Country Living Series

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

A really REALLY boring day

Yesterday we had the most beautiful snowfall. There was absolutely no wind, and the great big flakes came down gently. It wasn't very cold -- about 31F or so -- so we didn't have much accumulation, but it was just lovely.

Our firewood looked very picturesque.

Remember that humongous spider on our front porch last summer? A single leftover web strand collected ice like a jewel.

Lydia loves snow. She guarded it from the front porch (photo taken through a dirty window, sorry).

Major is very easy to spot in this kind of weather.

Snow just transforms everything into an art form, doesn't it?

Nevertheless, the first snowfall of the winter fills me with dread, because I know it means (ominous drum roll) getting our snow tires put on.

The hardworking folks at the regional Les Schwab tire center are understandably slammed this time of year, and it routinely takes eight or nine hours to get our tires on. This year we needed new studded tires anyway, so we couldn't even change them ourselves. Nor could we get studded tires on earlier, since both Idaho and (especially) Washington have strict cutoff dates, i.e. no studded tires before November 1 (or whatever). So...

...So this morning I left the house at 6:15 am and dropped the car at Les Schwabs before 7 am. You can see the orders on the desk of people who were ahead of me.

Then I walked across the street to this charming coffee house which, thankfully, was open at that hour.

The kind people who run this establishment are used to the Les Schwab refugees and never object to long-term patrons such as myself. When I walked in this morning in search of tea, the woman at the counter greeted me and asked what I would like.

"Something BIG and HOT," I replied.

"I'm sorry, we're all out of men," she quipped, which broke everyone up.

So this became my home away from home for the day.

I suppose there's one good thing about a boring, trapped-inside day: it forces me to do some computer projects I've been putting off (an article I needed to get written, my NaNoWriMo word count for the day, etc.)

As I post this, it's 2:45 pm and I'm guessing I have another two hours to go.


UPDATE: Night fell and I finally got the call my car was done at 5:10 pm. Over ten hours. What a day.

Thanks, Les Schwab guys. Your hard work is really appreciated.


  1. We got our tires changed over at the beginning of October trying to beat the rush. They are allowed Oct 1 thru April 30 in Idaho. WA cannot say anything if you have Idaho plates and have studded tires before their start date or after their off date. If they could, we wouldl all be screwed when they outlaw them over there, and I am sure they will do that because their DOT whines about it every year.

  2. This type of work is done by appointment where we live in Southern Illinois. FK

  3. My husband has worked for Les Schwab for 18 years now and his hardest days are the snow rush days and he always feels so bad about the long waits the customers have. I'm happy you didn't have to spend that long waiting in their waiting room and could be in a cozy coffee shop instead!

  4. One of my friends just got hers put on at the Moscow one today and it only took about an hour total, so she lucked out this year. But I know when I lived up there, the parking lot would be packed for several days straight when the first big snow dump would happen.

  5. The Les Schwab in Priest River isn't within walking distance to anything! I ended up in Ratdrum anyway. I don't know where you are in Idaho, but I feel like I could have written the post on winter clean up. Nice to 'meet' you.

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  8. Love the pictures!!! Wish we lived in a snow area but alas we
    Must stay where the husbands job is..maybe one day

  9. Not much accumulation!?!?!? That would have shut us down in Alabama for a week! LOL... Beautiful pics! I thought having to wait two hours the other day for tires was a drag... geesh...

  10. Patrice,

    We don't have a Les Schwab here in this part of Oklahoma.
    We're constantly using Discount Tire.
    Now that is a beautiful coffee shop you waited in while waiting on your car. It's great to have something open that early to enjoy some nice tea or coffee in the morning instead of waiting at the tire shop.

  11. I've decided to scout around for a set of used rims and have our next set of snow tires mounted so we can just swap them out ourselves.

    Major looks like he feels the same way I do about that first snow. lol

    I wondered about y'all yesterday morning when I got up and found ice everywhere. Today we're back to cold and rainy.

    Good fish smoking weather.


  12. When we lived in Idaho, my husband went to the junkyard & bought a 2nd set of rims for both cars, on which the studded snow tires resided. When we needed new studded tires, all he had to do was drop off the rims, any time of year, & have them done. Picked them up a couple days later. Changed out the tires at home as soon as we wanted after Oct 1st. The convenience of being able to change them ourselves year after year was well worth the price of the extra rims, & the tires on the rims took no more storage space than before.

  13. Gotta say, several hours in a coffeehouse with nobody to bug me, sounds like a little slice of heaven right now. TEN hours of waiting is exhausting, though, no matter how nice the surroundings.

  14. Great photos. Perfect snow. Why is it perfect? It's up in Idaho. Good place.


  15. So good to see Major still living the good life after working so hard for so many years! Lydia looks happy as ever, too.

    Just Me

  16. We have all season tires which are sipped on our 4 wheel drives, they are on all year long. So no change overs, we live in Priest River, Idaho and yes Les Schwab gets crazy busy, glad we aren't part of that. My husband who plows snow for a living likes them much better than studded tires! I would not spend my whole day waiting for tires!!!!