One of my few regrets about moving to West Virginia is that my favorite discount department store, Ross Dress for Less, doesn’t come so far north.  (I was appalled to discover this when we took our son to college in Chicago and had to go to Target for dorm necessities.)  Today I discovered Gabriel Brothers, which not only has a better selection and better discounts than Ross, but is a West Virginia company, now spread to western Pennsylvania and the border states.  I got a set of peach long johns, all cotton and snuggly.  (No, no picture.) This was very handy, since the high today didn’t reach freezing, and it snowed.

We lingered a bit too long at Home Depot and Lowe’s, and got home just at that point where the roads are slick and the snow plows haven’t been.  Traffic was backed up past our house, and as we inched toward our driveway, an ambulance pulled into it.  But there was just enough room for us to pull into the garage, and the ambulance was leaving, happily empty, as we did.  As we walked to the house, a woman in the line of cars rolled down her window and asked “Is it bad?”  “I don’t know”  I said.  “We came from the other direction.”  “Do you live in that house?” she asked.  “I love that house.  I used to know the Tonkins.”  The Tonkins sold the house in 1978.  But everyone remembers them and the house.

Our picket fence is notorious because someone is always hitting it.  The chimney sweep, the electricians, the plumber, the floor guys, everyone tells us about the fence.   And everyone tells us the story about the car that hit the owner’s car in the driveway, which hit his wife’s, which went out the back of the garage.

Simg_0213_1ince we have been here, the wrecks on our curve have been on the other side, going downhill.  The first time it snowed, someone managed to flip over in the curve, with no injuries.  Robert looked out just after it happened, and the driver was standing next to the car, talking on his cell phone.

wreckThis evening, I stood in the den and watched the traffic clear, everyone going slowly and still sliding.  There were no cars in sight, and then a Chevy HHR came down hill past the house, way too fast.  When he slid out on the curve, he might have been ok, but a pickup coming up couldn’t get out of his way, even by going up on the sidewalk.  An ambulance was behind the pickup.  I turned away to tell Robert, and by the time we turned back, a third car going down had rear-ended the first one. Eventually a firetruck, an fire department emergency rescue vehicle, and a police car had accumulated.  There were, again, apparently no injuries.  This is the only way south on this side of town, so traffic must have been backed up to the middle of town; it took 10 minutes for it all to clear.