I grew up in Indiana, and learned to drive in the snow. I don’t remember ever being concerned about it. Then I moved to eastern North Carolina, where it snowed three times in the ensuing twelve years. No big deal then, either.
I moved back to Indiana for six years, three of them the worst blizzardy winters on the books up to that time. Still, when I ended up in a ditch one Christmas Eve, a neighbor-farmer just pulled me out with his tractor, and I was on my way…too much to do to linger with negative or fearful thoughts.
My next thirty years were spent in the Arizona desert, with again, only three big snows, total. Each of those was a thrill! And the term “big” is relative to Arizona snows.
Back to North Carolina, this time the piedmont area, closer to the mountains, but not actually in them. We have had snow, and in significant amounts the last two winters, but I just didn’t drive. I didn’t need to, because I can walk just about anywhere I really need to until the snow melts in just a few days.
I give all this history, because for the last three Christmases, I have been in Wisconsin, where we all know, the winters can be frightful. The first year, I didn’t drive. The second year, there wasn’t any snow until the end of my visit, and I didn’t drive. This year…no snow for Christmas, but the last two days it snowed, and then sleeted. I drove the whole mile to the folks’, and then watched as the world turned white and crusty.
In the late afternoon, with the folks’ vote of confidence, I drove to my sister’s where I sleep just before dusk with firm instructions about braking, going slow, and calling when I arrived. At the blazing speed of 15 mph, give or take, I made it safely. Then came this morning, snow blowing, I drove again, over to the folks’ to return a car and to ride with Dad to his dentist appointment.
After saying a Hail Mary for feet on the ground and tires on the road, I crept in four stages. Back out of garage, three point turn, end of drive, stage one, thank you Jesus. Stop sign at Tolles Road and County Road M, stage two, breathe. Left turn on M, to Wilder Road, turn right. Stage three completed, safe and sound, but not feeling cocky. Left turn into the driveway, exhale, stage four, and it was touchdown. Another Hail Mary of thanks.
Courageous or Stupid? It depends on the outcome, I guess. This time I am going with brave. It feels right.