There’s something really empowering about driving through snow. You get out of your car like you’re home from the Crusades, weary, in need of rest and nourishment, but can hold a room captive with your stories of glory and peril.
Usually people drive like there is no snow on the ground and there’s no such thing as black ice, continuing to drive 50 in the 35 mph zone. As they pass you, they look to see if there’s something wrong like you’re having a heart attack and aren’t pushing down on the accelerator hard enough. When they see both hands on the wheel, they peel away–scaredy cat. I’ve been passed by these people on country roads, only to pass them a moment later in a ditch.
I like it when we drive like we’re all in this together; if we all move slowly, we’ll figure out what’s going on, and not bump into each other, okay? Okay. And so we all putter around at a death-defying 15 mph, exhaling as we press down on the brakes well in advance in case we need to slide to a stop. We’re all a little more forgiving at intersections, understanding the people who come to a complete stop may need a couple more seconds to get going again. Sometimes if no one else is coming you can “pause” and keep going. One of my favorites is it’s your time to go across, so you gently press down, and you start going sideways. Everyone on the other three stops just look at you.Sometimes you see a sympathetic face but most of the time it’s “Come on, really?”
There’s also the snow roller coaster, a bridge that goes over a highway. Yesterday as I began my descent I watched three cars coming down. The first and last car were just taking their time. The driver in the middle car gripped the wheel and clenched their eyes. I made it to the top and didn’t have to accelerate down the other side because gravity had that taken care of. I looked in my mirror as I was off the bridge. An SUV just made it to the top and began its descent. Slowly its hind end came into sight and it continued to slide down the bridge sideways. I decided to accelerate.
The joys of winter driving. Keys are to go slow, play music, and sing loudly.