Magical winter wonderland or not

Published 3:46 pm Friday, January 28, 2022

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Life on the Farm

Lots of people just can’t drive in the snow, as we all were painfully reminded last week. If you are one of those silly geese who thinks it works just like in the Subaru commercials, this is for you the next time it snows, which might be next week or next Christmas.


It’s best to focus on the most dangerous animals on the road following a snow forecast of 21 inches, which turned out to be 6-8 inches–one of the blessings of living in Western North Carolina’s Isothermal Belt.


The first animal to look out for is that special someone who decides to hit the road as the last snowflakes are falling and operators are still looking for the keys to the two working snowplows. Maybe it’s a “he” or maybe a “she” who has to go to Dollar General to pick up an absolutely essential item–marshmallows for the hot chocolate mix.


The wisest Dollar General manager, when told by corporate to cycle out the summer goods in October, said to her pink-haired Olive Oil associate, “Put those plastic kiddie pools up on the top shelf where we can get to them if it snows this winter.”


Olive Oil would have smiled, knowing from having grown up here that those blue kiddie pools are really just Southern snow sleds.


The second animal to avoid is the person who bought a Jeep or 4-wheel-drive vehicle thinking they provide, as the Jeep company website says, ”The power to get out and play.” Indeed, Jeeps are fun, but nothing stops a Jeep like a solid oak tree on the side of a snow-covered road. Take it from a former Jeep owner–the commercials showing the vehicle plowing through powdery snow were not filmed on ice. No amount of four-wheel-drive is controllable on ice. Smart Jeep owners wait for the snow and ice to clear.


The third, and perhaps most dangerous animal on the road in snow, is the 20-to-40-year-old male driving a 4-wheel-drive pickup whose idea of harmless fun is doing donuts in the snow in a farm field. With most sane people off the road, he knows he won’t get caught, and the farmer has to repair the damage and deal with a loss of part of a crop.


 The best advice I have to offer is based on experience.


The next time it snows, stay home. It will melt.


Larry McDermott is a local retired farmer/journalist. Reach him at