Has this winter been unremarkable for anyone?
It’s hardly the worst winter on record. We haven’t received record snowfall, nor is it incredibly warm. We haven’t been smacked with constant freeze and thaw cycles.
Still, it seems too many have died while travelling this winter. Since surviving our last trip, I understand why.
Farmer and I had to travel to Regina for a medical procedure that was some years in the waiting. We did the smart thing, going up one day early and staying overnight with family. The wind in the cul-de-sac that night blew to early morning, and Farmer cursed it regularly.
He’s always been adamant about people staying off the road in poor driving conditions, so after the medical procedure he checked the Highways Hotline. It looked fine so we set out. Just outside the city everything went white and I regretted two things: we were on the highway and I was behind the wheel.
“I can’t see the road. I can’t drive through this!” I kept repeating.
Farmer insisted I couldn’t pull over or there’d be an accident for sure.
Barely able to make out the yellow line or the white, we continued, only seeing oncoming traffic when it passed us. Still, a few vehicles decided to travel faster and passed us from behind.
White waves erased road. I squeezed the steering wheel until my fingertips fell asleep.
Farmer warned me intermittently about getting too close to the centre line and coached me left. When there was a rumble strip, I steered the passenger side tires directly over it. On contact, the sound is designed to unsettle drivers, alerting us to the danger of the road’s edge. This trip it was my Braille guide.
I learned two things about myself this trip.
First: I prefer to be rescued. We risked a pile up and Farmer had just had surgery but I’d sure as hell have pulled over in a heartbeat and let him drive if he’d only said the word.
Farmer’s just a better driver. He does it for a living and has driven through worse storms than this.
Second: saying “I can’t see...” didn’t help and I cut it out early on. Instead, I decided to be grateful for Farmer’s patience and coaching through what could have been our last trip together.
My driving ability, his road sense; I appreciate us both infinitely more.