Oh the Weather Outside Is...


Somebody mentioned to me yesterday that having grown up in the cold and rain and snow of Michigan and Ohio I should love Winter.

I think she was kidding.

Winter? Really?

Again - YEACH!

Is there anything good about Winter besides hockey season? We know how to make ice indoors now you know.

Oh wait - something called Christmas? and New Years you say and the warmth of a fire and Oh alright, alright - I don't hate winter for the cold or the snow or the rain anyway.

Here's why I hate winter -

I can't drive in it.

Really, that's it. The one and only reason I hate winter.

Oh, don't get me wrong, I'm not a fan of shoveling snow - but I remember building caves in the snow mounds our shoveling had created during a good old fashioned Michigan winter. I also remember a couple times we made some serious dough shoveling snow. (Hey, check me out - I'm a poet. Wish I'd done that on purpose.)

Sledding, snow men, snow angels, (Hey a little I.G. for the man, it hasn't been out in a while), hot chocolate, marshmallows, big woolen socks, big strong and heavy boots, Tuques, mittens, idiot mittens, Gloves and yes even special gloves.

All crazy cool stuff - until you have to drive in it.

Some folks are better than others driving in the snow. Some folks are crazier than others, and some folks are just plain stupid. Yeah, it had to be said.

Me - I'm just not good at it. Never have been. Not sure I ever will be.

Frankly, at this point in my life I have a hard time driving in a hard rain storm. Out traveling in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike last fall a gust of wind hit the car. I drove straight across 3 lanes of traffic and gave the steering wheel to my lovely wife.

That's right - I'm not just bad at driving in the snow, I'm also afraid.

I wasn't always afraid, but one morning last winter coming into downtown on I 670 I got caught in some stop and go traffic in the middle of a snow storm.

My little truck, (which weighs about 3 pounds on ice) and I were having some difficult to begin with - a little fishtail, a little tirespin, and a little sliding and then...

Cresting the top of the 670 turn into downtown my truck decided it was going to not just fishtail and not just slide. No, instead we were going to slide sideways entirely.

Now, I'll grant you that I was only going about 5 miles an hour and there were plenty of cars and barriers around to break our fall as it were. I wasn't worried about that.

I was worried about the semi that was bearing down on my passenger door as I started to slide sideways back across traffic.

I did what I think anyone would have done. I slammed my foot on the accelerator as fast as I could, caught some semi dry pavement and gunned my way to the exit ramp, horns honking at me all the way.

I made it to work, but had to sit in the truck for 10 minutes while I stopped shaking. I took a little inventory, calmed myself down and thought I would be fine.

I've never been the same behind the wheel of a vehicle again.

So there you have it. It's not winter I hate after all.

It's the wintry roads.

How do you feel about winter?


DeborahD said...

OK, I am so with you. I love winter. I love the icicles, the snow, the smell and yes, even on some days the bone-chilling cold. It's just so clean and pure. Except for the roads. Growing up in Minnesota I got used to driving in snow, and am actually quite good at it. After all we did it almost 11 months of the year (joke), but I've had more than my share of heart stopping slides in cars and trucks. The worst one was a rollover in Barron Co. Wisconsin, where we hit black ice and rolled 7 times. The Sheriff said the only thing that saved us was our seatbelts and the decorative rollbar on my now-husband's truck. Truck totaled. Us - well, we never drive without our seatbelts, never, ever.

mbk said...

I've always lived in Ohio and during my childhood had a great time making snow fort and ice slides. However, now I seem to get frostbite almost when I scrape my car windshield when wearing gloves. My solution is I keep a warmer set of gloves that are not good for driving in my car so I can scrape my winds then switch to my other driving gloves so I can gripe my wheel with my knuckles tight if the roads are bad.

So, yes I hate winter too. Not to mention the fact that it means the end of college football season.

Julie said...

I hate the cold. The snow is pretty and playing in it is fun as long as I am warm. But if I feel cold, I'm miserable.

Now since I seem to be part furnace, I usually don't feel cold as quickly as others. But once I'm cold, I want to be warm and fast.

I hate driving in crappy weather. Any kind of crappy weather. But I really hate driving in crappy weather when other people are driving too--which means anytime. People in Columbus don't know how to drive in crap. They either go way too fast or way too slow. If it precipitates in any way shape or form, Columbus drivers slow to a crawl. I drives me nuts.

I'm not saying pedal to the metal even if it's raining. I'm saying look at what's going on around you and be careful and drive similarly to those around you. I'm betting that if everyone else can manage 55 on the freeway, old guy in the lane next to me could break higher than 35. Sheesh.

Um sorry about the soapbox....

Just because it's bad out doesn't mean that people won't do freaky things. Just the other day Rick and I were driving in to work. Some bozo ahead of us on 70 West thought it would be cool to turn his car 90 degrees and go straight across 4 lanes of traffic. His car actually went airborn as it sailed over the ditch and into someone's fence. I get all freaked just thinking about it. I have no idea how he managed to not get hit.

Hmmm, more babbling. Sorry

So yeah, I hate winter and the freak drivers out there.

And I'm with you--let the spouse drive. Because the car acts as a giant sleep aid for me. Sleeping and driving really don't mix.

Kelly Syferd said...

I am with you. I hate driving in it. I can do it if I have to, but it is so not an enjoyable time for me. I love to sit inside and watch the snow or get all bundled up and play with the kids in the snow but this ice is for the birds.

LizinNY said...

At least you found a number of things to like, Jim. I pretty much hate all of it. And I don't even have to drive (which would inevitably make it worse - I remember). Cold, gray days, long nights, bulky clothes, snow that quickly turns to ugly slush in the city.

On the glass-half-full side; having spent a few years in California, I never appreciated the other three seasons the way I do back east. That whole "must have the bad to appreciate the good" thing. The first spring day is all the sweeter for the slog. (At least I try to remind myself of this, especially during what my family calls "Big Jan" - the worst month of all!)

Red wine and fireplaces. There. That's something I like about winter!

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Jim Brochowski said...

DeborahD Thank goodness for rollbars eh?! Thanks for sharing that story.

mbk - Ah, mourning the loss of our friend NCAA football. Me too. I hear you about frostbite. Fortunately, i seem to have developed some uh, insulation over the last years. Lol!

Julie - You can pull up your soapbox on The Life of Jimmer anytime you like. You're saying what I'm feeling there. I think people should have to have a "driving in snow" certification on their license. Of course, I might not get one then. ;-)

Kel - You got it. Beautiful to watch. Fun to play in. Driving is for the birds. Unless you need some coffee right? ;-)

Liz - Slog - great word. I'm adding it to the "to be used list" if that's okay. Wine,(I prefer white) and fireplaces - beautiful image. Just called Netter and asked her to bring some more wood inside.

Great thoughts and stories. Thanks for sharing.

Cat said...

Yea, I hate driving in weather, too. I used to be good at it, but something happened along the way and it always makes me WAY nervous. Sigh. I hate that I hate it, too.

And - OMG _ you got a spam comment! How weird is that!?!?!?

Jim Brochowski said...

I knew it wasn't just me. This feels much better.

I have no idea about the spam thing Cat. I took the letter check step thingy, (technical term) off so it would be easier for people to comment.

Now, every so often I get the spam or a comment from someone called gooooooooood girl.

Could be worse. Netter got a comment from a guy that basically said "Hi, I'm here to ask you to come read my blog."