Thursday, December 6, 2007

Makes For a Scary Ride

There's nothing quite like taking your car out ice-skating, which is what I've been doing every time I've left the house in the last two days. It's less than a quarter mile before I hit mostly dry pavement again, but still. While I understand the city's logic in not plowing/salting my short cul de sac, it doesn't make for fun times. I've been commuting in this stuff for years and I know all of the Dos and Don'ts of winter driving; slow down, watch for ice on bridges, pump brakes and pray really, really hard--I still feel as though today is the day my bumper will meet a telephone poll every time I put the car in drive. There's something about ice that makes me feel so helpless and out of control whether I'm driving or walking on it. What's sad is the way I get over that fear. I tell myself, "Hey! It's not so bad if you total the car, that's what Gap Coverage is for!" Then I try really, really hard to ignore the next thought, that not only the car could be left beyond repair.

So, yep, you guessed it! I'm driving very slowly down my little cul de sac, and I'm gripping the wheel tightly, and I'm pumping those brakes as if my life depends on it until my wheels find asphalt again.

I know that I complained enough about the weather last winter to merit not living in Ohio anymore, perhaps even enough to move to a tropical climate, but the truth is I don't mind the winter. Snow is absolutely beautiful. When all of the rooftops and tree limbs are blanketed in white, and big, puffy snowflakes the size of quarters are falling so fast you can barely see two feet ahead of you--it's magical. Even the cold is tolerable most of the time. Each winter, usually in the very beginning, I feel as though even the blood running through my veins has turned to ice and all the J. Crew sweaters in the world could not warm me, but once I get beyond that initial shock I'm okay with the freezing temperatures. I mean, I am a girl who loves to hide behind bulky coats and scarves. I can't exactly do that in Hawaii.

What I don't like about winter is driving. I can recite all of those Dos and Don'ts to myself for the entire commute, and follow them mechanically, but the fear never goes away. No matter how many times I bring myself and the car back without a scratch I never feel like I have control. Although I obviously do have control, to an extent of course.

Anyway, my company's Christmas Luncheon is tomorrow. We work until noon, head to a restaurant, eat, and hopefully leave soon after. For the past three years I've had to face white-out conditions while driving home from the annual luncheon, so that early head-start has always been nice.

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