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  • Ashley

Learning to Drive on the Snow

Winter is in full swing.  It keeps snowing…. and then snowing some more.  Sometimes I think we might actually be living in a snow globe.

It’s seems like a cruel joke.  I wasn’t made for snow!  I was born and raised in the south, have lived on the equator, and spent most of my adult life in an area where the mention of flurries is reason enough to wipe the grocery stores out of bread, eggs, and milk.

Snow is pretty, but so are jellyfish.   I’m just saying.

But, here we are, practically living in the arctic.  Not that I’m not being dramatic about this at all.  Just stating the facts as I see them. Anyway, I have accepted that I need to adapt to our new environment.  My plan was to hibernate and only venture out if Eric could drive me.

“You’re a really cute chauffeur.”

Prince Charming refused to accept the job.

“You have to learn to drive in the snow,” he said and then sent me on my way to the grocery store.  “You can do this.  It will be good for you.”  So is running, but then there was that one day that I sorta, kinda, nearly died in a 5k.

“I don’t want to learn to drive in the snow! I’m fine being the way I am right now!  Really!  And the roads are so bad! There are already a few inches on the ground!”

Our eight year old chimed in and said, “That’s not bad for Michigan, Mom!”

Thanks a lot for the support, kiddo.

With a bit of attitude and sass, I grabbed my keys and headed out into the white expanse of ground that used to be a road. Fine.  I would do it, but he would be sorry if I ended up in a ditch!

The windshield wipers worked tirelessly to rid my view of snow, but to no avail.  The wind blew the falling flakes this way and that in an unorganized dance. My hands gripped the steering wheel and began to cramp.  Slowly,  I drove along and wished it were spring already.

Why I am doing this?  Food isn’t worth it! We can live on delivered pizzas all winter! Why are all of these crazy people out on the road?! It’s snowing, for crying out loud!”

Cars sped around and past my obnoxiously slow vehicle, their drivers oblivious to lady freaking out behind the wheel of the white minivan.

There were a few different route options to my destination. Each held different challenges to me, the inexperienced snow driver. The shortest route was not tempting as it would require me to navigate one winding, daunting curve. I would go the long way since it would only demand three basic turns.

I’m not sure what was worse – stopping, starting up again, or making a turn while praying that the car didn’t slide out of its lane.  What made the drive all the more unnerving was to see seasoned winter drivers stuck on the side of the road.  It proved my point.  I should be home.  Inside.  Safe.  NOT out on the roads!

Eventually, I made it home safely from my first winter drive. Unfortunately, there would be more.  Hibernation isn’t an option when we have a life to live.

I’m learning to take it slow, to let off the gas if the van starts to skid, and to give myself plenty of room to stop.  It’s fairly typical to see at least one car off to the side of the road.  I feel like it’s only a matter of time until that’s me – a rite of passage that is bound to happen sooner or later.  But, when it does, I’m confident that a good Samaritan will come along to offer aid just as I’ve witnessed others being helped. Because that is what people do here.

Just like a swimmer learns to watch out for jellyfish in the ocean, winter drivers navigate tricky roads as they go about their daily lives in this winter wonderland that I now call home.

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