Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Driving in a Winter Wonderland

Which would be worse - being in Oz and overdosing on Oprah Winfrey and her traveling road show or being in Vermont overdosing on snow and cold? Believe me, as much as I don't like the show I would sit through 12 straight hours of Oprah rather than deal with this wintry stuff that I have all but forgotten about. At least Oprah might send us to some place warm.

My wife and mother are both calling me a big wuss, but I am not handling the freezing temperatures very well. Not to mention all the other nice things that come with this season, such as a noncommittal head cold. You know the kind - it won't get serious enough to make you really sick for a day or two and then leave, but instead remains at the annoying level of runny nose and scratchy throat for day after day. And all the while you can see everyone calculating how far away from you they need to be.

And then there is winter driving.

It's hard to believe that I lived my first 40 years in this type of weather and would not have been fazed at all to take the car out on a night like last night. But no more. LK and I stopped by Bob and Deb's last evening, and our visit hadn't even lasted an hour when I noticed the concern on Linda's face as she kept looking out to see the swirling gusts of snow, which was coming down pretty heavily.

I may not always be good at noticing her body language and its message, but this time the thought came through loud and clear. It's tough enough to drive in these conditions when you're out of practice, but I really did not want to be stuck in a ditch listening to LK explain that she had urged me to leave earlier. We left early.

Which was good, because last night was my first chance in 20 years to drive on snowy roads with ice in spots underneath the snow. I didn't do too badly, although it's hard to screw up driving when you're only puttering along at about 25 miles per hour and there are only a handful of other cars stupid enough to be out at that time.  A few times I could feel the car skidding a bit as I braked, and that led me to start slowly braking about a block from any intersection. As I said, several people have begun to notice that in the winter I become a wuss.

Of course, there is an upside. Winter in Vermont can be postcard pretty, and after a big, fresh snow the landscape is gorgeous. No need to drive far today, thank God. And tomorrow we should have clearing weather when we begin our trip back to Pittsford to Peg's. Of course, the way the weather has been behaving so far, there's no guarantee that forecast is going to hold, either.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank god! A new blog. Was starting to wonder if you' died! love from sunny ( and rainy, and windy,) Victoria