Sunday, December 14, 2008

When Fluffy Flakes Fill the Sky

Blustery days and nights have been abound in Bruce County. We are weathered drivers ready to take on snow covered roads and face white outs.

Well, most of us are.

There I was, driving along the county road as flakes were making their way to the ground on the crisp night. The roads were not too slick, but slick enough to keep me well paced.

It's not so bad, I thought, as I slowed down for the village ahead. Warm windows glowed along the side of the road, revealing families inside safe and warm. I picked up the pace as I left the village.

Suddenly I was surrounded by snow - I didn't know where it came from. I took my foot off the gas and gripped the wheel.

Just breathe...

Sure, I didn't know where the shoulder was, or if I was in my lane, but, I thought, as least I know where I am. I know this road like the back of my hand. I am just past Lucknow....

Oh God. Wait. I felt like I was suckerpunched. I haven't gotten to Lucknow yet. Where in the F am I!?!? I can't see anything but white and I don't know where I am!!

I couldn't even breathe.

I started to talk to myself out loud. "Don't panic, don't panic. Where did I just drive through?" I drew a blank. Hollyrood. "Hollyrood. I just drove through Hollyrood. I know where I am."

Thank God this road is straight.

"Ok, think Melissa. Think of this road. Where are you on this road?" I felt the car go up an incline. I caught my breath. "You are going up this hill, and there is the house on the left, you'll go back down the hill, the road is straight."

The wall of white was lifting. I couldn't see the house on the left. My mind started to scream again WHERE AM I!?!?

Still creeping forward, I felt the car go up another incline. The snow was dissipating. I saw the house I thought was a hundred meters back. My shoulders fell, the constricted feeling in my chest subsided.

I drove out of the white out. Barely a flake was in the air. I could see the lights of Lucknow farther up the road. I could see the stars in the sky.

Winter driving sucks.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

What you talkin' 'bout Willis?

I like to toot my own horn every now and then. Who doesn't? I am a woman of many capabilities, I can handle the pressure, the stress, the hundred projects thrown at me all at once. I am, however, a realist to a certain degree, and admit to a few faults.

Such as multitasking while driving. This I can not do. (Which, in my mind, is a good thing. Driving should demand all your attention, after all, you're steering a tonne of metal.) I can not eat and drive. I can not change cd's and drive. I can not text and drive. I can not talk on my cell phone and drive. I can not apply makeup and drive. I can not read the newspaper and drive.

Ok. I exaggerate. I CAN do these things at the same time, just not very well. (Or in the matter of reading the newspaper and driving, I CHOOSE not to do that. I feel no explanation is necessary here.)

I blame part of the inability upon the fact that I drive a stick shift. Unless I'm cruising down the highway and don't need to change gears at all, I'm left with no hand to either steer or change gears if I'm mid-multitasking. Sometimes an extra arm wouldn't be such a bad thing. Holding that phone up to my ear while sitting at a red light is ok until the light turns green. Then all of a sudden, what arm am I going to use to change gear? I have to excuse myself from the conversation so I can shift up to the appropriate gear. That's a bit rude to the person on the other end, I feel.

So I am an advocate of not talking on the phone while driving. I am perfectly aware that it is legal to do so in this fine province of Ontario, but I like to believe that there are some folks on my side here. Maybe even perhaps some men and women in blue.

How annoyed do you get by drivers swerving on the road, by drivers who sit too long at the green light, by drivers who are clearly not paying attention to the road and their surroundings? How much more are you annoyed when you drive past them only to see them yakking away on their cell phone??

In case you hadn't guessed, I get really annoyed.

The top of the list was blown off the other week when there was a driver up ahead of me who driving slow, veering into the lane I was coming up along. The car was no other than a police cruiser. We pulled up to a red light, our cars side by side. I looked over at the driver and what did I see? Officer Talks-A-Lot on his cell phone. Hmmm....likely not police business, after all, would not they contact him on the cb radio??