The snow started sometime Sunday afternoon. I didn’t notice it at first; the flakes sort of blended in with the overcast sky. By early evening, it was obvious this wasn’t just another dash of flurries. We were getting our first bona fide snow of the season. As is tradition, Meka rushed to the phone to order Chinese food. However, I decided to forego delivery and go out myself to pick it up. I’m a seasoned veteran, but I haven’t driven in snow for several months. I wanted to get acclimated when few people would be on the road. The Bears had a night game; it was perfect.
The temperature was just below freezing and the snow was falling in large clods the size of Jurassic mosquitoes. There was no wind and the snow lay fluffy and shining across our lawn and the driveway. I pulled the truck out of the garage and threw it into All Wheel Drive. Some people believe “all wheel drive” is equal to “suction cups on your tires” (those people end up in ditches by the way). Belvidere’s snow removal plan is “spring”, so the side streets tend to be worse than the main roads. I took it slow, got used to starting my turns about three blocks away and letting the anti-lock brakes jerk me to a halt at every stop sign.
On Route 20, it was just me and about a dozen cars with “Pizza Hut” signs. Most of them were driving a good thirty miles an hour below the speed limit. I didn’t mind; this was the first snow of the season, after all. It was a good idea to be careful to the point of insanity. Even at thirty miles an hour the snow looks like warp drive from Star Trek, bright points caught in the headlights streak past the windshield. I should have brought a CD. Oh well. I’ll do it next time. There will be plenty of chances to drive in snow over the next four or five months.