driving, winter, snow, highway

Wednesday.  January 16, 2013.  5:35am.

I flip on the weather channel for a read on the highway conditions. (Like it matters, right?)

The weather woman warns that roads will be treacherous – – wet and slippery with snow accumulation.  (A call to arms for the Snowman. Need to get to the office to get a jump on God’s work.)

I’m out the door. Dark. Gloomy. Damp. Shivering. Seats are cold.  Steering wheel is frigid.  Frozen ice on windshield.  (Where are my gloves? I miss Miami. Soft, warm, gentle breezes.  Palm tree fronds rustling.)

No point sitting here, let’s get this engine firing so we can blow heat into this beast.  I back out of the driveway, skidding backwards.  (Not a good sign. I’m a mere 20 yards from the house.)

I arrive at I-95.  Early morning traffic trying to beat rush hour and the interminable snarls later in the day. Cars, SUVs, hulking Semi-trailers – all lurching ahead in a conga line. (It’s looking a lot like Gotham City, except I’m 40 miles away from Gotham.)

I scan my playlist searching for classical music. I land on Bach-Cantata No.147. (Classical Music?  Yes. A rare moment.  Wonder if dust gathers on a iTunes playlist from non-use.  I need something BIG.  Someone famous.  Important that when EMS picks me up they’d be impressed that the man is cultured.  “Wow.  He was listening to Bach.”  Mind wanders.  Does ‘No. 147’ mean that Bach wrote 146 related pieces of this music – like a sitcom? I need a remedial class in classical music…and fast.  And seriously people, isn’t that the longest song title you’ve ever seen?)

↓ click for audio (Bach: Cantata No 147, ‘Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben: Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring)

I steal periodic glances at the outside temperature gauge.  (Eerie how the temperature is locked on 32F.  For the entire ride. Not a degree higher.  Or Lower. Freezing point.  Black ice.  Good DK whispering – don’t mess around today pal.)

clutch the steering wheel with a close eye on the shoulder. (Tension climbs to my neck and shoulders.  SHOULDER.  The “shoulder” is trouble.  The shoulder is where the snow has accumulated.  Many close calls right here…wheels hit shoulder…yank car into steel guardrail…or worse.)

I’m in the left lane.  Snowman’s lane.  Following a Toyota Camry.  That is moving at 35 MPH. Hmmmmmm.  (I rattle through my 3 options.  [1.] Wait patiently at a conservative distance behind. Say what? [2.] Crowd Camry and flash high beam lights.  Insanity choice.  [3.] Move into Center Lane, accelerate, pass and move back into Left Lane.  Option 3 it is.)

I complete the 4-point maneuver. And we’re back in charge.  In the left lane with a clear runway.  (I hit play again – Bach is going to take me in. Memory pans back to my working days in Northern Michigan.  150″ of snow a year in Marquette.  And a whopping 355″ in Houghton Michigan in ’78-’79.  Now there’s snow for you people.  This is training wheels.)

I create separation from other drivers and push the pace.  (Separation? For the Snowman? The all-terrain Master?  Yes, even Mario makes unforced errors and needs wide berth.)

Why is it that one runs to one’s ruin? Why is destruction such a fascination?

~ Oscar Wilde

Image Source: The Guardian

Related  Post:


  1. Snow is gone here. Well not gone, just pushed into big piles along the sides, blocking all vision to any cross street until you are actually on it. Left behind … ice, ice and more ice. Sanding trucks to follow.


  2. Really… “Why is destruction such a fascination?” I was there, in the car, looking out that window…cold, and and an invitation to run to one’s ruin. Wonderful “take us there” writing.


  3. I enjoyed that post. Was with you every second of the tense drive, listening to Bach’s Joy. Had to chuckle over what would be playing when they found you.


  4. Bach wrote c 300 cantatas, but about 60 of them have been lost. (WHERE?) (HOW?)

    I wouldn’t describe this aria as particularly ‘big’. Try this one next time you want a bit of “ooomph” . You’ll love the title: “Lobe den Herren, den machtigen Koenig der Ehren.” BMV 137.

    I got into some snow at London airport on Friday and took 2 hours to get to the gate after landing. Being on a Jumbo taxiing through pristine snow was a new experience!

    Keep safe, Mister.


    • Michael, I wouldn’t know Big from Little. But I will check out your recommendation so I can at least approach something Big.

      I did hear about the snow fall in London…must have been quite a show….Thanks Michael.


  5. LaDona's Music Studio says:

    AND – each cantata has ~6-8 pieces in it. The above chorale is 1 piece from 1 cantata. Enormous output. And all of it glorious.
    Oooh – you can probably just FEEL me chomping at the bit here. I could get quite carried away. When someone says they want a remedial class in classical music, my entire being lights up.
    And yes – I’m with Michael on the relative “bigness” of this one…


    • Laughing. Like a thoroughbred at the starting gate, waiting to burst through! Send me some “BIGS” and I’ll dial it up. See if any of it hits…

      And btw Michael, the picture at the top of the post – it’s from the Guardian. Must be a shot in London. (Source is at bottom on post)


  6. The music is fabulous, the tension palpable. Will you just drive safely please??


  7. You have such a way of weaving a story, David–you pull the reader in so beautifully. Like Anneli, I had to laugh at your consideration of what would be playing when they found you. 😉 Just out of curiosity, could this perchance be your theme song?

    Stay safe out there….


  8. No snow in Florida. 🙂 Love the pic.


  9. I wish it snowed here in L.A. but no…:)


  10. I am going to continue WPeeing.. (sounds a little crude!) whilst enjoying this wondrous music for the soul…..!
    BTW: Happy to read all ended, well; well…!


  11. cold. way too cold for me. Take care…


  12. Alex Jones says:

    Recent days I have turned into a snowman walking through the winter snow falls of Colchester.


  13. That was funny. We have gone from a a daily high of 50 now up to 80 in less than a week. Feels good.


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