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Cats and Winter Driving

December 2nd, 2010

I love almost everything about winter but the driving. It’s not so much that I mind driving in the snow personally, it’s all the other crazies on the road that worry me. Yesterday I almost didn’t make it home after the weather took at turn for the worse. It all started after a field trip with my nieces & nephew.

Their home school group arranged a field trip for the kids to tour the Cat’s Meow Village in Wooster. We saw how screen printing was done and iron on transfers were made. We also learned about the history of the company and got to see how they make all the little wooden houses, the kids thought it was very interesting. We also learned how Casper, little black cat, ended up on all the houses.

After the field trip, I met Mr Chiots to deliver a big pot of venison stew for the fearless hunters to eat, then I headed home. All was going well until about a half hour into the trip, then the roads took a turn for the worse, they were covered in a sheet of ice. For some reason, here in NE Ohio, everyone seems to forget how to drive in the snow during those warm summer months. People were flying by my at 80 mph and were swerving in and out of traffic. Of course many of them ended up in the ditches, most of them after bridges. They must think the “Bridge Freezes Before Roadway” signs are just a suggestion, not a fact. Normally the trip takes me around 50 minutes, I arrived home about 2 hours later.

The tally for the trip ended up being about 12 cars that I spotted in ditches. Two accidents that closed down both lanes of the four lane highway I was one, with fire trucks and everything at the scene. Ironically the back country roads I take for half of my trip weren’t too bad, old fashioned cinders are still the best I think. Not to mention, I think rural people are better versed at less than perfect road conditions since it’s the norm for us.

I’m happy I made it home, hopefully no one was injured too badly in any of those accidents. Perhaps those people will be more careful in the future. Winter driving is something I definitely am not looking forward to!

What are the roads like in your area in the winter? Does snow create big traffic problems?

PS – I didn’t take either photo above while driving, that would put me in that category of stupid drivers with all the people flying by me yesterday. I was stopped in a traffic jam yesterday for the blurry tail lights, and the winter road photo was taken last winter while Mr Chiots was driving, this is the road into town from our house.

17 Comments to “Cats and Winter Driving”
  1. David on December 2, 2010 at 9:24 am

    I suspect the car body repair shops wring their hands in glee when we here in Nebraska have our first couple snows. It’s the same here with crazy drivers leaving for work at the same time thinking they will be able to get to work at their usual one minute before starting to work time. I’m with you on loving winter but sometimes not loving the driving. I’m glad you made it home with a mishap.

    Have a great snow day.

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  2. Denise on December 2, 2010 at 9:29 am

    in Seattle everyone just leaves their cars on the sides of the roads – I kid you not! We had our first snow last week – it makes for crazy long dangerous commutes. We are just not set up for snow with all the hills. When it starts snowing – I head home and stay home. Glad you got home safely.

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  3. Sense of Home on December 2, 2010 at 9:49 am

    Oh yeah, we have had our share of bad roads this year and I do not like driving them. I agree with the “people forget how to drive in winter”, the news has been reminding people to slow down for a couple of weeks now. I am having snow tires put on my Prius today, the cars tires are not made for winter, they are made for good gas mileage. We have been getting snow every couple of days and the storm you got blew through here on Monday and into Tuesday with snow and winds up to 35 mph, it was a nasty two days. I used to live in the country and drove through so many storms and “white out” conditions that when my first husband died, I and the kids moved to town, so driving now is not as nerve racking as long as I don’t leave town. Sorry this comment got so long.


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  4. Kelly on December 2, 2010 at 10:27 am

    I grew up in SW Ontario driving on city streets to short to get up much speed for problems (most of the time) and country roads that invented the term “whiteout” (with 2′ off the bumper visibility). Winter driving in PA, where I live now (mountains! narrow roads! curves! city-idiots!) can be terrifying. We don’t get much snow here, but we do get a lot of people who don’t know a thing about driving on icy/snowy roads and in dangerous conditions (even on summer days). Thank Gods for all-wheel drive!

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  5. Anne on December 2, 2010 at 10:58 am

    It’s the same in KS in the bigger cities. In the more rural areas, they remember winter to winter how to drive. The accidents in the rural areas are the more unavoidable kind, not the I want to go 80 on ice kind. Glad you made it home ok. The village sounds very cool.

