Saturday, December 26, 2009

Winter's Icy Blast. . .

Our "Texas Sized "blizzard Christmas eve. . .

We just enjoyed a Christmas Eve unlike any other in the Dallas-Fort Worth area over the past 80 years: a snowstorm! Indeed, we had a "White Christmas."

Light flurries came in with a strong wind from the north on late Thursday morning. By the time we headed out to Christmas Eve church services at 2:30pm, it was a full-blown blizzard. Not quite a Nebraska/Upper Midwest blizzard, but for Texas, it was a blizzard. Not much covering the ground, but it was cool to see "ground blizzard" effects driving along. Our return from church took much longer than our trip there. . .by now, the snow was sticking, and the warm ground from the day before (it was nearly 70 degrees) had sufficently cooled off to allow the upper-teens windchill to cause ice and slush to accumulate. One slight hill was impassable due to cars ahead of us sideways on the road, so we detoured through a housing subdivision.

We made it home just in time to head back out again to Mary's aunt and uncle's for dinner. the roads had gotten much worse, but traffic was light due to the bad driving conditions. The trip back around 10:00 that night was the real adventure. The storm had moved on, leaving behind plunging temperatures, clear skies, and a bitter wind. And glare ice! Again, no real shakes for someone who'd spent much of his driving life (before moving to Texas) dealing with the stuff:

  • don't use the accelerator powering through icy curves
  • coast into curves; use a little gas to keep momentum leaving curves
  • drive at least a 1/4 mile ahead of your vehicle
  • tap your brakes--ALWAYS tap your brakes
  • if the roadway has turned slick due to "tire tracks" in your lane, straddle the lane; better yet, drive with one set of wheels on the shoulder of the road, where the snow and slush hasn't been tamped down to ice yet
  • listen to what the road sounds like;
  • and see what's coming out from under the tires of the cars near you. If nothing is getting kicked up and the road is quiet, you're most likely on ice. If moisture is kicking up and you can hear the hiss of the road, you're driving on water.

Our cheap-ass Wal-Mart swingset was swaying in the blizzardy winds. . .

Oh, yes, Christmas. It was a great evening and next day. We ate turkey both evenings. On Friday afternoon, we headed over to my sister's in Plano where her husband and three kids were hosting us, my sister Julie from California, and my dad Lou. Had an enjoyable time--played wii, a bit of Jenja, tried out the new "retro" Atari "classic" video game console Santa dropped off. Everything a family Christmas should be. . .and this year, we had snow to go along with it.

I think everyone will remember this one. . .especially the two little boys who live with us.

I. and his "Club Penquin" ornament.

E. and I. wearing their new Christmas p.j.'s in fron of the roaring (gas) fire. . .


Gary Laker said...

Hi Blair,
Snow in Texas !! Even with my limited knowledge of your geo that is amazing.

Did you receive my 'address' email ?
My ISP keeps telling me that it failed. Might try your work email??

BEK said...

Hi Gary,

never got your addy. My work address is blair.kooistra(at)

Anonymous said...

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Nick Fotis said...

Well, our Xmas (and New Years Eve) were contrary to your Texas experience.
(which is pretty unusual, I guess)

Today we were around the 17-18 degrees Celsius mark (conversion to imperial system is left as an exercise to the reader :-) ), which is unusually warm even for Athens (the real one, not the one in Ohio...)

A planet (and weather conditions) apart, indeed!

I wish everybody a Happy New Year.