Friday, February 13

Frost Heaves

Number one, let me say that my town is great. I love that the elementary school where Jack has thus far been so happy is only 7 minutes away, and that we have a great rec field and playground only 5 minutes away. We have lakes to swim in, pancake breakfasts, and contest to see when an outhouse will fall into a frozen lake. When I stop at the gas station to get a cup of coffee in the morning I'm always bound to run into someone I know and can have a nice morning chat with. But we also have an exorbitant number of frost heaves. What are "frost heaves" you ask? In order to educate my loyal readers I will elaborate. Wikipedia defines them in the following way: Frost heaving (or frost heave) occurs when soil expands and contracts due to freezing and thawing. This process can damage plant roots through breaking or desiccation, cause cracks in pavement, and damage the foundations of buildings, even below the frost line. Moist, fine-grained soil at certain temperatures is most susceptible to frost heaving. In layman's terms, frost heaving causes your car to seem as if it is driving along an off road track full of pits, bumps and crevices. Seriously, at times I feel as though the wheels of the mini-van are just going to fall off. We're jostled all around town, wherever we go. And these craters rise up overnight. Where there was a smooth patch yesterday could easily turn into a bottomless pit that could swallow your car whole the next. So, although I'm not really complaining and do love my town because of its many wonderful qualities, the road conditions have become quite suspect. Due to the fact that we voted down some override or another a few months ago they are no longer "treating" some roads. This may explain why the van has gotten stuck more and more in the last few snowstorms. You just have to get used to being a more observant driver I guess. It is not at all unusual for me to yell to the backseat "hold on kids, its going to be a bumpy ride." Of course, I don't say it in a raspy Bette Davis kind of voice, at least not all the time.

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