Cold, snowy winter days are especially challenging when you live off a narrow, winding gravel road surrounded by acres of trees.
On the rare occasions when we don’t have to venture out in the season’s elements, I do admit it’s quite nice to look out the window and admire the pristine snow carpeting the ground and the glistening ice crystals on the tree branches. It is picture-perfect pretty in the country.
However, most of the time, especially school and work mornings, rural living in the winter is a real hassle. I live on a road that doesn’t get plowed. Our long, gravel one-lane driveway, surrounded on both sides by woods, not only curves, but does so on an incline.
Though my husband’s Mustang convertible is perfect for summertime driving, it’s not a viable vehicle when it snows a few inches. Out of sheer necessity, he usually parks it “on the top of the hill” — our term for “right next to the snowy gravel road so there’s a least a slim chance it can be driven the next day without stalling on the way up the driveway — that is, if you can get a good running start and don’t slide off into a ditch.”
True to my practical nature, I own an SUV that becomes the true family vehicle when the weather outside is frightful. Yes, heavy snow accumulations have left us homebound a time or two, but generally speaking, my trusty four-wheel drive car gets us where we all need to go.
We carpool a lot in the winter. It’s inconvenient for all of us but is literally the only way to get from point A to points B, C and D and back again. Plus, I feel secure knowing my husband isn’t sliding and skidding around on the road in a Mustang. I’m also paranoid when it comes to winter driving so I gladly hand over my keys to someone nonplused by winter’s roads. (When the roads are snow- or ice-covered, I’m the overly-cautious slo-o-ow driver who drives many of you crazy! Trust me, you don’t want me behind the wheel!)
Being a one-car family — if only for a few weeks each year — does make me thankful that we typically do have two means of transportation, and enough money to fuel them with gasoline (although rising gasoline prices are definitely straining the budget!). Others less fortunate may have unreliable vehicles or none at all. I can’t imagine how awful it would be to be truly snowbound when you have no choice in the matter.