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We had a hint that it was coming. Early Saturday afternoon my wife and I came out of the Wal-Mart Supercenter to discover a thin layer of ice on the surface of our car, and the freezing drizzle was still coming. We loaded the groceries and I started the car, scraped off the ice on the windows (very easily, I might add) and headed for home. I noticed a couple slick spots on the road, but nothing to give us any trouble.

I was aware, as anybody would be who had been paying attention to all the weather-people on the TV, that there was a fairly major winter storm moving across Minnesota. Locations to our north, particularly 100 miles and more to our north, were receiving anywhere from 6-8 inches of the white stuff, up to around a foot of snow across the iron range in northern Minnesota. My parents live near Grand Rapids, MN, smack dab in the middle of the iron range, so I was painfully aware that they would be digging out from the large snowfall, and I was hoping and praying that their granddaughter and her new husband, of friends from church, would be there to help them.

But down here in southern Minny, (we’re almost in Iowa!) the weather folks were predicting one inch, perhaps two inches of snow. Just enough to slick things up a little. No pro-o-blem!

I woke up Sunday morning with every intention of going to church, took my shower, and was shaving when my wife called to me, “Honey, the dog can’t get any traction! She’s out here spinning her wheels on the deck!”

Huh! We must have gotten some ice. Huh!

Sure enough, there was a glaze over everything! We listened to the local radio station, but they didn’t say anything about churches calling off services. I went out, laid down some ice-melt, and started all three vehicles on the driveway. (Actually, there was so much ice I was surprised I could get into all three without having to thaw out frozen doors first.) I turned up the heat in all three, plus the rear defrosters, and got out the scrapers and started working on the windows.

Well, I was outside for almost a half hour in -6 degree weather, and I decided it would be a good time to go in the house and warm up. I had gotten most of the windshield on the new Buick cleared, but not the side nor back. The windows on the older Buick were a long ways from being clear, but that didn’t matter much because we weren’t going to take that one anyway. My work truck still had a half-inch layer of ice on the windshield. This was gonna take some time.

So I went in the house and warmed up for a half hour while the vehicles continued to run. I said to the wife, “I don’t think we’re going to church.” She said, “If I had known that, I would have stayed in bed.”

I went back out again. Still six below. I worked on the new Buick and got all the windows cleared. I shut that one off. It was too late to go to church any more. I worked on the older Buick and my work truck, and reached a point on both of them where I gave up and said they’ll have to sit in the sun the rest of the day and see if that helps.

This morning I went out about 15 minutes earlier than normal and started my work truck. That’s when I realized I had the controls set on heat instead of defrost. (Yeah, I’m getting old. I own two Buicks, you notice?) Well, I made that adjustment and went back in the house and let the defroster do its thing. When it came time to leave for work, I still had to use a scraper on the windows, but it actually worked this time! Then when I managed to get down here to the shop, I drove my van inside and let it sit and melt off for most of an hour. My wife will be using the new Buick later today to pick up our daughter from school and make her way to work for the evening. At least I know she will be able to see out!

No, it wasn’t a bad ice storm. I’ve seen those. I’m glad they’re pretty rare here in Minnesota. We’re usually too cold for that. Most of what we get is in the form of snow. This one was just a nuisance.

Maybe next Sunday!

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