Site icon Liesl Garner

Winter Storm Driving

It has snowed a whole bunch in our area. (I am so cheating with this photo. It’s from a photo site and not one I took of our current storm.) Our snow is bad, but not this bad. It’s packed, it has stayed on the ground for almost a week, in six to eight inch depths mostly. The roads are icy and dangerous. Some parts have cleared, but by far, not all. Schools are closed for the fourth day in a row. It’s a little more serious than normal. It’s the worst snow we’ve seen in Southern Oregon in over 30 years.

Today I drove to town for some things. We have a pig going into labor tomorrow and she needed more straw in her pen. We needed more propane after boiling water in pots on the stove for a few days because we had no running water in the house. Just your normal winter chaos. For the most part, the drive was uneventful. I swerved a couple of times, but recovered quickly and carried on.

After a few curves in the shade, my nerves were starting to fray. Then came the last big hill before getting home. It is on a tree lined area, so very shady, pure ice, and there I was, I had to just keep driving and hope to make it. I was in 4-wheel drive going slow and steady. At the top of the hill, a car started down. I had visions of it sliding all the way down into me, and the weight of fear sitting in my sternum had a pulse of its own. Somehow we managed to get past each other.

Behind that car was a van. It looked as if it was just sitting at the top of the hill, not moving. Waiting. Not wanting to slide into me, not wanting to scare me, being unbelievably aware of surroundings and stresses and winter driving conditions. As I neared the top of the hill, my tires were spinning, trying to gain traction on the snow. I was leaning forward in the car willing it up the hill. As I passed that van, and suddenly came into the sunlit part of the road, I will never forget the waves of relief that swept over me. Not only had I made it, but this other driver had gone out of his way to be incredibly polite, courteous, and conscientious. A part of me wanted to get out and hug him. Then again.

I drove the last few curves of country road on a little emotional high for making it, and truly feeling blessed by the thoughtfulness of this other driver. It is not just us feeling sketchy on these frozen roads. Those around us could be frightened too. Being aware enough of the hazards and keeping our eyes out for our neighbors still happens. I was the recipient of that today, and I don’t want to forget how it made me feel. Ever. photo from here

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