I’m used to extreme weather. Extreme heat, that is.
Summer in South Australia was my least favorite season. Since Christmas, my home town of Adelaide has had 13 days above 104 degrees.
Of course, there are the inevitable wild fires that go along with that sort of weather. I used to live in a high fire danger area and every year I would pack a couple of crates of photos, documents and personal items and put them near the car with the cats’ cages, ready to evacuate.
We never had to do it, but I spent three months on edge every year. When I left two months ago I was looking forward to winter.
When I arrived at the immigration desk in San Francisco (17 hours after I left home in South Australia — that’s another story!), I told the border guard my final destination was the Appalachian Mountains.
The look he gave me made me wonder if he was going to refuse me entry. “Why do you want to go there? It’s winter and the weather is terrible,” was his official decision.
Luckily he stamped everything that needed stamping and let me through, probably wondering about the intelligence of Australians. I thought he was crazy — snow is beautiful, isn’t it?
Like many things in life, I soon learnt that snow is beautiful to look at, but ... .
The first warning was the water. The lack of water, to be exact. Within two weeks of moving to Cumberland I turned on the bath water — and nothing came out.
I called the city water department emergency line and a charming man (I especially admired his charm because it was 6 a.m. and below freezing) checked the connections to the street. Then he explained my frozen pipes.
I was lucky because with some heat the pipes unfroze themselves a few hours later. A couple of hours after that the kitchen flooded. A pipe in the dishwasher had frozen and when that thawed — free floor wash, not so free repair.
Now I check the overnight temperature forecasts as obsessively as I used to check bushfire warnings in Australia.
Then there is the “adventure” of winter driving. My kids insisted I buy a Jeep. A Jeep? Who, me?! A little old lady from Down Under? They said I would appreciate it in the winter.
Those were wise words. The first time my wheels got stuck on ice in a car park, a kind man came up and told me to put it into four wheel drive.
“Will that work?” I asked (perhaps Australians are dumb).
“Put that sucker into four wheel drive and it will climb a tree,” he said. And it did — get me off the ice, that is. I have still to test it on a tree.
I have learnt about “dry gas.” (How does that work? I thought all gas was wet?)
I now stock up on food when bad weather is forecast, and I judge whether it’s safe to drive by listening to notices of school closures on the radio. We haven’t had a power outage yet — praise God!
At least here we have a gas fire to warm us if it the power goes off. In Australia, several of my friends lost power for 20 hours and suffered through 110 degree heat. No backups for that!
Despite everything, I still love the snow, and like the cold more than heat. And I might learn enough so that next winter I won’t act quite so much like a dumb Aussie.
But wait! Don’t go! Does anyone know a good method of removing the four inches of snow that seems to be frozen solid onto my car?
I’m used to extreme weather. Extreme heat, that is.
Eventually, the maneuvering and lies will catch up with him
Several months ago I wrote a letter to the editor taking to task President Obama on his lack of leadership (“Obama has earned no points for his leadership,” Sept. 2, 2013).
Writer should cast aside the anger and suspicion of religion
In the March 6 edition of your paper, David Crockett wrote a letter condemning religion, with particular emphasis on Christianity (“How can we respect a religion when it subjugates women?”).
Without leadership, what can you expect to happen to us?
Psalm 11:3 — If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?
The foundation of our nation “America” was built on Christian principles, values and prayers of our founding for fathers. And God did bless America. But in 1963 our Supreme Court saw fit to remove prayer from our public schools. In 1973 our Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade made abortion legal.
Some good may come of this
This is a time in our history when nuance defines us and causes pain, as is evident in letters written in reaction to Commissioner McKay’s request that a portion of money from a marriage license tax be given to the local Cumberland Historic Cemetery Organization.
Goal: Make NBCI most secure Md. maximum security prison
The top priority of the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services is to ensure the safety of our staff and the incarcerated offenders in our care.
Some senators must believe vets aren’t worth the money
Our legislators have no qualms sending our men and women in uniform into harms way.
Agreements between SHA, Lonaconing working well
I’d like to respond to the article, “Administrative hurdles make getting salt supplies difficult,” Feb. 20 Times-News, Page 1A.
Sick leave bill would benefit Marylanders
The Cumberland Times-News Feb. 27 article, “Chamber of Commerce opposes bills for required paid sick leave” (Page 1A) presented a one-sided account of a measure that could improve the lives and communities of more than 700,000 Marylanders.
Something on this list just might help you to save a soul
Every day, 18 veterans commit suicide. Every week, thousands of American children commit economic suicide by quitting school.
Money wasted on roundabout could have been spent in city
When the idea of a roundabout on the Route 220 off Interstate 68, that was the biggest mistake the state had made.
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- Eventually, the maneuvering and lies will catch up with him