45 a.m.

The car at 6:45 a.m.

The first outdoor adventure that many of us face in snow country each day is often the most challenging.  It’s still pitch black, it’s snowing fiercely, and our cars or trucks are frozen hunks of metal in the driveway.  And they’re covered with snow and ice.

Before we can even contemplate going to work, school,or errand we must scrape the windshield and brush off the hood, windows and trunk.  At least those of us without the convenience of garages or barns in which our vehicles sit dry and comfy throughout the long winter night must do these chores.  We won’t be mentioning those folks again in this blog, as we’re terribly envious of them.

It’s almost a science, this art of scraping and brushing.  First, one starts the car.  If one is lucky (like I have been since two Christmases ago!) one pushes the remote starter from the cozy house.  The lights of your vehicle go on and the defroster begins its work of melting ice.  However, don’t think we remote starter owners have it too cushy.  Unless you’re willing to run your vehicle for 20-30 minutes at 10 degrees, one still needs to scrape and brush.

So you head out dressed as warmly as possible atop your work clothes.  Start with the roof.  Brush the four inches of snow off the upper strata initially.  If you fail to do this, it will later fall on already-brushed areas requiring more work.  Now brush the snow off the front window, side and back windows.  Somewhere along the line, remove snow from the hood and trunk. 

Depending on the day, your intense work begins at this point.  Sometimes there’s only a dusting of ice on the window.  Then it’s a breeze to scrape lightly and remove.  However, on some mornings the ice is thick.  The scraper barely penetrates.  You must then start on the area where the defroster has begun its steadfast work of melting, and scrape upwards.  Sometimes you must push with the strength of a lion.  That’s when some of us wonder why we’re living in such a frigid climate, or why the garage can not be utilized for vehicle storage.  (It’s usually full of welders, tractors, boats, trailers and other assorted manly projects.)  Plus there’s the problem of deciding whose vehicle would be stored in the garage.  You can be sure it would not be the owner of the car with the remote starter….

Scrape thoroughly!  I cannot emphasize this enough.  How many times have those of us lazily attempted to quickly finish the brushing and scraping (sometimes even blatantly neglecting to do the back window!) and later discovered the mistake of our negligence?  We need those rear view windows.  And if you can’t see out the front window, it’s like driving blind. 

There is also the little problem associated with windshield wipers frozen to the window. If you don’t carefully free them up by hacking with the scraper, you can wreck a $ 60wiper arm.  I should know; I’ve wrecked two already, and now diligently work at freeing them like a pro. 

I took a picture out the front window this morning (driving nicely at 5 mph on a road that probably would see five vehicles all morning) so you could see the sideways blowing snow.  Even with the flash, no good photo presented itself. 

A tree festively decked with snow

A tree festively decked with snow

Instead you can see the effects of the little snowstorm (nine to ten inches thus far)  a few hours later.  I took a walk down the road in the afternoon, enjoying the newly fallen snow.  The whiteness makes everything look fresh and new.  Branches hang heavy with the fluffy snow.  I climbed up under this one to get an interesting angle:

Sweeping snow-laden branches

Sweeping snow-laden branches

I finished up the time outdoors with a little shoveling.  The driveway needs plowing again.  Just another day in Snow Country, USA!