…in winter, that is!
It takes a practice to drive in snow, sleet, and ice. This winter being so mild, I’ve been out of practice. I didn’t realize how much until Friday, when I drove to my parents’ house. Snow was coming down lightly, but the roads were clear.
As usual, I was using the Driving Like an Old Lady Technique, a skill that has made me a favorite among designated drivers and owners of sports cars.* Not to disclose all the secrets of this mysterious art, but suffice to say that it involves sticking to the left lanes. I get to my destination in a timely manner, but with 1/3 the road rage.
As an additional advantage, I have more time to contemplate life in all its glories. In fact, here’s a haiku I wrote:
Passed recklessly, now stopped ahead of me at light? Idiot driver!
-Jean Balconi, 15 febrero 2016
I took 475 as a shortcut through Flint.** An SUV passed me, and we both were overtaking a semi (or “semi truck tractor trailer” to cover the bases for my readers). Then the SUV driver slammed on the brakes, making me touch mine to keep my distance. I wasn’t sure what was happening in front of the SUV.
Then he disappeared.
A moment later, everything disappeared. It was a white-out, which is the snow equivalent of a sudden torrential downpour. My first instinct was to slow down and pull over – a really stupid instinct, since there was a semi in the right lane.
I slowed down, but not to a crawl – I had no idea what speed demon might be driving in the open road behind me. Luckily came out on the other side of the white-out fairly soon. My heart was pounding for a while after that!
On the drive back to La Casa de Tontería yesterday, the conditions were much worse. The radio forecaster and traffic reporter warned that it was a “both hands on the wheel” day – highways closed to the west and freezing rain fell on Metro Detroit. But funny enough, I found the drive much easier because my winter-driving skills had returned. Not unlike the bicyclist remembering how to pedal and balance.
*Although I have not yet taken Sissy up on her offer to let me drive The Jag. I have, however, driven a BMW – and a moving truck.
**Yes, that Flint. The Flint Water Department water tower never looked sinister to me before.