February 28, 2008
Snow-covered and slippery
One of the things that makes February such a long month here in Snowstorm Region is that it takes forever to get anywhere. A simple car trip that might take 15 minutes on dry pavement can take 45 minutes on icy, snow-covered roads. On a winter afternoon, even quiet country roads can get crowded with traffic because everyone is moving so slowly, and because we all have to maneuver around the cars stranded like big snowy lumps in the ditches.
In other parts of the world, this kind of weather would probably mean that people might cancel events, stay home from work or school. But that kind of solution would be impractical in Snowstorm Region; we might as well cancel the whole month of February. Actually, that's not a bad idea. I've often thought that if I were dictator of this region, I'd declare February a month of hibernation, a time to stay home by the fire, drinking hot tea and reading.
But unfortunately, that's not the thinking in this culture. Instead, we have huge snowplows that keep trying to clear the roads, even though the wind just blows the snow right back onto the roads, and big trucks that spread salt to melt the snow and corrode our vehicles. We put snowtires on our cars and go out anyhow, pretending that the storm didn't really happen.
I hate winter driving. By the time I make it to my destination, my eyes are tired from squinting through the blowing snow, my shoulders are tense from hunching over the steering wheel, and I've got a tension headache from all the times I almost went off the road.
We get plenty of snowstorms in March, but somehow that's different. Because in March, there's at least the possibility, the hope, that spring will come.
Posted by jo(e)