First things first. I did not take this picture while driving. I was driving, but I had my son snap the shot so I could be all nice and safe with both hands on the wheel.
I am a much safer driver when someone is with me, because we all know I would have taken it.
But this post has nothing to do with that.
My son had a doctor’s appointment in Bennington this morning. It was a thing that has needed to be dealt with, and after effect of a “cruising at 35 on his longboard” accident about 18 months ago. It took a while to get his doctor to make the reference. (Another story, not nearly as fun), but we finally got the referral and the appointment for this morning.
And then, of course, came Snow Apocolypse Storm Stella, the end of the world as we know it monster storm that has done so much for the weather channel’s ratings. (The Weather Channel used to be one of my customers and they have told me more than once that “We love storms!”
Basically, the world as we know it was closing down around us last night, many hours before the storm ever got here. That’s an odd thing for Vermont. Mostly we shrug off snow. We laugh at snow. We hardly even notice snow. But suddenly last night, everything started closing.
Not our doc though. He must be a REAL Vermonter. (not an imposter from Virginia like me.). And because we wanted this procedure done before my son heads off to college (and Florida and sun.) in a few weeks, off we went this morning.
The picture was taken on the way there. As you can see there were no cars. No trucks. it was that way most of the way to Bennington. I did see a few wreckers on their appointed rounds in search of fools like me who were stuck in ditches. A state trooper on the side of the road. And of course, two beer trucks. The important stuff.
And us. The ride there was pretty easy. Slow, but easy. The 50-minute drive took an hour and a half , but since even the plows mostly had stayed at home most of the trip, I had no competition for the road.
The doctor’s thing went fast. One look and he knew what the issue was and they could deal with it on the spot. (Likely because all sensible people stayed home, so he had less patients and more time), and he did his thing and sent us on our way.
By the time we began to head home, the snow was much worse, and falling hard. You know that 2″-3″ hour thing the weathermen talk about? We drove in it. Up Route 7 and into Manchester, where I found myself humming.
Let me explain. I have this stupid five note hum thing I do when I am happy. When things are good. It used to drive some people in my life a little nuts (I guess I was happy too much). It’s not a song, at least no song anyone who has heard it can recognize. My kids (who fortunately don’t get driven crazy by it.) recognize it as my happy sound, but most people don’t.
It’s like a musical nervous tic, I suppose, but a good one.
I lost it a decade ago. Along with a lot of other joys. Divorce and Depression swallowed it alive and I didn’t hear it for years. It has slowly re-emerged over the past few years, and now? Well now, it shows up a lot. Including, evidently, when I drive in horrible snow storms.
Which doesn’t really surprise me. I love driving in snow.
I do. It requires a kind of total concentration, a kind of total awareness that other driving does not require. An absolutely in the moment, feel everything in your car, aware of everything coming and going, of the sound of the engine, of what’s ahead, of every minute slip and slide far more than regular driving.
And I love that.
Yes, if I had do it (as I often have) for twelve hours on a long trip, it begins to wear thin. But for the hour and half each way to Bennington, it’s a joy. I really didn’t want the trip to end. I wanted to stop someplace for lunch just so I could drive in MORE snow for the final stage home.
But saner people, that being everyone in Manchester and Dorset, every restaurant and store, even McDonalds (the woman I love tells me that when McDonalds closes down, it really IS snow apocolypse.) was closed. There was nowhere to stop.
So I hummed my way home. I did everything I could to stall it. I stopped to visit my daughter in Dorset. I stopped at the post office. But all good things come to an end. I drove home. We settled in. I stopped humming.
We’re sitting on 10-12 inches at this point. My friends at the ratings-happy Weather Channel tell me I’ll get 6-12 more before tomorrow morning. I haven’t seen a snow plow in hours. I’m probably in for the night. I’d be fine if I didn’t have this terrible urge for pizza. The nearest pizza place that is likely to still be open would be in Rutland, about 45 minutes away.
I’d be fine if I didn’t have this terrible urge for pizza. The nearest pizza place that is likely to still be open would be in Rutland, about 45 minutes away. Must resist.