I Didn’t Miss THIS While I was in Taiwan

frost warning 001I mentioned the weather “score” the other day between where I lived last year (Taiwan) and where I live this year (Michigan). And some of my Taiwanese friends even commented on how cool the frost looked on the leaves.

Well, I’m here to tell you, it’s not so much fun on your car. Frost is not selective, so if your car is not parked in a garage, a heavy frost that covers leaves and trees will also come to rest on your windshield. Even though winter is not officially here, it gets cold enough some nights to be greeted by this phenomenon in the morning.

So while I didn’t even miss driving during the six year in Taiwan, I REALLY didn’t miss removing ice from the windshield. This morning was the third time I found my vehicle like the picture above. The first time was a couple of weeks ago. I scraped the windshield (the first time after six years of never having to do it). The second time was on Monday when I posted the “lovely trees,” I took the pictures for this post at the same time, but didn’t use them until today, which made the third time I’ve scraped. And to think this is only November 11.

So what does it mean to scrape a windshield? You use a little tool with a really special name–ice scraper. 🙂 It has a plastic handle with a plexiglass blade that you can use to remove the thin layer of ice from the windshield or other window. Here is a picture of the ice scraper on the windshield at the beginning of the process.

frost warning 003Here is the windshield nearly half done.

frost warning 007.I have to admit it hasn’t been THAT bad scraping the windshield so far, it mainly involves either allowing extra time in the morning or arriving at my destination ten minutes later. However, as the temperatures get lower when winter actually arrives, the ice gets a little more tenacious or at least thicker. Thicker ice means having to scrape harder and longer to get the same results.

So, to all my friends in Taiwan, I hope you enjoy this little trip into the dipping temperatures in Michigan. So far, I don’t mind it too much, but I imagine that the novelty will wear off this little ritual long before the spring thaw.

What else would you like to know about Michigan, winter, the US? Post your questions, and I may be able to provide a few other posts that contrast the differences between my two “homes.”

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6 comments on “I Didn’t Miss THIS While I was in Taiwan

  1. I got a giggle out of you explaining how to scrape a windshield (While also being reminded of former head coach Steve Mariucci once having to explain this to a group of warm weather, ice-virgin Detroit Lions rookies in training camp)…

    Since I work overnight and my car sits in a parking lot that frosts over even at the hint it might get below freezing, I got tired of this morning ritual and started buying that liquid window deicer to spray on the windows in lieu of several minutes of scraping in the cold. It works better than I thought it would…

  2. I had to laugh at this. My family moved to Phoenix when I was a teen so my only exposure to this was in my earlier years in New Mexico. I was young enough to think window scraping was fun, and my parents didn’t bother to tell me it wasn’t 🙂

  3. I normally park in a garage but my car stayed outside at D’s house last weekend, the same weekend we had our first heavy frost. And since I’m driving a “new” vehicle I was without a scraper since I hadn’t thought to toss one in the back yet. Fortunately my defrost works wonderfully and he helped clear the rest. Nothing quite like winter in the Midwest though!

  4. At some point while I lived in Minnesota, I managed to buy a scraper with a copper blade, which is so much better than those plastic ones (they’re barely a step above using a credit card). Having discovered how good it was, I wanted to buy others for friends but never did manage to find them again. If you see one, though, grab it. As long as it isn’t mine.

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