- Ada, Oklahoma

December 4, 2013

Ice, snow bring back mixed memories

Shannon Lowry Managing Editor

Ada — I have never been overly fond of the phrase, “It’s that time of year again,” because really, when is it not that time of year? It’s always the time of year for something, whether it’s going to the beach or plugging in the Christmas tree.

This week, however, there’s no other way to say it — it’s “that time of year again” for snow, ice, and all the things I hate about, well, this time of year.

Frozen precipitation should begin hitting rooftops and sidewalks in Ada by some time Thursday morning. According to most forecast models, the freezing, slippery, treacherous stuff won’t let up until sometime Saturday or Sunday.

This is the time of year I could do without.

Honestly, is there anybody out there who truly likes ice? I know, I know — most folks love snow, though I have to say I could do without that, as well. Ice, however, seems to be an unfortunate byproduct of the kind of precipitation that kids use to build snowmen. For whatever reason, I have always lived in parts of the country that receive more ice than snow. Maybe I should move to Maine — or the tropics.

I wasn’t always opposed to winter weather. When I was a kid, I welcomed any chance to get out of school, and if that chance came about because of snow — great! Today, however, I live in the adult world, and by definition, adults take a different view of things that once gave us pleasure as children.

I remember using homemade, makeshift, really bad, dangerous and otherwise unsafe “sleds” to pilot down the steep walls of a gravel pit during one snowstorm back home in Arkansas. I was 17 or 18 at the time, and my friend and I called this activity the “suicide run” because we bounced, scraped, hurtled, plunged and careened our way downhill. It was great fun and we thought quite highly of ourselves for surviving one “suicide run” after another. Never mind that I was too dinged-up and sore to get out of bed the next day – which, after all, was a “snow day.”

Today, of course, the very thought of throwing myself down a snowy cliff face fills my head with visions of ambulances and emergency rooms. For me, ice and snow just aren’t fun anymore.

The reason could have something to do with getting marooned on the side of the interstate for three days during the epic snow-and-ice event of January 2001. Strike that — it has everything to do with the epic snow-and-ice event of January 2001.

I was living in Sherman, Texas, when the storm hit and was attempting to get my then-8-year-old daughter back to Arkansas. The first snowflakes fell just as we drove into Paris, Texas — a warning to turn around we should have heeded. By the time we arrived in Texarkana, blizzard conditions were in effect. I hit a patch of ice on I-30 and our car went into a spin. I could see the semis coming right at us as we did a 360. Fortunately, we came to rest without striking any other vehicles, but that was the end of our fun trip and the beginning of three hard days in a Red Cross shelter. My daughter came down with pneumonia before I could get her all the way back home.

So — I’m not exactly crazy about wintry weather. If anything, I am overly cautious about it. My biggest worry this week is my dog who undoubtedly will be spending time in the garage on Thursday and Friday while I am at work. My neighbors were kind enough to lend me an igloo their dogs aren’t using, so I’ll bring that inside for him and stuff it full of warm bedding. He should be well taken care of.

Otherwise, I am bracing for the worst. When it comes to ice, that’s just about all anybody can do.

And think — it’s not even winter yet!