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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

From the Midway: It's not winter…it's Iowa

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Well for all you people out there who have been dreaming of white Christmas, you may have gotten your wish.

Four inches of the white stuff fell upon us earlier this week. That's not a heck of a lot for around here, but like last year we got a nice coat of ice underneath to make this first real storm of the season a little trick for us to get around.

Like most Iowans, I take winter in Iowa with a grain of salt. At first I get a little excited when the white stuff first comes around. But by the end of February I'm glad that it won't be around for very much longer.

There is a majestic side of winter. For example when a tree is covered in frost or encased in ice and the sun shines through the branches of that tree. Or, watch the little ones all bundled up and playing in a mound of snow, or sliding down a hill. It sometimes makes me sad that I had to grow up.

I have a lot of fond memories of winter. But honestly, I lately have been dreaming about a warmer climate. Does this dream come with getting older?

How many times do I have to scrape my windshield before I finally throw away my scraper forever? Will the fear of falling on my derriere when I walk on an icy sidewalk finally get the best of me?

I suspect that it's this train of thought that might make many people from around here head to Arizona. I can't blame them for leaving us and maybe someday I'll be a snowbird.

As for now, I'll be happy slowly walking through the deep snow. As you might be able to tell by now it'snot really the snow that bothers me, but it the cold. That part of winter is what I'm slowly getting tired of.

The cold and driving in winter conditions. Take Tuesday for example. I left my house a little later than normal to let the traffic die down before I made my trip to Cherokee. Around eight o'clock the traffic get pretty heavy coming into town and I didn't want someone in a hurry driving right on my backside all the way to town on icy roads.

But sure as the sun rises as soon as I reach about a mile into my trip, there quickly came a mini-van that had to drive four feet behind me.

Are these people right in the head and how do they get their licenses?

So when I reached Larrabee, I pulled into that town to let this maniac, who I must assume is a doctor who had to get into town in a hurry to deliver a ten ponder, go on by.

By the time I had reached the hill north of Cherokee, that mini-van had found a new person to harass. By now Mr. Mini-van was about a mile ahead of me and then he started to pass his latest obstacle.

I'm glad to report that Mr. Mini-van did not run off the road and the other car did not panic and fly off the road either.

My little story however does not end there.

While I and the new car in front of me took our time getting into town. I found a little bit of sweet justice when he and I reached the second stoplight Mr. Mini-van was stopped behind an eighteen-wheeler in the other lane.

As we approached him, the stoplight turned green and we both soon passed him at 25 mph.

Just think, this man put his life, my life and another person's life in his hands just to get into town a minute or two quicker and then get stuck in traffic while we end up passing him safely.

On my way by him I gave him a wave so he might remember that when it comes to bad winter roads that it's like the story of the tortoise and the hare. Slow and steady wins the race.

Putting up with drivers like that is one of the few things about winter I would like to forego.

Mike Leckband
From the Midway