Wednesday, January 29, 2014


My good half and I have done a pretty good job of agreeing over the years. Oh, we have our own little quirks but we have, for the most part, reasoned things out together. However, one thing we don't agree on is winter. Like our youngest daughter, I tend to like chilly, snowy weather. Joyce hates winter.
I didn't always feel this way, especially when I had to get up early and drive some distance to and from work n snow and particularly on icy roads.
I remember a time in St. Louis when we were heading home and the roads were slick, even the Interstate highways. Fortunately, there wasn't much traffic but what traffic there was moved pretty fast. Fast enough, in fact, that cars went by us as if there were no problem.  One went by us like a shot, only to start a skid a short distance ahead of us. Just driving steadily we saw the other car slide into the passing lane, still rotating, and in the rear view mirror I saw the car slide back into our lane slide off into the ditch. A miracle perhaps, but by using bit of caution and a prayer or three we got home safely.
There was another incident when I made it back to our town in a snowstorm and confidently headed up the fairly steep hill to our home. Not far up the hill I lost  traction and the wheels started spinning.
I stopped for a moment, then suddenly the car whipped around and of its own accord headed back down the hill. Fortunately, there was an alternate route to the house and, shaken a bit, made it home with no other problem.
But the incident I remember most clearly was in 1945. I had driven some distance in my fathers 1941 Studebaker Champion to pick up a date. Heading up the highway from her home on a snowy road we chattered when suddenly a wheel dropped off the pavement causing the car to lurch. The car spun, missing highway guard rails to the left and ended up in the ditch facing in the opposite direction. I couldn't see anything out the driver's side window, snow was piled to the car roof.  (Like the car in the picture.) All I can remember saying, with a blank expression on my face, "Well, we're here!"
Deep in the snow bank, the car engine had stalled, but amazingly started as if nothing had happened.
Hesitantly, I pushed in the clutch, put the car in gear, said a prayer or two, and gunned the engine and the car pulled out of the snowbank as if nothing had happened. Thank goodness for old-fashioned recapped knobby times that worked better than I had expected.
Things happen. And I drive a little more cautiously. Especially on slick roads. Who cares what that young guy thinks of that ancient driver who's just poking along.  After all, using a bit of caution is not such a bad idea. And Joyce agrees.

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