Slicin’ Sand

I created traction by spreading sand on the ice-covered driveway.

I created traction by spreading sand on the ice-covered driveway.

Snow and ice are no day at the beach, at least for a Gulf Coast boy like me. So here I am in Nashville, Tennessee where we have to deal with it every year (which makes me wonder why people in Nashville always say, “We’re not used to this”). But the February, 2015 batch thrust upon us has been unusually harsh and lengthy.

Streets are dangerous but there have been moments when they were fairly safe to drive and anticipating that I would need to get out of the house at some point, I parked my car on the street instead of in the garage one night. The driveway is on an incline and I thought driving up and down an ice-covered driveway wouldn’t be wise.

The garage is a luxury I had never experienced until I moved into my current home in 2004. Growing up, my family had unenclosed carports. As an apartment dwelling adult, none of the complexes I lived in had any cover at all for vehicles. I did lots of ice scraping accompanied by language that could have turned the snow and ice from white to blue. My garage means a lot to me.

So the day after I left my car on the street, the roads were indeed passable enough for me to get out and procure certain necessities for the next round of cold weather. Dog food for the dog and eggs, milk, beer, shrimp to boil and Jack Daniel’s for me. You know – the stuff you need. But when I returned home, the inclined driveway was too slick to get the car into the garage. Traction just didn’t exist on it. I then decided to create some and turned around and went back out to Home Depot to see what they had. Every bit of salt and driveway ice prevention stuff was gone and all that was left was sand. In seventy-pound bags. I bought three and headed home.

I used this Flora Bama Lounge beer pitcher and spade to "slice and spread" the sand.

I used this Flora Bama Lounge beer pitcher and spade to “slice and spread” the sand.

The Home Depot man told me the easiest way to distribute it was to open the bags and pour sand into something you could use to spread it on the ice. When I got home, there in the garage were an old Flora Bama Lounge and Package Store beer pitcher and a garden trowel. If a beer pitcher could think, this one would probably feel very far from its Florida/Alabama beach home sitting there in the cold garage. But that pitcher had served me well in its original purpose and now, it and the spade would be my tools.

Click this photo for video of Elvis singing "Slicin' Sand" in Blue Hawaii.

Click this photo for video of Elvis singing “Slicin’ Sand” in Blue Hawaii.

As I dug the spade into the first bag of sand, I thought of a song from the 1961 Elvis Presley movie “Blue Hawaii” called Slicin’ Sand. It was in a dance scene featuring the King of Rock and Roll kicking sand around with a bunch of other young men and women at a beach party. There I was with my Flora Bama pitcher slicing sand from a bag in the frigid, Tennessee air. Not quite the same thing.

But I spread my traction and got the car into the fabulous garage, out of the elements (ironic, since the vehicle is a Honda Element, itself). Belle the Beagle, the Honda and I settled in for a night of

24 hours after the sand had been spread on the driveway, it was barely visible thanks to more snow.

24 hours after the sand had been spread on the driveway, it was barely visible thanks to more snow.

warmth as temperatures again plummeted. The next day, more snow covered up the sand I had carefully installed upon the driveway. But with nowhere to go and plenty of supplies, I was fine with that.

Text and photos copyright 2015 by Les Kerr.

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About Les Kerr

Les Kerr is a songwriter, recording artist, journalist and author originally from the Gulf Coast now based in Nashville, Tennessee. Learn More about Les at www.leskerr.com
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