Look at what the weatherman dragged in. It looks a lot like one of those old winter storm warning charts being recycled from last year, but it's a brand spankin' new one for this year.
It's no Superstorm Sandy, but I see trouble ahead in this wintry area. Perhaps you'll recognize yourself from this list:
Several people's cars won't start. Need new batteries.
Some people will discover they need better tires for the icy conditions, while some will discover that they simply forgot how to drive safely on bad roads — but they will blame their tires. All of them will feel bad about the damage to the other guy's fender.
Someone will discover that their favorite gloves have become their favorite glove, and yet they won't throw it in the garbage in disgust because they know in these temps at least one hand has to run the window scraper, and it's best that hand be protected.
By the way, at least one person's window scraper is going to break, but that's the real reason we have driver's licenses: backup ice scrapers.
Someone's child is going to stick his or her tongue to a metal pole — hopefully at school where they have procedures in the emergency handbook to take care of that, and at the very least, the other children will learn a valuable lesson. (Thank you Lynn Anderson of my childhood for saving your fellow third-graders from taking up that dare.)
Someone will discover that the heat tape on the pipes is not plugged in.
Someone who moved up here from warmer climates will discover why all the vehicles have electrical cords dangling from the engine compartment.
That's OK if they didn't know, because at least one person who's lived here all their life won't have their extension cord plugged in properly.
And who knows how many people will discover that they lost, broke or loaned out their extension cord, snow shovel or pitchfork (the last problem will be discovered while being mobbed by hungry livestock).
Plus, 3.52 people out of 43 will forget to take time to warm up their car. (I will be one of them, but my car will be toasty anyway because my awesome husband won't be.)
At least one event will have to be canceled. Sorry, but I hope it's yours and not mine.
Someone, somewhere, is going to be in deep trouble when his or her loved ones figure out he or she consumed the last of the hot cocoa mix, but did NOT put it on the grocery list.
Who knows how many parents are going to find out that their kids no longer fit their winter boots and have to be sent out into the wet and cold in tennis shoes. Don't worry, and don't put plastic bags over their feet. They're kids, they're resilient, besides they'll also lose one of their mittens from the only pair that still fits them, so their parents can blame them in part for the trip to go emergency winter clothes shopping.
And y'know, don't you, that for every 1,794 people who are complaining about the cold, miserable weather, 2.6 people are gleefully checking their ice houses or their skis to make sure they're ready for fun and adventure when this wintry mess has set in to stay a spell.
Me? I'm all stocked up on cocoa, and I'm pretty sure my pitchfork is in one of three places. If not, I wanted to drive in to the local farm and ranch supply this weekend anyway. I really did.
(Never hurts to have extra tools to lose at email@example.com.)