Saturday, January 01, 2011


My ER census today, in four and a half hours, was a whopping 119, tied for the highest ever. Mind you, that's just the number of people to whom I offered chaplaincy services, and includes anyone at the bedside, not just patients; also, most of those folks politely declined a visit. Like every other department of the hospital, though, we're asked to do basic bean-counting.

The shift did include one critically ill patient who left the ER only to code upstairs (but who'd stabilized when I left, thank goodness). Overall, it was actually a pretty quiet shift, for being so busy: quiet for me, anyway -- certainly not for the medical staff! -- since only a couple of people asked for prayer. I kept busy ferrying warm blankets and cups of water, though.

Anyway, I'm certainly glad I went in. The weather was moderately cruddy this morning, and I thought about staying home, but my car managed to handle the few inches of snow, only skidding once. A few inches of snow may sound laughable, but this town's bad about plowing and sanding at the best of times, and of course today's a holiday. A friend from Vermont, who swears by her SUV, says she thinks it's more important to have 4WD here than in New England, where everyone's used to snow.

My car handles so badly in snow that I've started to think about getting 4WD myself, or at least getting snow tires. I really don't need to be making car payments now, though. Also, I really want my next car to be a hybrid, and I don't want an SUV. On the other hand, I also really want to be able to get around town from December to May (last year it snowed on May 21, the night before we left for our Alaska cruise).



  1. Anonymous7:12 AM

    I love, love, love my Ford Escape in the Iowa winters -- looks like a mini-SUV, is NOT a gas guzzler, and I think they have a hybrid model.....

  2. We live in Northern BC, and my husband commutes 57 km to work each way over wilderness roads that are rarely plowed before he heads out. We drive a jetta, and he can manage up to nearly 8 inches of snow on the road before he has to give in and call it a snow day. It's all about the tires. The car doesn't have 4wd, and we rarely use the anti-slip (actually often turn it off). We use studded tires, but good winter tires suited to your areas's type of snow (some get wetter, slushier snow as a rule, some have more ice...) will help even without studs. If your budget is tight, look into having good winter tires put on before you go truck shopping- we keep ours on a second set of rims so my husband can change them at home, which saves a bit of money. We run them October to May here, and often pass 4wd trucks and SUVs who aren't having such a safe, solid ride because they're trying to make do with all-season tires..

  3. With years in Chicago and Detroit (not to mention on the Mountain at Sewanee), as well as coping with snow and ice in Memphis, where they are pretty clueless about snow as a rule, I am convicted about front wheel drive. With front wheel drive and low gear, I'm good for up to eight inches or so. As I say often enough, I don't worry about the snow; I worry about the idiots.

  4. Oh, and by the way for almost 14 years that included a 94 Escort.


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