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Dashing through the snow

December 5, 2008 - Cindy Votruba
Driving in the snow has never been a favorite of mine. Well, I’m sure it’s not a favorite for anyone, having to brush off however many inches fell the night before off the windshield, hood and other parts of the vehicle before you even start moving, scrape off a layer of ice if one is there under the snow or even, joy of joys, having to dig under your vehicle and around the tires so you can even move out of your parking spot.

For seven years, I had a Chevrolet Cavalier. That car would always amazingly start up, even in umpteen below windchills. The one drawback, it was low to the ground and snow would get packed under it when my street was plowed. I’d dutifully go out with my shovel, dig around the tires, scoop snow from underneath and hope and pray that I’ve shoveled enough to break free. Sometimes this could take half an hour. There were even a couple of times when I’ve done my paper route and got caught up on snow and had to call Southwest Towing to give me a nudge out of the packed snow.

Now I drive a Jeep Cherokee with four-wheel-drive. Oh how I love that option. Sure, the Jeep has given me problems in the two and a half years I’ve had it — replacing the heater core, not once, but twice, a new water pump, new battery, fixing two power windows, but it’s great when getting out of packed snow. I’ve only had to really shovel around the vehicle once. I think I remember the first time I got myself unstuck from the snow with the Jeep. I think I praised the Lord or let out a triumphant yell. Well, I didn’t have to shovel that time. Feels good on someone who has had heart surgery and really doesn’t like to shovel in the first place.

Since it looks like the snow is going to stick around for a while, I have to make sure I’m well-prepared when I’m going somewhere. I tend to have my shovel in my vehicle year-round (mainly because I don’t really have another place to stash it), have jumper cables, a blanket and other things in my Jeep. I don’t have a winter emergency kit per se, but if I know it’s going to be bad, I’ll have my boots, scarf, hat (maybe even the face mask), heavy coat, cell phone and some food in the Jeep.

Or just don’t go anyplace.


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