Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Driver Ed

The news is reporting that over 1,000,000 people are without power due to this ice storm. Based on the number of hits on my blog the past couple of days, I am assuming you, dear reader, also lost your power. It's a bad deal, holed up in the dark, no source of heat for food or comfort. Trying to keep the children engaged and put on an air of confidence that your frozen bodies won't be discovered in a few days.

Luckily I have had no such problems. Plenty of fire wood, never a blip on power, even have enough propane to ride out the bad roads. Little Crissy thought she had to go into work today. She begged and pleaded with me to allow her to drive on the ice. The answer is a firm NO. She tried the defense that she was an excellent driver, and my return was for her to look at her car. Gashes in the rear fender, torn bumper and a totally destroyed wheel cover are just the testaments to her ability that I know about. Noooooo, for now, I will do the ice driving... and I will do it in the cheapest car we own... just in case of an accident.

So we pile in the car and I chip all of the ice off of it. The car is frozen to the ground as if it has a Denver Boot attached to it. But with persistent rocking I was able to bust out of the ice pack and we were on our way. We live about 5 miles out of town. I am giving her a steady stream of instructions as I inch down the road. Never stop, avoid your brakes, slow and steady gets you there safe. A small mistake and your car is off the road, and all too often upside down in a stream, filling with water as you are trapped in the seat belt and crushed metal. You will either drown or die of hypothermia long before help can arrive. Yes, as a driving instructor I am a bright ray of sunshine and hope. You get that way after you lose a young driver in your family.

So we make it to the semi main road. So far we are skimming over solid ice. There are some ruts, but they are frozen so if you have to move over for traffic you will spin out of control. On the semi main road the ruts are a little wider, a bit of bare road from time to time but still only one lane and as hard as... refrozen ice. At this point I asked what her boss said when she she called in to work. Then I began shouting because she had forgotten to call in to see if she was even needed! Grrr.

Turns out she was not needed at work in a town where no sane person would try to drive on this ice. The next question was, since we had started, was there ANYthing important we needed to get? And my daughter told me she needed a glue stick. A GLUE STICK! "How important is it that you have that today?"

"Well it's my school project and a grade."

"And it is so important you are willing to risk wrecking your car, which can spin out at any moment or get hit by somebody else that spins out? Once you are without this car, I do not get you another one. You are simply without a car." Oh yeah... the cheapest car we have just happens to be her car. ON the plus side, it has all new tires.

She thinks about what I told her and then asks, "How likely is it for that to happen, I mean really?"

I am stunned, "Likely enough that I am mentioning it to you. Likely enough that I think it is not safe for you to drive so I am driving you. Likely enough that all the schools and colleges in this area are not only closed today but will be closed tomorrow. AND it will grow even more likely within the hour as what little melt we have had will refreeze. It's THAT likely!"

My daughter decided she could make her presentation and do the final glue up tomorrow. After the roads melt enough for safer travel.

No comments: