Monday, December 15, 2008

On the road again and again...

Share your driving-in-snow horror story but first read about mine:

Every winter I get the overwhelming urge to hibernate. Give me a book to read and some yarn to knit and I’m totally happy. (Come spring, I’m climbing the walls and desperately in need of a trip. Yeah, I’m more seasonal than a fashion catalog.) The idea of attending a social event in the middle of winter is less than thrilling, especially in the evening. It’s cold. It’s dark. Enough said.

The holiday party for my writing chapter rolled around, so I pushed myself to go. The weather report didn’t call for any bad weather, so I had no excuse not to.

I drove 40 minutes to be confronted with downtown parallel parking in a quaint, historic town. After driving out of the main thick of things, I managed to find a spot I could manage to pry my truck into. Next hurdle: the hostess’ house was above a store. Once a harried clerk led me through a maze of hallways and stairways, I finally arrived.

As soon as I did, I was glad I’d come. It was perfect. Beautiful historic home decorated with holiday cheer. All sorts of good food laid out. (Someone even put warning signs on the food with nuts in it, saving my allergic body much digestive misery.) Conversation was great. Several of my friends were there and I even made a new one.

There was just one teensy-weensy problem. It started snowing. Hard. No biggie, I thought. If it was supposed to be bad, the weather report would’ve said so. Besides, I had 4-wheel drive and had driven successfully before in snow. (One of those times was a fancy holiday party where I drove home in an elegant, backless evening dress with big furry snow boots on my feet and white knuckles on the steering wheel.) Thank goodness I wore something much more comfortable this time.

After a couple of hours it was still snowing, so I headed home around 5pm and faced the worst snow drive of my life. The snow froze to the road in a sheet of ice. No fluffy stuff blowing around. No Styrofoam-like stuff to plow through either. Not even slush. ICE.

The road I was on was closed from an accident. After waiting half an hour, I turned around and went the opposite direction I needed to go. At the next exit, I took a gas and potty break (2 excellent decisions) and got back in the right direction.

The interstate was so slick my 4WD didn’t do diddly squat. The car beside me lost control and the back end came flying toward me. Luckily, I was able to duck into the next lane. After that, I passed a motel exit and seriously considered it. No, I wanted to go home so I could get up bright and early the next day to write. If I don’t write in the morning, I don’t write at all.

Besides, horror of horrors, I had no reading material with me. I would’ve been bored silly. (In hindsight, I should’ve stopped so I could’ve been bored silly on a nice comfortable bed instead of strapped into the driver’s seat inhaling everybody’s carbon monoxide.)

When I got to the interchange for the exit I needed to get home, it was closed too. After at least half an hour of watching people slide, hearing them cuss, and getting nearly run over by fire engines, I took the road that looked open. Plan B: forget going home and stay with family members instead.

Barely two miles into it, THAT road closed. And I sat and sat for hours. I called everybody to let them know where I was and hoped I wouldn’t get the urge to pee too badly. Watching various male drivers run to the side of the road didn’t help. I have a bad back and sitting upright for hours without moving usually means I pay for it later. I couldn’t take a nap because every hour or so we had to put it into Drive and move a whole foot forward.

I finally arrived at Plan B house after 10:30pm for a grand total of 5 hours on the road. I saw one snow plow the whole night. Where were they???

From now on, if I plan to go to a party and see so much as one flake of snow -- I’m not going!

So share your driving-in-snow horror story!

Afton Locke
Unlock your darkest fantasies…
Cicada - Ellora's Cave - ISBN #9781419919411

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