As my wife has a craft business she works at home. While she routinely goes down to the Four Seasons swimming pool in Moundsville to swim her 1.5 miles (2.5 K) that is discretionary and when the roads are bad she doesn’t need to go.

In the past I also had no need to go anywhere if the roads were snowy and icy but that paradigm has shifted with the dialysis.  Now I HAVE to go 3 days a week regardless.

I went out shopping for tire chains but was surprised to find them unavailable in any local retail store. This meant when we had a rain that turned to ice followed by 6 inches (15 cm) of snow I was ill prepared.

The first night I came home I got to about Sherrard on Rt 88 and suddenly felt the car slip sideways. It was before the snow and there was black ice, one of those conditions where the road looked clear but was covered with a sheet of ice.

Our Kia Soul has an elapsed time meter built in so I have calibrated the landmarks on my trip. It usually takes 8 minutes from the Halcyon Hills cemetery on Rt 88 to my home but even taking 20 minutes to make that portion of the trip I was still occasionally sensing a sideways slip.

The next trip in I went Rt 250 all the way to Moundsville and then Rt 2 to Wheeling. This added 6 minutes to the trip but our experience has shown us that those roads are usually cleaner and snow plowed more often than Rt 88.

I did order some tire chains from the internet but they haven’t arrived yet so I went ahead and got a new set of snow tires and had them studded.   These are little metal studs they pneumatically impaled into the tire itself that will give some grip on ice.

studded tires

While I was there someone asked about getting studs on all four tires but the guy advised not to. He said, and it had happened to his sister, that if you had studs all around and went to hit your brakes suddenly on dry pavement, you could end up skidding so best just to put them on your drive wheels.

Speaking of our Kia Soul, here is how we decorated it for Christmas.

kia Soul with wreath

Years ago I used to go up to Washington, DC after the growing season was done and drive delivery truck from Thanksgiving through Christmas.  There it is  a local custom to put wreaths on the grill of your vehicle and I liked it so have done it ever since.

We put it on before Christmas then leave it on through Christmas. While for consumers Christmas ends once they get through the preholiday coveting and they get their stuff, the 12 Days of Christmas  run until Epiphany, Jan. 6th so I leave the wreath on until then.

Speaking of decorating, here is a family of gourd snowmen scarecrows Vidya put out.


This is a new product for her for next year. While she has a lot of different scarecrows already, the snowmen are new.