My friend Christa is living in Belgium right now, and her kids are going to school in all sorts of snow storms. Being from North Carolina (where schools are closed with 1/10th of an inch of snow) she has no idea how to drive in these kinds of weather conditions. As I was reading her most recent blog post, I remembered why I hate driving in the snow and promised never to do it again one spring day in 2002. So, here it is folks. Don’t laugh, it was a traumatizing experience!
In the spring of 2002 Rahul and I were still trying to find a way to get married while honoring both our Southern Baptist and Hindu families. We all know how that worked out (we ended up giving up and eloping on my 30th birthday) but that is another story. I found *the* wedding dress at a bridal store in Raleigh but they did not have my size. Since I *had* to have *this dress* (which seems so silly now), I planned to drive to Charlotte to get it. I scheduled a lunch date with my friend Missy who had moved to Charlotte and thought it would be a fun day.
The weather folks were calling for snow, but like most snow forecasts in North Carolina they missed the mark. I planned on taking the back roads home to avoid the horrible rush hour Charlotte traffic. First mistake.
The roads looked like this 30 minutes into my drive.
30 minutes later, I was the only car on the road…with my stupid pretty wedding dress in the back that I ended up selling on EBay. Sigh. I decided I was going to end up in a ditch if kept driving, so I pulled into the driveway of the next house I saw, called Rahul so he knew what I was doing in case I was abducted by some freak, and walked up to the front door. A man answered the door, and I am sure my face was in full freak out mode because he quickly said “my wife is also here.” Turns out this family grew up in the mountains and loved driving in the snow. The wife offered to drive my car to the interstate (where road conditions were supposed to be better) and had a friend drive behind us. She drove my little Honda Civic like it was a beastly SUV with 4 wheel drive. Never even slipped on the snowy, icy roads. I was so grateful to be on an interstate again that I never even asked her name. I did hug her and said many, many thank yous.
Thinking my adventure was over, I hightailed in on I-40 trying to out run the snow storm. I made it to Burlington before the roads were bad again. My cell phone battery was almost dead so I was trying to save battery life, but Rahul kept checking on me to see if I was ok. When it was just my little Honda Civic and 18 wheelers, I decided to pull over at the next exit and stay at a hotel room. Keep in mind, I had *never* stayed in a hotel by myself. And in these weather conditions, I felt super vulnerable. I checked in, ate crackers and a Coke for dinner and tried my best to sleep.
The next morning the roads were still bad, but what else could I do? I had to get home. I drove with my hands gripping the steering wheel as hard as they could (like that was going to help me not crash??) and drove 25 MPH from Burlington to Chapel Hill. I made a lot of promises during that super long drive, the main one being that I would *never* drive in the snow again if I made it home safely. I have kept that promise, and probably always will. I am lucky that we still live in North Carolina so schools close even with snow in the forecast.
Moral of the story: nothing (not even *the* wedding dress) is worth driving in the snow.