missing out on what Canada is famous for!!

  11. Okay, i’m a few days late catching up and well… I just had to comment to say “no comment”.
    haha! Just kidding. You made me laugh at your huge snowdrifts! It looks rough out there, but as I sit here knowing we haven’t been above 0* at all today, I shake my head at you southerners.
    And now will go look at the MLS sites to find a new home… in Alabama. :)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *