Monday, February 25, 2008

You know you're nearing the city when....

This past weekend, I took the three hour trek northwest to visit my folks. They live up in the country, out among the rolling hills of Ontario and the mooing cows. (And the damn crowing roosters.)

Driving home, while long and somewhat tiresome, is one of life's little pleasures for me. I feel at peace speeding along the country roads, farm and forests for kilometers beyond my imagination. On these wintry days when the snow covered fields are kissed by the shining sun, I want to pull over and stare across the landscape, soak in every sight to be had and breathe deep the fresh air.

The lack of traffic is another bonus on the drive home. The farther I get away from the city, the more it becomes just myself and the open road. The other cars I do encounter are either speeders such as myself, or lackadaisical drivers in their pick up trucks enjoying the beauty of nature -- drivers who are easy to overtake on the two lane highway.

The drive back to the city, however, is a different story. I leave behind me the horses braying in the paddocks on the side of the road, the freedom of space, the notion that a simple life is a good life. I also leave behind me drivers who drive like me. Confident with weather change, accustomed to snow drifts, a natural ease of rough driving.

The first half of my drive home found a couple dozen small snow drifts across the road. With such open fields, snow drifts are to be expected. There I was, popping along in my pregnant rollerskate of a car, on the tail of a farmers pick up, at about 115km/hr. Not terribly fast, but fast enough for the rural life. The impeding snow drifts made us ease up to about 110km/hr. Behind this pickup, I felt confident about my safety and skill.

Eventually, I parted ways with the pickup truck and met up with a line of traffic that slowed my speed to about 90km. I did my best to not be the impatient driver I usually am and pass those ahead of me. The line was too long and I was not in the mood for the weaving required to be first in line.

Suddenly our speed decreased to 70km/hr, to 60 km/hr! What was going on?? An accident???


A miniscule snow drift has found it's home across the roadway. Drivers didn't know how to handle it. They slowed down, they waited for oncoming traffic to zoom by so they could drive AROUND it. Little did they know that their cars could drive right through it.

I snorted. I grabbed the steering wheel so hard my knuckles turned white. I yelled at them all "Are you kidding me!?!" A moment's vented anger for me is like a release of a week's pent up anger. I felt much better, sighed and sat back in my seat. I turned up the music even louder and sang at the top of my lungs.

Silly city drivers. They just need a good drive in a blizzard up north to get themselves sorted out. What nonsense!

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