Freezing Rain, hints and tips…

This is a PSA for all of our Minnesota pals — who aren’t so used to freezing rain. 

I’m an expert on freezing rain — I lived in Omaha for longer than anybody should be required to live in Nebraska… unless you’re a Husker fan — then, you’d better stay in the homeland and be happy…

Omaha’s  best feature are the restaurants, the worst thing is their version of “winter”.  Or, as I’ll call it NWinter…NWinter starts with everything freezing and dying into a glorious muddy brown.  It may snow once or twice, but then get just warm enough to melt… thus, it’s a snowtease state. The most charming thing about NWinter is freezing rain.  Nebraska is just far enough south that they don’t get a couple of feet of snow in a winter, but — it’s far enough north that the precipitation freezes when it hits the ground.

A typical NWinter day may start like this:

Patty:  “ho hum… there’s my car, at the end of a short sidewalk.  The sidewalk looks kinda wet and there’s water misting from the sky.”

Patty goes outside, slips and falls on her ass four times in 15 feet, crawls back to the door, calls in sick and dreams of Minnesota, snowdrifts and school cancellations.

IF our sweet Minnesota refugee makes it to her car, she may find it encased in 2 inches of solid ice — of course freezing rain is no big deal during NWinter, so our sweet refugee didn’t leave an extra THREE HOURS to scrape the car in her morning routine, so she turns on the heater and chips a small hole in the windshield ice — and drives to work, slipping and sliding and needing a chiropractor after work due to driving for 40 minutes in an akward hunch.

Hubby and I lived on Offutt AFB for several NWinters.  One of the most amusing things was watching southeners react to the ice and snow… as a result I have emprical evidence that the following techniques don’t work:

  1. When you see it raining, put a blanket, quilt, cardboard, tarp or sheet over your car.  This just results in the fabric being frozen TO your car — and a much more complicated scraping situation.
  2. Using the hose to spray water on the icy car — this only makes more ice folks… as Andy told his son on Saturday, water + cold = ice… more water just gives you more ice.
  3. The hairdryer — over the whole car… it takes so long that you might as well get in, start the car, finish your BA and THEN get in… The hairdryer may work on a frozen lock — but, it’s no substitute for an actual ice scraper.

Once you’re in the car and on the icy roads, the rest is pretty simple — drive without touching ANY of the pedals — ever… and you’ll be fine… as long as some bozo from Texas doesn’t slide into you in his SUV…

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