Monday, December 24, 2012

Two last things for tonight(I promise!)

When the kids were about 7 and 5, we were planning to go to the grandparents for Christmas when OK delivered one of the more malicious 'wait a minute' surprises: ice storm.

Not a bad one, but it left about a 1/16 to 1/8" skin of ice on everything.  And it was cold enough that the roads wouldn't melt with traffic.  I didn't think we should go, but was convinced otherwise. So, we all loaded into the car and headed southwest.


I'd figured that, once we got to the turnpike it might be better, as they're pretty good about salting and sanding it.  We didn't get to find out. We're going along at about 25mph, me as tense behind the wheel as I've ever been and planning just how long it was going to take to get there, when we reached the Canadian River bridge. It's a nice, wide bridge.  Now coated with ice. Being surrounded by a bunch of other idiots people heading that direction as we reached the bridge, my anxiety level went up  a bit; one thing to watch yourself, another to have to watch all those other people.  That lasted about ten seconds.

At that point we'd reached roughly halfway across the bridge when a car in front, for God-knows-what reason, started curving and sliding left.  And other people twitched their wheels and touched brakes.  I'm sitting there, afraid to even let off the gas, chanting "Don't try to turn" to myself and keeping my eyes locked on the line.  And somehow, it worked: with cars hitting the guard rails and each other all around, we kept tracking straight ahead and clear of it all.

That was it.  There was an exit about 1/4 mile ahead and I announced we were turning back.  Wife said "I think that's best."  Kids announced "Awwww!"

I managed to get turned around, and we made it home with no more excitement(probably extending my life by about five years).  The kids were disappointed, and I was pissed at myself for letting everyone else convince me to try.  But we were whole and the car undamaged*.

And now, with somewhere between 4-8" of snow and sleet forecast for tomorrow, I bid you good night.
And plan on staying home tomorrow.

*Not counting the fingerprints permanently pressed into the steering wheel

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