It's Hard Out There for a Hillbilly
Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," your foul-weather friend! Through storms large and small, we'll entertain y'all!
With apologies to Jeff Foxworthy:
You know you're a hillbilly when you don't need a sled. You've got a car!
(Now, don't forget the rule. If you are a hillbilly, you can use the word "hillbilly." If you aren't and you say it in the wrong company, you must not value your teeth too much.)
We had a bruiser of a sleet storm here where I live on Friday night. Actually the sleet started around noon and kept pelting everything until about 10:00 at night. It never did change to snow.
The storm left behind three inches of white concrete, slippery as a mortgage banker. But hey. If it's white, a hillbilly will drive on it.
I learnt to drive in the mountains. In those parts, you don't drive in snow you're pretty much housebound for three or four months of the year.
Okay, yes, it's tom foolishness. I've got a cousin, for instance, who got his Ford Bronco stuck in a snowdrift on an untraveled road in the wake of a blizzard. He had gone out for a quart of ice cream. That's it. A quart of ice cream.
It's hillbilly thinking like this that leads to 50 mile backups on interstate highways, like the one on I-80 in Pennsylvania a few weeks ago. Gridlock on a massive scale, through the Poconos and beyond.
Anyway, to make a long story short, the morning after the sleet storm I scraped off my fabulous 1994 Ford Escort (no snow tires) in order to go pet cats at the animal shelter. My daughter and I volunteer. What's a little weather, eh?
So today I thought nothing of driving to Ridley Creek State Park for my Druid group's equinox celebration. Off I tootle, proudly displaying my "Appalachian Pride" and "I Love Turkey Vultures" bumper stickers.
There was only one problem. The celebration had been cancelled. The cancellation was there, plain to see on the message board, but heck. I'm a hillbilly. I think like a hillbilly. I didn't check the message board. I drove the 45 miles to the state park and was surprised when no one else showed up.
Once I got there, did it matter to me that all but one road in the park had been blocked by orange cones? Naaah. I figured my fellow Druids would find me by the visitor's center.
By the way, the park was sheathed in ice to the plimsol line. And there were people out jogging in it. They just weren't Druids.
So, after figuring out that I'd been foxed by my hillbilly brain, I gunned the Escort for the trip home. After a few spectacular skids and a spinning tire or three, my Escort and I returned across the Delaware to hearth and home. At which time I checked the Llyn Hydd Grove message board. Wiser urban heads prevailed.
All was not lost on the day. I watched a perfectly spectacular turkey vulture do its aerial thing over the woods in the park. Who could ask for anything more?
In closing I will let my readers know that if they ever need a quart of ice cream during a sleet storm, they need only call upon someone who grew up in Appalachia or who has lived there through one winter. White precipitation is part of the package, you let it slow you down a little. Not a lot.
STAR 14 APPALACHIAN