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  6. Kaytee on December 2, 2010 at 11:14 am

    Oh yea, the same goes for Upstate NY drivers. They all seem to forget how to drive in snow. Or they never figured out how. We haven’t had snowy road conditions yet (at least while I was here), but I’m sure it’s coming soon enough.

    My family LOVES Cat’s Meow! I didn’t realize they were in Wooster. I suppose that’s WHY they love it so much, being only 30 minutes from there.

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  7. Laura on December 2, 2010 at 11:43 am

    i don’t do well in the winter driving arena either. i take my time and am a slow and cautious driver in winter weather which i’m sure annoys all the yankees that have come down south to escape winter. :)

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  8. Amy @ Homestead Revival on December 2, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    So glad you made it home safe! Our area is very rural, but because it is a “community” we have snow plows on the two main roads and eventually they plow some of the lesser roads. We’ve had snow the last two weekends and on the first weekend, two cars flipped over. Despite 4 wheel drive and going very slow, even our car slid on the ice and into the oncoming lane right behind another car. Scary. Definitely a reminder that caution is a must in inclement weather. Truthfully, I’d much rather stay at home in front of a cozy fire, sip hot tea, and read a good book and watch the snow come down through the window! (It just isn’t always possible.)

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  9. Kathryn on December 2, 2010 at 12:47 pm

    In Southern California, here. So you’d think we don’t have this issue. But we live in the mountains (near 7,000 ft) and we can get a lot of snow & ice. We’ve already had 7 inches of snow this season, tho the days are usually mild and snow can melt quickly. But it gets cold at night and all that melt water freezes.

    But we have lots of people visit from LA/Orange County and other places where they never get snow. That is why chains are required here often. It usually (but not always) slows the crazies down.

    We do make a trip into OC frequently, and i HATE driving on the freeways in the rain. In general i think folks around here are pretty good drivers (otherwise we’d have lots more accidents) although most follow the one in front too closely. But in rainy weather many drivers don’t change their ways and drive much too fast for the conditions as well as tailgate and weave around “those slowpokes” and we end up with lots of accidents.

    Summertime we fly up and down these mountain roads, but winter time we creep along to be safe.

    Glad you got home safe and didn’t have anyone cause a mishap for you.

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  10. ami on December 2, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    We’ve gotten heaps of snow the past two weeks (two feet or so) and this is the first year we’ve had an accident too. Even with slow and cautious driving sometimes the conditions are just that bad.

    Reply to ami's comment

    • Susy on December 2, 2010 at 7:04 pm

      Very true.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  11. KimP on December 2, 2010 at 5:13 pm

    I live in a rural area that gets snow every year. Mostly people remember to be careful and allow extra space and time. The occasional crazies make me nervous, though, so I only travel over the mountains when it’s unavoidable and the weather is (relatively) good.

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  12. nic@nipitinthebud on December 2, 2010 at 5:17 pm

    glad to hear you made it home safe and sound Susy x

    Reply to nic@nipitinthebud's comment

  13. RobinL on December 2, 2010 at 9:41 pm

    Columbus drivers are no different. A few flakes in the air, and all heck breaks loose. Yes, that is a bowling ball, with two layers of pennies glued on with E6000 glue. It’s easy! The glue does break down after a few years, but I just reglued them all recently and good as new. I don’t like to admit that it’s nice to take a break from all the hard work of gardening, but I do miss it also. My main problem is simply that drab world without flowers!

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    • Susy on December 2, 2010 at 9:48 pm

      I think they were even worse when I lived in Cincinnati, I worked downtown and often they’d close the building when it would snow – crazy.

      Thanks, very very cool, I figured that’s what it was. I have a jar full of pennies I can use!

      Reply to Susy's comment

  14. marie on December 2, 2010 at 10:43 pm

    here in Southern Minnesota it’s been an awful winter driving season. if I see any more freezing rain I’m gonna hole up and not come out ’til May!

    Reply to marie's comment

  15. Jennifer Fisk on December 3, 2010 at 9:35 pm

    Maine hasn’t seen much winter driving yet but it is bound to happen. An awful lot of the drivers forget what they learned the previous winter and drive way too fast for the conditions. From midnight until 5 when the morning commute begins, there isn’t much attention given to the highways. If the snow is in feet they will plow. That is the bad news. The good news is once the storm stops withing an hour you can travel anywhere. Most of us just go anyway especially if we have 4wheel drive. I do wish they would make the 18 wheelers park once it begins to get slippery.

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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