Friday, December 28, 2012

The Prius is Really Just a Big Shopping Cart

Those of you that know me are probably thinking you are going to be reading a post about my shopping habits. You aren't. I hope this doesn't disappoint you.

I was previously going to title this post The Prius is an Ice Skate but I changed my mind today after maneuvering my grocery cart in the snow and discovering, like the Prius, it's next to impossible. Sidenote: I understand I can get wrapped up in grocery shopping but it was FLURRYING when I went in and there was a good half inch waiting for me when I came out.  Anyways, I digress. The Byrnes are failing winter so far. Seriously, Mother Nature must have taken my Facebook post telling her to bring it on quite seriously, maybe I bruised her ego, because right now we are being taken behind the woodshed by her. (In case Big MN is reading this: I take it back, you win. My big poofy NorthFace coat has NOTHING on you).

When we moved here and everyone gave us that knowing look when we told them we were moved from we always qualified it with the fact we lived in Chicago for 8 (Mary) or 10 (Tim) years. Okay my Iowa peeps, you also win. Apparently we deserved every last chuckle and sidways glance. Chicago has nothing on Iowa. Except maybe decent street crews. I know last year was a mild winter here but did they all but forget how a storm works? In theory there should be so much surplus in the snow clearing budget none of it should have even TOUCHED the streets, right? Okay, sorry- this is not a bash the Des Moines Streets Department post, it's letting the world know that we truly had no idea what we were in for here. St. Thomas made us soft. (Although there is some truth to the whole streets-being-clear thing, just saying....)

When we got our first blizzard last week we got Tim's car stuck not once, not twice but three times. Time #2 resulted in me finding a nice man in a snowplow clearing a driveway to basically plow me out of the street and in front of the driveway. I had a choice between a $10 bill and a $50 bill.  I gave him the 50. Tim said this was excessive. I said I was no longer in the middle of the street, I win. However, for $50 I probably should have had him actually do the driveway because that's where we got stuck the 3rd time...

Being stuck is not limited to the car. Apparently you can get your lawn tractor-with-snowblade-attached stuck as well. That thing is MADE to clear snow and we, well Tim, got it stuck. I guess the blade was old and too heavy so it weighed down the front making it impossible for the back wheels, WITH CHAINS, to get any traction. Namely because they weren't even touching the ground. I'm pretty sure at this point our neighbors had to be looking out the window, pointing and laughing but I wouldn't know it because I was too busy concentrating on not running over Tim as I steered and he pushed me backwards into the garage to park the tractor. In unsurprising news the blade went on Craigslist. In surprising news, someone has already bought it for $100 and we no longer own the thing.

So we sucked it up that night and took the really long (normally 20 minutes) drive to Sears to buy a snowblower (see: stuck in the driveway the 3rd time, above). You know what sucks more than having to buy a snowblower at full price with no other options? Not being able to fit it in the car to get it back to your house and going home empty handed. Which leads me to...

So the Prius is bad, I mean BAD, in Iowa snow. As mentioned, I wanted to name this post something equating the Prius to an ice skate. What I didn't mention was that I felt the ice skate gave the Prius too much credit. At least with an ice skate there's some control! If I'm not stuck (twice so far which resulted in Tim having to put a blanket on my car and back into me on purpose to get me out of the driveway the second time). I have basically slipped and slid my way too and from work the last few days. It's a good thing that there was no one in the lanes on both sides of me on Jordan Creek this morning as I turned off Bridgewood because I used all three of them and still almost ended up facing south in the northbound lanes!

So that's where we are so far this winter- technically a whole 8 days in- I hope we grow our snow legs soon!! Check back regularly to see if I win the 'Mary Needs a New Car' battle!