The Karma Chill is in Negative Digits

Driving in Snow

I’ve survived three commutes, so far, since the big snowstorm on Sunday dropped eight inches of the deceptively gorgeous white stuff upon us.  Even more is predicted tomorrow and I’m seriously thinking of quitting my job so I can stay home until Spring.

Except if I do, I’ll quickly be living in my car, which kind of negates the sense of safety I was going for.

It isn’t a long drive—eleven miles or so, depending on the route and whether or not I’m dropping kids off at school—but it has hills and valleys and treacherous snowpack in most of the spots that require turning or breaking or playing chicken with gravity. Plus there’s that mile-long bridge, currently coated with ice, right in the middle of it.

I can drive in snow and with one exception,* I’m not bad at it. I’m one of those slow and steady drivers who give themselves plenty of time so they won’t have to rush—and who send all those other drivers who assume they’re the only ones who know how to handle winter conditions (e.g., floor it like it ain’t happening) literally around the bend and sometimes into one of the ditches or retaining walls we grow along the sides of the roads around here.**

Snow CommuteBut that kind of focused attention takes a lot out of me. I save up all the stress and horror and road rage and impatience and let it go all at once after I’ve arrived at my destination,*** leaving me in an odd state of twitching lethargy and strident vocabulary overshare.

I’ve been told it’s amusing to watch—primarily by those who purport to love me—but while I’ll do a lot to make people smile, I’d rather wear a clown nose and burp Yankee Doodle Dandy, which at least has the advantage of embarrassing the kids.^

I’m nearly to the point where I’m crossing my fingers that Janie’s cold will worsen juuuuust enough to keep her out of school tomorrow, so I can stay home and take care of her without blowing any vacation days.

I’m sure she won’t mind supporting me in this endeavor.


(Yes, you do. Lying is beneath you.)


I wouldn’t worry. I’d jump aboard and make ’em drive me to work.



PSST: To further fuel my state of nerves, my stats are jumping today for no discernible reason. Normally, I’d be thrilled, but as no specific post is being singled out and no referring sites are listed, I’m forced to assume that either someone’s mouse is stuck or I’m under investigation for something for which ignorance is no excuse.

So if you could please make sure your computer is working properly, check my financial records to prove it’s not worth paying a process-server to deliver the subpoena, and/or just leave a comment to tell me why you dropped by, I’d appreciate it.

You don’t have to STOP, by the way; just let me know, please. I have a writer’s imagination and I’m already chanting ATTICA! ATTICA! under my breath.

Thank you!



*Our driveway. It’s a short slope and not very steep, but I can’t manage it in snow or ice without slipping, sliding, or spinning my wheels to the point that I smell burning rubber.

**As long as I’m alive to rack up the negative karma points, I’ll continue to rack ‘em up, five miles below the speed limit.

***Or halfway up my driveway to my destination, like last night. After three tries, I gave up, parked, stomped into the house and confessed my inability to get my car into the garage. My MIL and daughters looked at me in disbelief and told me my husband never has any trouble. I KNOW THAT. And I was grateful that he brought my car in when he arrived home—and secretly vindicated when I could hear him spinning my tires the whole time.

^Or one of them. Sunny is a great musical burping tutor (That sentence is grammatically correct no matter how you parse it, by the way).


11 thoughts on “The Karma Chill is in Negative Digits

  1. I watched a food delivery truck practically melt the rubber of the rims today trying to drive up an alley to deliver produce. I would have stayed and watched, but we had to get out of there before he slipped backward and killed us.

    • Thanks, Caitlin—the drive home was okay, except in two spots where it definitely wasn’t. But I didn’t hit oncoming traffic or slide off the on-ramp, so it’s all good. 😛

      If we get another storm, I’m calling in phobic.

  2. Monday’s commute, including cleaning off the car, was 1 hour and 45 minutes for me. (It’s normally about 25 minutes) I sometimes remembered to breathe, which I felt was fortunate. Everyone was on their best behavior, slowing down and giving each other plenty of room. By the time I got to work, I was seriously wishing I hadn’t given up smoking! Some friends who have a similar commute to mine, made it downtown before being hit by a police car. I often think that winter driving should be an Olympic winter sport.

    • I hear you, Dee. The kids were off school, which was completely unfair. 😛

      I’ve never smoked, but I made up for it in chocolate-based stress relief.

      And I totally agree: Winter driving is Luge with wheels on!

  3. I kinda like winter. I don’t mind the cold, or the shoveling, or the trapped-in-the-house feeling.

    But, Lordy, do I hate the drive to work thing. Last year during an ice storm I slammed into a traffic light and then, five minutes later, hit the rear end of a truck. Now my car sports a new, black bumper. My car is blue.

    In short, I’m glad I quit my job.

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