Monday, December 22, 2008


It's very cold up here in the midwest! On the one hand, that's kind of nice. I grew up in the southwest and I think I remember one or possibly two white Christmasses.

Here in Chicagoland there is a lot of snow, more this year than ever. It's beautiful and it always makes me think of how exciting snow was when I was a child in Albuquerque. It's beautiful and kind of magical in my mind, and it always seems odd whenI hear long-time midwesterners complain about it.

On the other hand, I have some understanding...

Last night I decided to go to a local bookstore. There aren't any in Lickport but there's a freeway that can get me to Barnes and Noble in about 15 minutes, so I braved single digit temperatures, nasty winds and snowy streets.

Everything was fine until a tire blew out on the expressway. Unpleasant but decided to handle it philosophically. I pulled over on the shoulder to consider my options. The good news is that I am a AAA member... the bad news is that, for the first time in months, I didn't have my cell phone with me. Oh well...

I checked the tire; the entire sidewall was shredded. Fortunately, I have a spare and I know how to use it. Unfortunately I didn't have the foresight to have gloves along. :(

Changing the tire in the bitter cold was hard, but not that bad. Not until all the streetlights on that section of the freeway suddenly went out. Unscrewing lugnuts is tough when you can't see them, and worse when your hands are so numb that you can't feel them. (I've got blisters today on a few of my fingers, so I'm guessing mild frostbite.) Still, while I couldn't feel my hands that was compensated for by the lancing pain in my sinuses from the cold wind, and the sudden nearly-irresistable need to pee.

I got the tire changed eventually and made it back home without further incident. I think I have a better understanding now of why so many misdwesterners dislike snowy weather.

I still love it. But my next trip out will be to get a good roadside flashlight and a heavy duty set of winter gloves!


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