Over the last couple of years, I’ve developed a bit of a phobia surrounding winter driving. I’m not sure if it was the fact that first winter I had a job further than ten minutes from my home turned into one of the worst we’d had in a long time, sending me slip-sliding all over snowy, icy roads regularly or if it developed more during my pregnancy with E as an outlet for all the anxiety, or if it was a combination of circumstances. Whatever created the situation, I let out a sigh of relief when we reached late March and then early April. We were through winter.
The second Friday in April came. I got ready for work. Arthur told me to take the four-wheel drive. “They’re saying it may snow,” he said. I rolled my eyes, but took the SUV.
At around 3 am, some of my coworkers who were coming in to start early shifts said it was snowing like crazy. “Getting bad out there,” one of them said. I gritted my teeth and hoped it was gone by the time I left at around 8 am.
By the time the full dayshift arrived, the weather was the topic on everyone’s mind. “I slid through a stop sign,” one said. “I got sideways,” said another. The last summed it up succinctly: “It’s the worst driving I’ve done the whole winter. And it’s not even winter anymore.”
I headed out to the car after finishing up and was struck immediately by how slippery the sidewalks felt. It wasn’t snow so much as an icy grit that covered everything. If I hadn’t been working again that night, I probably would have had a cup of coffee at work and waited for it to melt off a bit. However, I needed to get home to sleep. It was a short drive away, as once we’d moved, I lived about ten minutes from work once again.
The main road was icy but not terrible. I knew once I turned off for the majority of the journey home, it would probably be a sheet of ice though, and I was right.
I crawled along, feeling the wheels slipping with every adjustment or tap of the brakes. I could feel my panic rising. Thankfully the road was all but deserted, but I flipped on my hazard lights to let anyone coming around me know that I was going very slowly indeed.
It took me nearly 25 minutes to get home, white-knuckling and fighting fear the entire way. By that evening, however, the sun was out and the roads were clear.
Truthfully, that more or less sums up life these days: sudden, unexpected storms of worry, grief, or sadness. But like driving on that icy April morning, we’re managing. Even when it feels long or I have to essentially put on the hazard lights and go really, really slowly, struggling along. Instead of wondering if winter will ever end, I know that eventually the sun and warmth will come back.
It’s finally spring.
If you want to read more Microblog Mondays or participate, please check out Stirrup Queens. Thanks to Mel for originating and hosting!