Driving Sideways

Ever since the accident, I’ve been extra careful, especially when it snows. I can still feel the gravitational pull as my car slid across the ice, past a braking Honda Accord, and planted itself sideways in the ditch.

I’m sure my expression was one of shock. I kept thinking, “This isn’t really happening.” My brain had it on replay, the only phrase that made sense out of the chaotic wasteland that was my mind in those brief moments between driving down the road and being sideways in the ditch.

My mind still goes there every time it snows. I try not to drive by that spot, if I can help it, with the tree, and the house back a ways, and the ditch that I imagine still has the imprint of my Santa Fe in its depths. The car I slid past pulled over to the side of the road after I went into the ditch sideways, its driver scrambling out to assist me.

I am grateful for the kindness of strangers, always, but definitely then. I was in a state of shock. In my mind the whole accident was replaying in slow motion, over and over again. Continue reading “Driving Sideways”

Snow Tired

snowstormPlease, allow me to vent for a moment. Now, I’m usually the guy who makes fun of others for getting all worked up over weather, so what happened today was a righteous comeuppance. It doesn’t mean I liked it, but it was definitely righteous. To truly explain I need to take you back to just over two years ago.

It was one of those rare times when I was alone at home, while my wife and kids were in Utica. We were supposed to meet at Applebees for lunch. It had been snowing steadily all morning, but it hadn’t really accumulated on the roads, so it lulled me into a false sense of security. And I was hungry for a Cowboy (Veggie) Burger.

Everything started off well, with my iPod plugged in and playing Guns ‘n Roses. The car handled well on the road, and I was well on my way… until I ran into the drifts. There’s a stretch of road where the winds are strong and they drive the snow over the road in drifts, but I was going along so well that I forgot the drifts were there. Then I was skidding, sliding across the opposite lane in what seemed like slow motion.

I ended up in a ditch that day, but I got lucky that it was shallow enough that the car didn’t turn all the way over, preferring instead to rest on its side. Several good samaritans came to my aid also, helping me out of the car and giving me someplace to rest while I waited for the tow truck, for the police, and for my wife. But since that day anytime the winds pick up in winter I get anxious. Continue reading “Snow Tired”