Like everyone, all of my journeys begin with good intentions, the best-laid plans and high spirits. However, even with the best intentions, the most perfect plans and the jolliest of dispositions, unpredictable winter weather conditions often interrupt the merriment with a vicious and mocking clamor.
It’s chilly, but the nip in the air feels crisp and full of possibility. Everyone is going along laughing, skipping and singing show tunes (some more on-key than others), and then all of a sudden, Cousin Trudy slips on a patch of ice, landing in a dramatic fashion directly on her fanny. Everyone abruptly stops singing and Aunt Hetty makes a run for ace bandages and antibiotic ointment. The effervescence dims a skosh.
Reader, if you love to laugh, hold on tight, and put down your large half cut tea because you do not want to ruin your Aunt Janelle’s antique sofa doing a spit take. I have compiled some of my favorite winter weather vignettes to get you through this chilly and gray time of year. It’s just depressing looking outside. Let’s be honest.
Remember Azalea’s in downtown Greeneville? It was elegant and tasty. A friend and I were having a girls’ night out and decided to dine there in the winter season of 2001. After lively banter and a festive ambiance, we headed out to get back into the SUV. Uh-oh. Our feet began to slip and slide. While we were enjoying a decadent dinner, the parking lot had turned to a sheet of ice. Doing our best impression of the Ice Capades, we slid to the vehicle. I am still amazed that we managed to stay upright.
So, we got back into the SUV and carefully drove away, right? Wrong. When my friend opened the door, all of her Christmas cassettes fell out on to the icy parking lot. And you guessed it. They started to slip slide away. Frantically gathering the treasured cassettes from Christmases of yore, we managed to return them to their container. It brings a whole new meaning to “We need a little Christmas now.” Whew.
I headed to Asheville, North Carolina with the same friend in 2012 to visit the Thomas Wolfe home. While we enjoyed a chilly and fascinating tour, the weather decided to make mischief. As we obliviously exited the home, the wind began to whip like a bad dream you might have after watching the “Little House on the Prairie” episode entitled “Blizzard.” Pretty soon, we felt like Miss Beadle had sent us home early from school.
Not only was the wind whipping, but sleet was coming down like a cruel punishment. We were getting blasted in the face with sharp little bits of sleet. I screamed. We tried to scurry to the car as quickly as possible, but the struggle was real. We had a nice little snowstorm to decorate our drive down the mountain. This is not what they are singing about on “White Christmas.” I didn’t want to wash my hair, my face and hands with snow, but it happened anyway.
On another December day in 2008, Mama Laws and I headed to rural Virginia to visit a little Mom and Pop about which we’d heard a great deal of praise. We bebopped down the interstate. It looked as if they had gotten some winter weather that we knew not of in East Tennessee. We exchanged glances as we got out of the car. I was positively famished, as we had been driving for some time to reach our food destination.
I’ve already told you what I’m like when I’m extremely hungry. Clear the path because I’m going in. As we commented on the charm and old school feel of the building, both sets of our feet struck a large patch of ice. I kid you not, Reader, our feet looked exactly like Fred Flintstone’s. It’s the first time in my life I realized what it felt like to be in a cartoon. We tried grabbing on to each other for dear life, but our feet just kept flailing out of control.
Finally, we reached dry land and righted ourselves. A bit stunned, we just looked at each other. Right then, a man started laughing. I looked at him with a death stare. With his expression quickly changing to one of more grave concern, he shouted “Carl, you need to salt that walk!”
You know the nearer your destination, the more you’re slip slidin’ away ...