Hell Is… Driving In The Snow

Driving in the snow sucks.  It’s truer than my cats emerald-green eyes.  Unless you are driving a Hummer or some sort of four-wheel drive monster, the conditions on the road are down right scary.

I do not drive a huge snow crushing machine.  I cruise a front wheel drive 1999 Pontiac Grand Am.  Which I now know as, my potential death trap in the snow.

This past weekend, which was Christmas weekend, it snowed here on the East Coast.  I live in a small borough in Bucks County.  Now, you’d think that living in a higher tax region would enable residents, such as myself, to better road conditions in inclement weather.

Not so fast there, Sparky.

The roads are barely plowed.  The hills that I have to climb every morning on my way to work were more like greased flag poles.   My guess, as I am sliding around while white knuckling my steering wheel, was that the plowing went on when there was about an inch or so of snow on the ground.

I make it up the hill while my breakfast is churning in my stomach.  I really think this is awesome.  Really.

Now I am on Route 413, which is okay.  Okay until I get to the down-slope that curves under the freight train bridge.  The road narrows as the road winds under the bridge and I realize, as I say rapid prayers in my head, that I have not exhaled since I passed through the last intersection about two miles back.

I make it through that treachery while one of those giant snow gobblers is riding my ass.   I say prayers again that I won’t have to stop suddenly because not only will I slide into who knows what, but surely the mammoth of a truck behind me will crush me.

When I get to Route 332, it is pretty smooth sailing.  I have to make a left at Richboro Road.   That goes unexpectedly well and I am starting to breathe calmer for the first time since i left my apartment.

“I got this,” I think.  Then I remember the mother of all hills.  As I drive up Richboro Road, I notice that the hill I feared so much is actually plowed and salted.  There is not a flake of snow on it and I briefly entertain the thought that it was possibly heated like those streets in Norway.   I chuckle and speed up a little.

I was not going to be late!

As I near the top of the hill, there is a road block.  There is a police officer there directing traffic to the left, through the Council Rock High School Road.

I turn my GPS on because I’m not sure how to get to the office from there.  I just know that at some point I have to go in the direction I had been traveling previously.

So there I am, trudging along.  The road is not plowed at all and I am trying to maintain a decent speed to keep my momentum.

I see the giant football field on the left, the school to the right and I also see the car to the right.  I look ahead and see the stop sign intended for that car.  The driver in that car, like a lot of drivers these days, is sitting at the stop sign, watching me approach.  The driver waits until I am about forty feet from the middle of the intersection and pulls out.

I curse.  I slow down.  And yes, I get stuck.


I throw it in reverse.  Back into drive.  Into low. I turn the wheel.  The whole time I am just spinning my wheels going nowhere but deeper into the mass of snow that is trying to swallow my poor Pontiac.

I get out of the car.  I have no shovel.  I have not even a small sand bucket left over from the lost days of summer.  I have my hands.  That is all I have.

So there I am.  On my knees, scooping the snow out from under my car like a dog digging a hole for a bone.  I can imagine the dog was much happier in his digging.

Luckily, two nice people in two separate vehicles, both of which are Ford Explorers, come to my rescue with shovels.

I thank them repeatedly like some sort of broken record and, with their help, I am able to get my car out of the snow.  I think momentarily to stop, get out and say thank you.  But, I fear getting stuck again so I just beep, wave and get my ass out of there.

I make it to work in one piece.  When I get into the parking lot at the office, I remember that I need oxygen to function effectively, and exhale long and slow.

Snow was so much more fun when I was a kid.

Author: D. A. M. Steelman

I could get through life just fine quoting heavy metal lyrics.

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