January 14, 2015
this is a picture of my driveway, taken sometime in the winter of 2011. such a pretty picture. you'd never think that just around the bend to the left would be a place that scared me for a couple of winters.
we don't get a lot of snow at a time here in Butte, MT--maybe 2 - 3 inches on a good day. but some days it can be up to 6 or 8. and there are places in my driveway where we get drifting, so the snow can be 12 inches deep in some spots. and that spot around the corner is one of those.
add to that that we haven't had a snow plow up until just a few days ago and you can see where this is going.
granted, i have an SUV with 4-wheel drive, but that doesn't help when you don't know how to drive in snow because you spent most of your life in Phoenix, AZ.
so even though my husband kept telling me that i had to get up to at least 25 mph to get up my driveway, and not worry about the back end of my car sliding, i never listened to his words of wisdom, despite the fact that he could always get up the driveway.
i always approached the ascent up that particular spot with caution. slow caution. anything to avoid the sliding around. and i got stuck in that spot at least 4 times, maybe more. and since i'm not good at backing down a curved driveway without going into the ditch, and i'm not keen on digging myself out, the car would stay there until my husband got home and then he had the frigid task of getting it up the drive.
last year in March, after we had a really big snow, i decided i'd had enough of getting stuck. i wanted to learn how to get my car up my driveway every single time. i asked my husband for a driving lesson. so, with my husband in the passenger seat and me in the driver seat, i went up and down that driveway, as fast as i could make myself go, at least a dozen times without stopping.
i had the scary adrenaline rush every time (which i don't like). there was slipping. there was sliding. my husband kept saying, "embrace the slide," (which i don't like either.). but i got over my fear of the driveway.
i still have to take a few deep breaths before i floor it to get up the hill. i still get the niggling fear in the back of my mind when i get to that spot that says i'm not going to make it. i still get the adrenaline rush when the back end starts to slide a little, and it lasts all the way into the garage (i even get that rush when my boys make the drive).
but now i can laugh about it. now i can be confident that, barring a really bad snow dump, i can always get up the driveway, whether the snow is deep or the ground is icy.
a few weeks ago, i finally saw the link between my driveway experience and my writing.
time to go gun the engine.