Tag Archives: Snow

Too Cool for Snow…..

Did you know that it’s illegal to drive with ice and snow on your car in Pennsylvania? A small fine for not clearing your windows, but if you are found to have caused injury, or death because you didn’t clean the snow off your car, that’s a bit steeper, what with fines and jail and all.

We keep our cars in the garage, so that’s one chore we’ve gratefully averted in snowstorms. But we also have an old Taurus that we bought for the kids in high school, and that car sits in the driveway. Yesterday, after 10 inches of snow and spending hours clearing our long, long driveway, my husband was ready to take the old Taurus down to the cul-de-sac and brush it off.  We live at the end of a small street. The cul-de-sac doesn’t have any houses on it. It’s just a turnaround at the top of our hill that is attached to our driveway.

The only purpose the cul-de-sac serves in a storm is a place for the township to gather all the snow at the end of the road, and to dump the Taurus’ top hat of accumulation, so we don’t have to clean the driveway again after Mother Nature did a spring binge and purge all over the Northeast.

Just as my husband rounds the bend and slowly gets to the end of our driveway, our local policeman pulls up in his cruiser and ends up face-to-face with the snow covered Taurus. It’s like a polar game of ‘chicken.’ Luckily, my husband knows the rules. He stops at the tippy end of the driveway, gets out of the Taurus, grabs the snow brush and very lackadaisically begins to brush bits of snow off the car.

Our gendarme sits there for a bit. C’mon we know what he’s thinking: “this guy was gonna’ take that car on the road without cleaning it off.” My husband just whistles a little tune, stops to light a mini cigar, like he does this little thing every day before his journey down the road. He keeps on scraping here, brushing there and finally the police car blinks. The cop pulls away and my husband gives him that ‘guy nod’ asserting “yeah, we’re cool.”

Giving enough time to be out of sight, my husband pulls the Taurus closer to the mail box and dumps the 10 inches of snow from the roof. He thinks he sees the police car sitting a bit down the street, no doubt waiting for the Taurus. But hubby just circles the cul-de-sac and drives back to the house.

I have no idea why my frozen spouse comes in through the garage with the grin of the Cheshire cat and arms raised like Rocky.

Then as we gather around the fireplace, with our hot coffee……. he tells me that he might need a lawyer.

“You Just have to Laugh….”

©2017 Cathy Sikorski

Trick or Treat…Mother Nature’s Halloween joke.

One beautiful crimson and golden day in October, and I mean beautiful, I was required to go on a ‘shopping spree’ for a rehab center for my brother-in-law, “L.”  He was recently hospitalized and needed a few weeks or months to get his strength back, so he could return home. The first place they sent him was too challenging, and they basically kicked him out for not trying hard enough to get better. Who am I to judge? The guy has MS, and he knows what it means to exercise or not exercise, the choice is his. But they said, “nope, you’re not trying hard enough and it ruins our success rate.” Well, ok they didn’t say the last part, but we all know that’s what’s going on.

So I had to find a new place and quickly, because he would be booted in a day or two at the most. My Mom and I spent a very long day looking at five different facilities, trying hard to stay with in a 10 to 20 mile radius, so that I could be there on a regular basis to check on him and make sure he was not being neglected.

O my God, what horrific nightmares are out there. The first place was in this absolutely gorgeous, wooded, bucolic setting. And every resident was passed out, drooling, and not engaged in anyway. AND THAT WAS IN THE LOBBY!  The staff was setting up for a Halloween party, and the decorations were as shabby and pathetic as the lobby. The next place, it smelled….and not good.  The next two places were over-crowded, had teeny, tiny therapy rooms and were dirty. O mon Dieu! Je ne sais quoi! Yes, I was thinking in French because I couldn’t even process this in my native tongue.  Finally, we get to the fifth place, and it is okay. And I really mean just okay. I would like it to be cleaner. I would like to hear less commotion in the hallways, with residents who are clearly distressed. I would like there to be more visible staff. But the therapy facility is enormous, the therapists seem very knowledgeable and have specific tools for dealing with MS patients. And there are some younger men here. L gets a private room because there are so few men in rehab. So all in all, we’ll take it. I’m running out of time, I’m exhausted, and I have seen the worst so “okay” will suffice for now. If I need to keep looking, I will, but it’s just temporary and even though it’s the furthest from home, I will come every day in the beginning, to make sure he is properly cared for.

We take hours to complete all the paperwork to get him in there tomorrow. Ugh….me and my Mom are pooped. This is how I thank  her:

“Don’t you dare go to the hospital tonight. I don’t care that you are perfectly healthy.  If anything happens to you, don’t call me. Call your brother, call all of your other five children or any of their offspring, But I cannot deal with one more hospital, medical team, or medical issue for at least three days.”

Mom just laughs at me. She’s perfectly fine and there’s no reason to think otherwise.

The next day, Saturday, I go out to run a few errands, and it begins to snow. ON OCTOBER 29th, WE HAVE A FULL BLOWN BLIZZARD. Now normally, that wouldn’t be so crazy to have snow in October. But we have so much snow and the trees have not yet lost all their leaves. Trees begin to bough and cover everything, and break power lines and hearts with their cruel, beautiful snow-covered, orange and gold autumnal CRAP. I live in the woods. I can’t get down my driveway, until I call my husband who says: “Shake the trees, Cath, the snow will fall off.” (he’s like a genius)

AND THEN, AND THEN, AND THEN, the phone rings.

“Hi, this is Grandma’s assisted living place.” (of course they don’t say that, but you get the idea)

No big deal, I think, they always call me for Depends, or toothpaste, or nicely scented body wash. HA! Nice try.

“Um, your mother fell and is being ambulanced to the hospital 20 miles away (in a blizzard) because she may have hit her head and that’s the only head trauma unit.”

“Ok,” I say weakly, because I forgot to tell my 93 year-old mother-in-law not to dare go to the hospital today.

My husband comes home, and off we go, in the blizzard to the hospital. She did indeed break her hip and will have surgery(and then I will have to find a rehab for her).  Five hours later, we slowly drive home on snow-covered roads, reach our driveway, which now has broken snow-covered trees all over the place. We park in the street, walk gingerly through the snowy trees, and least you think this is some Robert Frost romantic moment,we find out we have no electricity and no heat.

You just have to laugh…..

Cathy Sikorski