A Club Sandwich I Walked Through Snow Squalls For

A recent shift in the weather dropped us back down into the deep freeze, and with snow squalls expected for the day, my husband and I decided to just walk up to the Bookmobile to get our books from the local library. It's about a mile to Way Fruit Farm, where the Bookmobile stops, and we figured we would each have a club sandwich when we got there.

Our throw-back weather felt like it was from about mid-January or early February. The wind was strong, the air was cold, the squalls were seriously awesomely bad. Visibility and conditions can change very quickly in this type of weather. In fact, if you don't HAVE to go out in the snow squalls, I'd say DON'T.

We left around 11:30, walking head-first into a gusty, windy, heavy snow squall the entire way, which is about 25 minutes. In that short period of time, as the snow coated my entire face and body and froze fast instantly, I could see, finally, why some people hate winter. I turned around to see where my husband was, and discovered he was walking backwards into the wind!

I had my trusty pink umbrella, but you must trust me on this when I say that it was impossible to take pictures in those conditions. There would be no way to do so without sacrificing the gear, and that's not a thing I'm up for. So the camera stayed in its bag as we trudged through the snow.

By the time we got to the vet's office at the corner, the snow was slowing down, and by the time we got to Way Fruit Farm, the sun was out, and it was warm and lovely. (In fact, by the time we left Way Fruit Farm, all of the snow that had happened during that event had melted off! And the sky behind it was a beautiful blue!)

So my husband got our books and tucked them into his daysack, and we went in to Way's and ordered our sandwiches (see menu here). This is a picture of my classic club on white toast. "We start with your choice of white or wheat toast and pile it high with ham, turkey, lettuce, tomato slices, and mayonnaise."

The sandwich was delicious but I was only able to eat half of it, so I took half along for later. The potato salad I'd chosen as my side was also quite good. My husband had potato chips with his sandwich, and by that, around here, we mean Middleswarth (though they don't have bar-b-q, which is my fave).

T. Tiger got to play, riding on a big green truck in the play area. He had a great time, and we wandered around and looked at all of the neatly arranged stuff - food, knick-knacks, you name it - on pretty shelves. Also, how many kinds of fancy bacon sauce can there BE in the world? And then we walked home.

Now, you may have seen the news about the big 50-vehicle crash on I-81 in southeastern Pennsylvania that left several dead, and some vehicles in flames, closing down seven miles of interstate. It took place just before 11 a.m. near Minersville, in Schuylkill County, and there are some videos of it out there floating around that are pretty shocking. (Language warning.) We send our prayers out to everyone impacted, as several lives were lost in this terrible tragedy.

Now, after reading some of the comments on these videos, which imply that everyone in Pennsylvania is just a bad driver, I find I have this to say. Winter weather conditions can change very quickly, on very short notice. If you have the option of NOT going out when conditions are expected to be poor, it is best not to go out.

However, if you MUST go out on the roads in what are expected to be poor conditions - and this includes lots and lots of people - it is YOUR responsibility to manage the safety of your vehicle and everyone in it during your travels. First: PAY ATTENTION to weather warnings, and adjust your travel plans accordingly, if you can. Second: SLOW DOWN when conditions become snowy or visibility decreases. Third: INCREASE the distance between yourself and others.

Fourth: if you can GET YOUR CAR OFF THE ROAD safely when it squalls, do so. It is also your responsibility to determine where you can safely stand, waiting for help, if you leave your vehicle. They tell you to wait in your car, but in this case, AS FAR OFF THE ROAD AS POSSIBLE was the safest alternative. (And yes, make sure you have a decent COAT in your car that is appropriate for cold weather.)

Oh, and did you see that car crash into the others at :40? (Go back and watch it again.) That happened when my husband wrecked his car on black ice on an overpass at Tyrone a few years ago. The only reason that he is alive now is that he GOT OUT OF THE CAR and stood FAR OFF THE ROAD, as the next lady who came by lost control of her car, smacked into HIS car at top speed, and all of her windows shattered at impact. At that point, his car, already damaged by the wreck, was toast.

Had he STAYED in the car, as the first responder told him to do, my husband would be dead now. I couldn't help trembling, watching the video of the crash, thinking of what might have been for US. So take it for what it's worth. Be safe on the roads. (And yes, you can read my husband's car crash story here: In Which True Love Wins.)

Well, I need a soundtrack song, and I think this is a fine one for walking in some of the worst snow squalls I've seen in a long time: REO Speedwagon, with Ridin' the Storm Out.

Bonus tips for driving in snow squalls.
PennDOT offers these tips for drivers if they do encounter a snow squall:
Slow down gradually and drive at a speed that suits conditions.
Turn on your headlights. If caught in a snow squall, turn on your hazard lights.
Stay in your lane and increase your following distance.
Stay alert, keep looking as far ahead as possible and be patient.
Use your defroster and wipers.
Keep windows and mirrors free of snow and ice.
Come to a complete stop only when you can safely pull off the roadway.
Do not stop in the flow of traffic since this could cause a chain-reaction collision.
Do not pass a vehicle moving slowly or speed up to get away from a vehicle that is following too closely.

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