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Ramblings of a Misguided Blonde

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Monday, February 18, 2008

What A Day...

Today was a mixture of frustration, boredom, entertainment, and pride. Let me explain. You see, I had plans to head to my hometown of Standish to visit my Grandmothers. I have one Grandma that lives in Omer and another that lives in Standish (Standish and Omer are approximately seven miles apart). Both are widows and both live alone. I enjoy spending time with them both and realize that I won't have them forever. That said, both can get under my skin if I am around them too much. I'm simply being honest, and it is just a part of life.

Well, things became a bit more interesting when the weather forecast called for rain on Sunday and freezing temperatures last night. You add in heavy snow melt and you are in for one heck of an ice issue. As it turns out, it didn't get nearly as cold as they predicted and most of the roads were merely wet, at least here in Bay City (Bay City is approximately 30 miles south of Standish; Omer is approximately seven miles northeast of Standish).

The thing is that all the schools in the Standish area announced Sunday evening that they would be closed today. They were preparing for the ice (they have already had six snow days this year). As it turns out, many of the country roads near Standish (there are many back roads that are not paved, not well-maintained, and a part of busing routes for the area) turned into skating rinks!

So where is this leading? Well, my Mom is a kindergarten teacher at Standish Elementary School. She had the day off. As my Grandma Reid (my Dad's Mom) and I already had plans to have lunch and then visit my 100 year-old Aunt Arlene, we invited her along.

Now before I go any further, you need to know what I discovered when I hopped into the car this morning. There was an inch of ice water on the floorboard of the front seat on the passenger side. How strange! The only logical way that it could get there was through the floor vent. Until yesterday (Sunday), there was several inches of snow on the front of my car. The ice and snow was above the vents on the front of my car on the outside. As it turns out, the seal that is supposed to prevent this may be broken. Well, it was quite the mess to clean up! Fortunately, there is nothing permanently wrong with my car. I disposed of the water the best I could and headed north.

My Mom, my Grandma Reid, and I had a nice lunch. My Grandma doesn't get around as well as she once did, and it took longer than my Mom and I would have liked. We then went to visit my Aunt Arlene. She is quite the character! She is my Grandpa Russell's older sister (My Grandpa Russell passed away several years ago, and neither my Mom nor I had the privilege of meeting him. He was my biological paternal Grandfather). In September, she turned 100. She currently takes no medication and her memory is still quite good.

The highlight of the visit was a photo album of old photos of my Russell ancestors. Aunt Arlene's grandson put it together for her, and I didn't even know most of those photos existed. What a treasure! The rest of the visit was rather boring, drawn out. With women in their 80s and 100s, you can imagine how the conversation became circular. It was all my Mom and I could do to keep from laughing and remain polite. After an hour or so of making an old woman very happy (Aunt Arlene continuously asks about my Mom and was looking forward to her visit), we left.

After driving from Omer to Standish once again, I stopped to visit with my Mom's Mom, my Grandma Buttrick. She is a character too, and this was one of the best visits yet. Who would think that a woman near 80 would like Stephen Colbert? I kid you not. She and I talked politics, I told her some of my old college stories, and we caught up on family gossip. She was in a great mood as my baby brother had visited her earlier and my Aunt Amy was just leaving as I got there. Somewhere along the line, it began to snow.

As I headed from Standish back to Bay City, it became a whiteout. It was hard to see on the expressway, and there were several people hauling trailers (mostly snowmobiles). Well, I happened to get behind a rig (SUV with a trailer) that was from out of state (I'm not sure from where). Evidently, they were from the South as they did not know how to drive in snow. The trailer started to sway and the driver did the exact wrong thing - hit the brakes. When you hit ice and start to slide, you do not want to hit the brakes. You take your foot off of the accelerator and drive out of the slide as best as you can. As a result of this person slamming on the brakes, I was forced to hit mine too. There was almost an accident, but fortunately, I know how to drive on snow and ice. Once I started to slide, I straightened out the wheel, made sure the passing lane was clear, and moved into the passing lane. Accident avoided. It was not fun driving home in a snow storm!

Fortunately, I made it home in one piece. My car is in one piece and dry. What a day!


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At 10:20 AM, Anonymous Michelle L Devon said...

Well, thank goodness you are okay!

I know how to drive in snow and ice, which is rare down here in Texas where it never snows...but if it even so much as sleets here in Texas, people go insane.

Sounds like a good day with family though, even if it was a bit unnerving all the way around!

Love and stuff,


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