Slip Slidin’ Away


I drove Linda to the airport on Wednesday where, after hours of issues having to do with COVID forms and ticketing problems and even some plane trouble, she began her trip to Portugal. There were issues getting the pet- and house-sitter, so one of us had to stay behind for a bit. Since Linda’s physical and psychological needs for a home environment are a bit more particular than mine, it made sense for me to be the one to stay behind.

I’ll be joining her next week. If, in this first week, she happens upon a location that she really likes, chances are I’ll like it, too.

Meanwhile, on Thursday, it snowed again. Unfortunate, since Linda’s the one who loves the snow. It was a wet, heavy, slushy snow that made driving miserable. As I was slipping and sliding my way around town, doing my DoorDash thing, I started thinking about some of the knowledge taking up space in my head that I’ll be able to let go of after we move.


Whenever there is snow in the forecast around here, you see parked cars with their windshield wipers standing up. You folks who live in warmer climes don’t have to think about this, so I’ll explain the reasons behind this and other actions. (Those of you who experience cold, snowy winters will just have to forgive me stating what may, to you, be obvious.)

I’ve demolished wiper blades in the past when I failed to stand them up ahead of a snow storm, then tried to pry them up off the frozen windshield. Once we get ourselves relocated, this is something I won’t have to think about again.

Something else I can let go of is shifting into neutral when approaching a stop. When the roads are slick, especially with snow or slush, it’s easy to slide into an intersection. But if you shift into neutral and gently apply the brakes, the drive wheels don’t continue trying to pull you forward, lightening the load on the brakes and helping you to safely come to a stop. When there’s snow on the roads, it has become second nature for me to just have my right hand resting on the gear shift. When I step on the brake, without even thinking about it, I shift into neutral.

If you’re on ice, you’re not going to have any traction, so you just need to take it slow. But this trick helps a little even then.

Now, about shoveling snow, one of my least favorite activities. We’ve been parking on our driveway for almost a year [Grab that cash…] due to all the garage sale stuff taking up space in the garage. Have you ever tried shoveling snow that has been walked on or driven over? It gets packed down hard into the concrete, making it a lot harder to shovel, and that packed stuff takes longer to melt. Then, when the temperature drops again at night, you’ve added ice to the equation.

So, when snow is on the way, and if we think about it (I didn’t this time), Linda and I will park on the street, leaving our driveway open. Yes, it requires more shoveling, but the snow is easier to shovel when it hasn’t been packed down. My brain will have a little more space when I let go of that tidbit.

I sometimes see people spinning their wheels trying to get moving on snow or ice. Especially is this true when they’ve been stopped at an intersection or parked at the side of the road. Spinning their wheels on snow or ice only polishes the surface and removes any possibility of gaining traction.

Instead, they should give it just a little gas when starting up. If the wheels start to spin, they need to apply the brake, and if there’s nobody behind them, shift into reverse and give it a little gas again. If they can back up just a bit, they may find a bit of surface that their tires can grab hold of. Shift back into drive and pull out.

There’s one more snow in the two-week forecast, and I’m really hoping that’ll be the last one.

I can’t wait to see what takes over all that space in my brain when I let go of this stuff!