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.