Sunday, March 18, 2007

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.


Rosie said...

There's a non-OBOD Gorsedd about an hour and a half south from me with their own standing stones. I wouldn't mind getting a grove together closer to me and checking into affiliating with them. Actually, my farm would be a great place to put a circle. I lack your hillbilly je ne sais quoi, being from the lowcountry. Snow driving scares me way too much.

BBC said...

I've had an eighteen wheeler through some of the worst storms in all the states, not because I wanted to, but because it was part of the job.

Deep snow, pure ice, floods, done it all. The hillbilly in me got me through them. Well, and the fact that I used to drive race cars and developed some good skills there.

Boy, glad I don't have to do that anymore. I dropped my Class A CDL when I moved here.

A little rain here, just enough for nature to bring the area back to her full glory.

Hecate said...

Son, D-i-L, G/Son and I gave up on making it to the mountains due to the bad weather. Three weeks from now. We'll send love to you this Saturday when my circle gathers for Osatara. Hope it's warm enough for the whole crowd (this one's a family affair) to gather on my screen porch.

Interrobang said...

I can't say that I'm a hillbilly, since there are no hills at all where I'm from originally (the closest ones are the Rocky Mountains, three hours' or so drive to the west), and even though where I live now is the Deep South (in a manner of speaking), still no hills. I will cop to being a provincial, a colonial, and sometimes to being a hick from the sticks, though.

But don't even talk to me about snow driving. Just this winter we had a blizzard that dumped three feet of snow on my neighbourhood -- in thirty hours, no less. You could look out the window and watch it piling up. We were lucky -- 45 minutes' drive north of here, they got five and a half feet. *grin*