Our first snowfall of the season certainly whalopped the state of Iowa. Folks in parts of Iowa reported experiencing thundersnow while others just reported heavy, drifting, wet snow. Looks like a we'll have a white Christmas this year.
Having a white Christmas is not important to me. I'm not sentimental about that at all. In fact, some of my best Christmas memories have been brown Christmases.
But Mother Nature didn't consult me on this latest blizzard that buried us under more than several inches of snow. If she had asked me, I would have asked her to forgo the whole idea. Or at least keep the precip to just a light dusting for effect. I think next time, she should listen to me.
I used to enjoy those Currier and Ives-style views of snow gently falling on Christmas Eve - the pristine snow glistening on the ground and in the trees. It is indeed beautiful. I like it when the delicate blanket of snow stays where it's supposed to be - on the ground and not swirling around in the gusty wind.
Since I've been married, we often travel to visit my in-laws in Missouri during the holidays. Snow has become more of a hindrance than a thing of beauty on several occasions. It seems like we either drive in a snowstorm in the winter or torrential gulley-washers in the summer.
Drifting and blowing snow is no fun to drive in and is often quite treacherous. By late afternoon Thursday, our office scanner confirmed reports that rural roads were drifting shut and the interstate highways were also dangerous. A multi-car pileup on Interstate 35 northeast of Webster City was attributed to the low visibility, slick roads and Hats off to all the responders and law enforcement officers who spent the day in the bitter cold and driving snow. They answered the call for help and gave comfort and aid to those injured in the crash. That's no way to start the holidays.
Of course, here in Webster City, the children of the community - mine included - were thrilled with the blanket of white stuff. There was no school across the Hamilton County Thursday so many kids were trying out their sleds and snowboards. Lots of them flocked to old Hospital Hill for sledding.
My son headed to Hospital Hill for a short time, but the blustery wind didn't make for very pleasant sledding conditions. He came home red-cheeked and cold, glad to be in the warmth of the house. A nice hot cocoa seemed to lift his spirits and warm his cold hands and face. I was surprised that so many kids lasted as long as they did on Hospital Hill yesterday afternoon.
That brings another question to mind - once they finish demolishing the old hospital, will it still be called Hospital Hill? Just wondering.
Conditions today could still be a little hazardous, so stay safe and be smart about travel. Put together a survival kit for the car with blankets, snacks, water and flashlights. Be sure to charge your cell phone before you leave and check the road conditions. For information on road conditions throughout the state of Iowa, visit www.511ia.org.