The hardest part is getting out to the roads, but it still doesn't get much easier.

After a collective household effort of shoveling, snowblowing and ice scraping, I made the mile-something drive this morning to get the wonderfully industrious high school senior to her job at Knollwood.

It's retail, people. And this is December.

St. Louis Park has a rep for quick and repeated plowing, which means that when you get the plowed snow clear from the end of the driveway, you're pretty much good to go.

But the visibility is terrible.

Let me repeat, visibility is bad because the snow is already blowing pretty good -- and some people either have to be or want to be out driving in this stuff.

The wannabes are not doing anyone a favor.

Just because you see a car drive by doesn't mean it's a good idea to join them right now.

On Hwy. 7, between Hwy. 100 and Blake Road at around 9:30 a.m., drivers were going around 20 mph and had a good sense of we're-all-in-this-together. The parking lot at Knollwood is being plowed, but there were snow piles to avoid. It took some creativity for another driver and myself to navigate a corner -- the other one backing up so I could turn left and then me blasting through some snow in low gear so he could make a right. Then a big circle so I could get out the way I came into the mall. (Carefully.)

I'm home ... with plans to stay here for now. The shovel is warming up in the garage.

- Howard Sinker