Well, we’re all dug out and I’m back to work.

I left here about 3:00 on Tuesday to make the trip to the southern tier, before the snowstorm set in.  While Rochester was expecting up to two feet of snow, the southern tier was expecting in excess of a foot more than what Rochester was expecting.

The snow started about 5:00 — about a half hour after I got there, and just continued through the night.  My traffic court appearance was at 9:00 Wednesday morning and I worried that the town would cancel all town activities because of the storm.  We got up around 7:00 Wednesday morning and turned on the television — it seemed like every school, daycare, and government program was canceled for the day.  The list of closures was long…very long.  No county or village offices were on the list, though.

 Toyota RAV4

When I looked out the window, I saw that my RAV4 was sitting in snow that was piled above it’s wheels.  There was a drift that went from the ground to the roof behind the RAV4 and, of course, there was a mound of snow at the end of the driveway where the snowplow had been through on numerous occasions.  To top it all off, the driveway sloped downhill.

Now, folks tend to describe these mini-SUVs as “SUV wannabes,” and that’s okay.  But let me tell you something — I love this RAV4.  It’s a 4-cylinder, all wheel drive, 4 speed auto with overdrive.  My aunt and uncle, who are both 73 said that they’d go out and shovel the driveway so that I could get out.  “Bullshit,” I told them.  “In the first place, if I need to shovel that RAV4 out, I’ll do it myself.  I put on my coat, boots, hat and gloves, and went outside to clean off the RAV4 — I let it idle and warm up while I cleaned it off.  Once I got all the snow knocked off it, I got in it, put it in drive and pulled forward about 3 feet, then put it in reverse and gently depressed the accelerator.  That sure-footed little vehicle not only maneuvered the deep snow in the driveway, but went right through the pile left by the snow plow.  As I backed into the street, I saw my uncle standing in his driveway with his mouth agape.   I parked the RAV4 on the street and returned to the driveway where my uncle said “That’s quite a little vehicle you have there!”  You bet.  I HEART HEART HEART my RAV4!

We arrived at the courthouse about 8:45 and were instructed by a uniformed officer to sign in.  He was quite pleasant, engaging my aunt in conversation until the judge entered the room.  Once the judge was seated, he made a comment about the brave souls in the room, having fought through the storm to make it to traffic court, and offered his opinion of why living in the south would be much more desireable.  It drew a chuckle from the sparsely populated galley.

No U Turn“Who do we have first?” the judge asked the baliff.  “[Mylastname], your honor, from Rochester, here for homicide.”  I was a tad startled at that comment at first, but then chuckled.  I approached the bench and the judge said “You drove down here from Rochester?  That must have been a fun trip this morning!”  I told him I’d come down the day before, ahead of the snow, because I knew the snow was coming.  “Smart girl,” he said.  “OK, what are we here for today?” the judge asked me.  I showed him my ticket, which actually said “Driving across median.”  The offense was for doing a U-turn at one of those spots you see on a highway that is paved between opposing lanes, but they have those “No U-turn” signs at them.  The judge looked at the complaint and said he’d never heard of the traffic code violation number that he was looking at.  He pulled a little book out, and looked it up.  “Hmmm,” said the judge, “According to this, the maximum fine is $150, or fifteen days in jail, or both.”  He looked up at me and asked “How does 15 days in jail sound?”  I paused for a moment, then asked him “Would someone bring meals to me, no kids, no bosses, no work…?”  The judge let out a huge belly laugh and said “OK, jail apparently sounds too attractive to you.  How does a $10 fine sound?”  I told him it sounded just fine to me and thanked him.  I never knew traffic court could be so much fun!  I still got two points on my license, but the fines in this state can be crippling, so I think I got off VERY easily, and didn’t mention reducing any points or charges.

We went back to my aunt’s house, and hunkered down for the day, while the world outside just continued to fill up with snow.  By seven o’clock that evening, my RAV4 was buried again.  We sat and chatted, watched The Chronicles of Narnia and I knitted a cloth using the pattern you see at the left.  The one I did has a heart in the middle of the watering can, and I used red yarn for the heart only.  It turned out really cute.  I called Lisa and told her I’d be spending another night at my aunt and uncle’s — I’d come prepared for that, just in case.

We got up yesterday morning to clear, sunny skies, and a quiet, white world outside.  The snow was so deep that my aunt’s dog stepped right off the porch into it — because it was level with the porch.  We struggled for a few moments to get Maggie (the dog) back onto the porch and out of the snow without hurting her.

My aunt let out a long sigh and said “Well, I guess we’d better get busy shoveling, Bob.”  I told her that I did NOT want them shoveling just so I could get out.  Wanda said that the driveway had to be done, whether I was there or not.  I asked her if she knew someone that could plow it for them (it’s a long driveway).  She said she wouldn’t know who to call, so I asked her about that “Don” guy at the end of the road, who does their lawn for them.  “He doesn’t have a plow, I don’t think,” she said.  I told her I’d seen him just that morning in his truck and was sure he had a plow on it.  She called him immediately and a half hour later, their driveway was plowed out and clear.  And, best of all, he said he was glad to do it FOR NOTHING.

I left there around 11:00 yesterday morning and drove back to Rochester.  I started out on dry roads, with clear, sunny skies.  With the freshly fallen snow, the sun was blinding reflecting off the snow, and I needed my sunglasses.

By the time I got above the NYS Thruway into Rochester, I was back into the “suck,” with swirling snow, whiteouts, and snow-packed roads.

OK, pop quiz time.  Look at these pictures and see if you can figure out what the common denominator is in all of these snowy-road-condition mishaps.

That’s right, they’re SUVs.  I find, while driving in bad conditions, that many of these SUV drivers drive with the mentality “I’ve got 4-wheel-drive, I don’t have to go slow.”  Well, while you might be able to go like hell better than the rest of us, guess what?  You still can’t STOP or MANEUVER QUICKLY any easier than the rest of us.  It’s so very common around here to see the SUVs and the 4×4 trucks off the roads and into the medians.  I hope they get charged hundreds of dollars to get yanked out of these predicaments, and get ticketed by police as well, with hefty fines for said tickets.

The roads were extremely “greasy” this morning — a mix of packed snow, slush, and ice.  Yet, there they were, slaloming in and out of traffic, driving down the shoulders, and tailgating cars in front of them.

We’ll start painting the family room this weekend.  I have Monday and Tuesday off, and my aunt Wanda and her step-sister Kay Ann are coming up on Tuesday and we’re going to go and see the new movie Bridge to Terabithia.

I just love “down time!”

Hey, folks, thanks for all the comments on my previous post.  I guess I was feeling a bit down and self-pitying.  Y’all are the best!

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