Damn Baby, it's COLD outside! Having grown up in Illinois (by the river, gently flowing - UNDER THE ICE!) I'm quite familiar with cold survival this time of year, but for some reason 20 degrees just seems so much colder down here inTexas. It might have something to do with that 20-30 MPH razor blade wind howling across the prairie... I used to live in Texas from 1980 until 2005 but I've been up in Illinois taking care of my Dad for the last 4 years. He finally decided to move to Texas in October, so we sold out, packed up and arrived here on my Birthday, November 30th. I swear, it snowed about 4 inches the NEXT DAY setting records at DFW Airport and other sites. Of course most of it melted off the day after that but while it lasted there were hundreds of accidents and several fatalities. As if that wasn't enough, it snowed AGAIN (unheard of down here) on XMAS eve, 4-6 inches this time with ice too. That stuck around for a few days with more accidents and sadly, more fatalities too.
This area is notorius for the bridges and ramps freezing up, often the deadly "Black Ice" that you can't see and don't know is there until your wheels slide out from under you or if your lucky, you see the upside down tail-lights of cars in the ditch ahead of you. Since this usually occurs only a few times a year you can imagine how polished the winter driving skills of the locals are, especially considering that half of them are driving pickup trucks that handle ice and snow like a antique bowling ball; they just don't turn very well, they spin out, and you can't stop them. Of course nobody slows down until they see the flashing lights of the Ambulances and Police cars working the wrecks, or they run into the traffic (often literally) backed up for miles from the unlucky first events.
I wanted to put some clever jokes in this posting but frankly - some subjects just don't lend themselves to comedy that well. So I won't this time, I'll just wish everybody good luck and hope your either in a warm place or you have one to go to. And for the Muy Macho Cowboys in the pickup trucks; remember this; driving slow is better than crashing fast for almost everybody.. except NASCAR and those pussies don't even race in the rain, let alone winter.