Sunday, December 28, 2008
Last week, to anyone who would listen or who was trapped by circumstances and forced to listen, I issued my usual smug assertion about how "I have been driving on snow and ice for umpty-ump years and have never had a problem..."
Several decades ago I lived in Cheyenne, Wyoming and it was there I turned 16 during a January blizzard. My uncles Bill and L.C., themselves just kids in their 30's, took me out and showed me the ropes about driving on snow and ice. In Cheyenne in January, there really isn't any other choice.
My lessons were basically two:
1. Drive slow, even especially when it seems like everyone else is moving along at the speed limit.
2. Keep your foot off the brake. If you must use it to stop, tap tap tap, never mash the brake on snow and ice.
In case of skid or slide, turn the wheel toward the slide. Uh huh.
There were other things they taught me as well, eyes must always be moving; rear-view mirror, side mirrors, side of the road, ahead and behind - always know what is around you and where it is. Driving the way they taught me earned a lifetime of no accidents, no tickets, no squishing of small animals. And I really felt I knew my way around ice and snow and the road.
Until now. In my own driveway. I apologize for my arrogance and thank you for not saying whatever it is you're thinking, for even after the snow melts, I will need a tow truck to get me out. Lesson learned.