Virginia Drivers Must Know How To Manage Ice

Published 10:25 am Wednesday, March 4, 2015

We found ourselves on the cusp of a snow and ice storm Sunday in northern Virginia, and I was plenty worried about getting back to North Carolina safely.

I was driving my wife’s car.

For years I had preached to my second born son not to crash Elizabeth’s “only mode of transportation” when he was driving her car.

He reminded me of those words before I drove into the ice Sunday afternoon. I felt the pressure.

An inch of snow fell in Round Hill, Va., early Sunday followed by sleet and freezing rain that crusted over into a slick mess. It was 26 degrees. A hundred miles south, temperatures were well above freezing, but we had to get to Winchester, Va., and Interstate 81 and then turn south toward warmer temperatures.

Shortly after I left my son’s house in Round Hill, his neighbor’s car — parked on a steep driveway — slid driverless on the ice and came to a stop in the middle of the street.

Oddly, I didn’t see a single wreck on the way home. No cars in the ditches. No crashes in the median.

Virginia isn’t just for lovers. Maybe drivers up there know how to manage the ice, too.

It was a pleasant and very brief visit. I thought of leaving at midnight on Saturday when I learned of the anticipated snow, but that would have meant driving about the same amount of time that I had spent with the granddaughters during the weekend.

I took up a little toy “Moo” box for the granddaughters to help school them in the proper way to sound like cows.

One of these days, I want to have enough time on a trip   to stop at the grave of Patsy Cline in Winchester. One of the bars we pass has advertised “Patsy Cline karaoke night.” I tune my iPod to all my Patsy Cline songs as we drive through town.

If I can teach the granddaughters to properly moo, certainly I can teach them the words to “Crazy.”

• • • • •

Turning the calendar to March almost seemed like closing the book on winter.

After a very pleasant Monday when temperatures climbed to the mid 60s, chickweed had already popped up in the back woods. The green tops of tulips appeared. And tiny buds are forming on the maples.

This promises to be a see-saw week with temperatures in the 30s on one day and in the 60s the next.

What a welcomed reprieve from the bitter cold of February.

• • • • •

Two of my favorite national columnists — Ann Coulter and Maureen Dowd — are miles apart politically. But they are both accomplished man killers with their pens, and they hate limp-wristed men of any political stripe.

Coulter this week laments the death of her mentor, M. Stanton Evans, an early conservative movement icon. He drafted the principles of conservatism that still endure.

The New York Times, in Evans’ obituary, recalled his words, “foremost among the transcendent values is the individual’s use of his God-given free will.”

When government meddles in the economy, he believed “it tends to reduce the moral and physical strength of the nation.” As for dealing with the Communist menace, he said the United States should “stress victory over, rather than coexistence, with this menace.”  Is there any wonder that he would give the same opinion of the ISIS murderers, Iran’s mullahs and the Islamic jihadists?

Finally, he said the Constitution is “the best arrangement yet devised for empowering government to fulfill its proper role, while restraining it from the concentration and abuse of power.”

— Dwight Sparks