Winter driving isn’t my thing. To be perfectly honest, driving in general isn’t my thing. I can drive, and I’m not BAD at it exactly. But I don’t enjoy it on a good day, and would always rather be in the passenger seat, a to-go cup of coffee in my hand and no responsibilities other than conversation and possibly manning the radio.
But that’s not my life, and that’s okay. My life involves a lot of driving around Worcester, dropping off and picking up kids at various locations, and in the past few weeks, it’s been challenging. Excepting the accidents (I got stuck in the snow at least once and had to be dug out, and there was one horrible experience of a flat bed sliding all the way down my street, with my car attached, dragging the poor driver and me trapped in the car along with it before we crashed into a snowbank), driving in general is crappy these days. The roads are ridiculously narrow, and the game of chicken at the intersections scares the bejeezus out of me. When you hope and pray that nobody is coming, and just ease out – only to slam on the brakes at the last minute before you hit the car that you couldn’t see, and he couldn’t see you – it’s not something I can get used to doing.
All of the schools are a disaster. Parking is an exercise in patience and guts – because you need both, to cram your car into the snowbank and pray that you’ll be able to get back out. The drop off lanes are so compromised by the huge snowbanks, and there are a lot of little kids and big SUV’s fighting for space.
All of this complaining is leading up to my wonderful, incredible discovery this morning. I drop off at an elementary school across town for my son, and then off at Sullivan for my sixth grader. She’s a student at the Goddard Scholars Academy – and that parking lot has been a mess for weeks and weeks. Unlike the elementary school, there’s no need for me to park and get out to get her, she comes out on her own. But also unlike the elementary school – there’s a LOT of cars, all crammed into one parking lot, with buses and hoards of kids all over the place. I’d get stuck there more often than not, trapped in a line of cars waiting for the chance to get thru the narrow lanes. But today – oh, today – THE SNOW WAS GONE. The lanes were wide, enough for two cars without any fear of side swiping any of them. You could get out of the parking lot without being afraid of accidentally sliding into another parent or a bus. It was glorious.
It’s not something I ever appreciated, prior to the past month or so. But finding a school parking lot where it was safe to drive, safe to drop off and easy to pick up – it was the best part of my morning. God bless the snow removers. And remind me again – spring is coming, right?