Wednesday, March 05, 2014

A Winter Of Discontent

     Blast this snow and cold here in Michigan.  We're used to winters here but c'mon!  Enough is enough.  Just today I slipped on the ice right near my porch.  Not long ago my wife slipped on our driveway and fell face first into an inch of snow that had fallen overnight.  And I've gone through big jugs of ice melt, taking the last one from the shelves of our local store.  And that was weeks ago!

     Our driveway entrance has so much ice and snow build-up courtesy of the local snowplows that it almost takes four-wheel drive to just pull in.  I've been approached by movie execs asking if they could use my driveway to train new stunt drivers for the next James Bond movie.

     I thought the missus and I could get a break by heading south, though that would take us around Atlanta and I remember what happened there with far less snow and ice than what we have.  The expressways became a parking lot for a couple days.

     And though it was springtime temperatures in Atlanta last week, driving through there wasn't a breeze.  Whether driving north or south on I-75, we had to dodge shutdowns on the freeway.  I thought the problem earlier was just the icy weather but maybe Atlantans just can't drive.  Or maybe I'm just discontented and feel grumpy when it comes to Georgia.

     I mean, we hit the welcome center at Georgia and I wait my turn at the customer service counter so I can ask the travel adviser if there's an Atlanta Bread Company just off I-75.  She punches something into her computer, frowns, then says, "It says there are no stores in your state.  That's weird."

     Well, yeah lady.  You think a place called the Atlanta Bread Company would have at least one outlet in their home state.  But she moved on to helping other customers.  Then before we hit Atlanta, traffic back-ups forced us off the interstate but savvy driver that I am, I followed a line of traffic also getting off and probably knowing a way around this mess.  But the semi-truck I was following pulled a lane-switch at a busy intersection, leaving me stranded in the left turn lane.  More discontent.  And I turned the corner just as the crossing gates came down adjacent to some railroad tracks.  Yet more discontent.  And for a train that never came.  Extreme discontent.

     Finally, we were meandering around Atlanta looking for the Atlanta Bread Company since I found out there was one near (they actually have over 20 stores throughout Georgia).  Stopped at a traffic light, a driver in the next lane motioned me to roll down my window which I did.  "Are you looking for something?" he asked.  I told him the Atlanta Bread Company and he pointed to a nearby shopping strip.  HE should be behind that counter at the Georgia welcome center.

    They are promising a break in the weather soon but I actually had some even better news as my beloved Michigan Wolverines won the conference basketball championship this week.  That's much to the chagrin of Michigan State fans.  My boss is a die-hard Michigan State Spartan fan.  While I was south, my Wolverines beat his Spartans in fact.  I e-mailed him from my hotel, saying that I was looking for news as to how the basketball game came out.  His response:


*expletive deleted*



I think you can imagine what he said, though he did abbreviate it rather than spell it out.  Ah, that winter of discontent is worse for some than for others.

My poor grandsons haven't been able to play much outside this winter, as deep as the snow has been and as cold as it is still.  But, watching monster movies with grandpa provides some relief from our winter of discontent.