Tuesday, December 7, 2010

my alternate plan is to just drive behind a snowplow

It is cold here. 

COLD. 

It was so cold last night that when I got in the car after work and started my drive to school, I was afraid that my car singing might suffer due to the low temperature.  Luckily Old Blue has a very enthusiastic heating and cooling system, and the heat kicked in just as Tim McGraw came on the radio and I was able to perform a pretty impressive rendition of Indian Outlaw.  I followed that up with Step Into Christmas, because, 'tis the season.

On the way home from school a few hours later, it started to snow.  Even though I have had my license for five years, I have only driven in the snow once, and that was way back when I had my learner’s permit and my dad took me to the (empty) parking lot at the mall and had me perform all sorts of crazy car maneuvers amidst the snow and ice.   

Actually I don’t think there was any ice, but it sounded more dramatic with ice in there, so I’m running with it.  The goal of the outing was for me to become comfortable driving the car in snowy conditions, and so I could learn what to do if anything ever did go wrong.

One of dad's exercises required me to press the gas pedal until I was going at a pretty good speed, and then slam on the brakes while keeping the car under control.  Let me back up and say that I was not much of a fan of the gas pedal when I first had my permit.  The first time my dad took me out driving, he drove to an empty parking lot, put the car in park, and came around to the passenger side so I could get in the driver’s seat.  After he showed me how to adjust the mirrors and check out the RPM and other such technicalities, it was time to get the show on the road.  Literally.  I took a deep breath, put my foot on the gas pedal, and floored it. 

FLOORED. IT. 

Only problem was, the car was still in park.  That engine revved so loudly and I think my dad almost had a heart attack.  After he recovered from the shock of ALL THE REVVING, he calmly explained that it's beneficial to put the car in drive before enthusiastically slamming the gas pedal.


Lesson learned.

After my little mishap I was slightly gun shy about the whole gas pedal thing, so I spent the rest of the session just rolling from parking lot to parking lot, topping out at a whopping ten miles per hour.  I rolled around so slowly and for so long that at one point, a security officer stopped us and asked what exactly we were doing.  My dad explained that I was learning to drive, but apparently the security guard thought we were plotting to case the joint.  I can’t say that I blame him because it’s not often you see a red sports car rolling slowly and suspiciously around an office park early on a Sunday morning. 

After that first driving lesson ended, I’m sure my dad couldn’t believe his good fortune because he still had forty nine hours of rolling ahead of him!  Lucky for him, I got the hang of the gas pedal somewhere around hour three or four, and blossomed into the talented, skilled driver that I am today.  Five years later and I am ticket free!  And, if you don’t count the small setback I had involving some poorly timed steering and the garage door, I am accident free as well!

I seem to have gone a bit far afield.  My point is that since I have been away at school for the last four winters, I haven’t had another opportunity to drive in the snow since that afternoon in the mall parking lot.  That is, until last night. Although last night’s snow was so wimpy that it didn’t even stick to the ground.  It really just blew around fifteen feet above the road, so I was technically driving under it, not in it. 

But as soon as I saw the first few flakes last night, I tried to think of everything my dad taught me in that snowy driving lesson.  Chances are I will have to drive in some real snow this winter, and I will have to be ready.  And if I'm not, look for me pulled over on the shoulder of the highway, singing Indian Outlaw and waiting for spring to come around.

13 comments:

Sara said...

It is freezing where I am too! I guess it's sort of funny that you haven't driven in too much snow, but I've lived in the Midwest my whole life, so I'm used to it. I did however get into an accident when it was snowing. I hit the brakes and slid right into the car in front of me. And this was after I talked to my dad and he told me not to get into any accidents! I called him bawling. I'm a pretty cautious driver in the snow, but some people think because they grew up where there has always been snow, they know how to drive, fast and furious through it.

Things to Do said...

I spent my entire life in snow, but I swear I was away from it for 2 years and now I think i've become one of those people who can't drive in it anymore. How quickly I sold my midwestern roots out!

I laughed out loud at your comment about the cold affecting your car singing. Fantastic!

philmin9 said...

You are not accident free Laura. The red headed love of my life bears the dent on her front right quarter panel that YOU PUT THERE! BY HITTING A HOUSE!!

tegan said...

I could never choose a favourite friend either, though I must say I have a soft spot for Ross! We've had some snow here, but only for a couple of days - it's pretty much melted here now... luckily I don't have to drive in it! I love your blog! xo

Pia said...

Oh I hate driving when it snows...wait, I actually hate driving in general, but when it snows, I hate it even more!
Just this morning I had to drive through the snow to the dentist. I was driving so slowly, everybody kept passing me. Haha

Brooke said...

aww that's so sweet of your dad to teach you that! I was crazy with the gas pedal too at first. It seems like nothing now but when you first drive a car its a crazy feeling!

Jessica W said...

I tagged youuu in my post(:

sassyshoediary said...

Good luck! It sounds like your dad had a lot of patience and taught you well!

I am a big wussy when it comes to driving in the snow and especially ice. I used to be a Texas girl after all!

My Husband's Watching TV... said...

Its getting cold here and calling for snow this weekend. My hubs drives a snowplow so he could lead the way for you!

amanda said...

i adore the snow. but driving in it is no fun. flurries is fine...blizzards are not.

life is always okay when tim comes on the radio.

ACupOfJenn said...

I don't even drive. I'll have practice after I get my license because I'll be in the midwest. Thank goodness because I'll be coming back to AK where it's all about snow!

Jessica said...

I am so tired of the cold weather already! I wish it could be Christmas and be WARM. Living in Tennessee, I guess I can keep dreaming. And actually it's a very funny story about my two puppies getting along with the size difference and all. When we first brought Max home we were scared to death of how Roy would react. The funny thing was that Max was more aggressive than Roy! haha. They get along amazingly well. It's so funny to watch them wrestle and play. Max is ALWAYS the instigator!

7upkels said...

Haha sounds like me. Just drive behind the snow plow!