Freezing rain makes for treacherous conditions

Different seasons bring different weather conditions. In May and June, we look forward to slow drenching rain to moisten the grounds and have crops spring forth.
Such rains usually are followed by warming trends that put heat and lots of humidity into the air.
When November comes around, we find ourselves caught in a dilemma. Do we hope for those rains that will freeze across the yards? Or, do we hope that those called-for rains in fact come as snow?
Most of us would rather see the rain run into the streets and down the culverts than dig out the snow shovels to throw the white powder off walks.
On Sunday night and Monday morning, I would much rather have had snowy weather. Driving home Sunday evening from Rainy River took almost two hours. It was dreadfully slow.
The snowplows already had been out, tossing their mixture of salt and sand as we left the boundaries of the town.
A sign said drive carefully. We had the time to be cautious. We had the time to drive slowly.
I don’t particularly like driving in rain. And I like driving in freezing rain even less. Inside the car, Marnie and I had the heat turned on high to keep the windshield from icing up. And traffic coming the other way constantly was throwing their mist across the windshield.
Under foot, you could occasionally feel a small drifting of the car as it seemed to slip.
I dropped the car out of drive and into third gear to let the engine due some of the braking and since we never seemed to get above 60 km/h, that didn’t seem to make a lot of difference. As we came through Manitou Rapids, my wife reminded me to slow down.
She had grown accustomed to the speed we were travelling and was doing her best to keep me from getting a speeding ticket.
As we passed Cloverleaf in Emo, the parking lot was one large black glistening skating rink with the lights of the store reflected off the ice. It was that shiny parking lot that gave me an understanding of how much freezing rain we had received.
The crew by the junction had the highway completely bare and wet. As we neared Fort Frances, we saw the highway sanding and plowing truck heading west, spraying the built-up slush from the road.
Our side of the highway already was building up slush again.
We had run out of windshield fluid by the time we reached the Fort and that was the first thing I replenished in the car.
On Monday morning, I went out to start the vehicle in the driveway. It was all iced up and the three steps from the step of the house to it were perilous. As I reached for the door handle of the truck, my feet almost went out from under me. Grabbing the handle probably save a nasty fall.
I started the vehicle and then went back into the garage to sprinkle “Ice melt” over the walks and driveway. At the office, it took two dustings of salt to break through the ice so it could be removed from the sidewalk.
At work, we began getting calls from staff to let us know that they couldn’t get in to work today. We also made a decision to delay the delivery of flyers to the red boxes until Tuesday.
We didn’t feel it was safe to put our driver out onto the roads on Monday.

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