Moment of Zen: Snow

Living up here in yankeeland, I’m probably not supposed to get so excited about the snow, but I do. I just love it. I’m not fond of driving in it, but as long as I don’t have to drive in it, I find it beautiful and relaxing.

About Joe

I began my life in the South and for five years lived as a closeted teacher, but am now making a new life for myself as an oral historian in New England. I think my life will work out the way it was always meant to be. That doesn't mean there won't be ups and downs; that's all part of life. It means I just have to be patient. I feel like October 7, 2015 is my new birthday. It's a beginning filled with great hope. It's a second chance to live my life…not anyone else's. My profile picture is "David and Me," 2001 painting by artist Steve Walker. It happens to be one of my favorite modern gay art pieces. View all posts by Joe

2 responses to “Moment of Zen: Snow

  • Finistere

    Please pardon my residual New England smugness about competence in driving a car on snow and ice: I learned how to master the art of winter driving from my dad.

    His last job was as an RFD letter carrier for the U.S. Post office, now the US Postal Service. He did this for 24 years. His duties required him to drive, when he started in 1958, a daily route of some 75 miles, six days a week thru the rough and picturesque terrain of the northwestern Connecticut countryside, over its craggy hills and along its winding and twisting roads, past woods and fields. He NEVER had an accident in winter conditions. And only once during his tenure in this job did he not have to face winter driving during a blizzard — the old motto of the post office applied unwaveringly: in a legendary nor’easter of February 1978 for the first time in state history, Gov. Ella Grasso by executive fiat closed all of Connecticut’s roads, for two days if my memory is correct, to everyone except first responders. People were liable to arrest if they attempted to drive anywhere.

    What he taught me to do is to drive “far ahead of the car” and to anticipate oncoming road features and traffic, to pay close attention to how the car was doing, and to do NOTHING that would break the traction of any of the wheels: no hard steering, sudden braking, or rapid or jerky acceleration. Every action of the driver is deliberate and calculated. Concentration is key. And your speed is calibrated to all of these considerations. Drive no faster than you’re comfortable with, and to hell with the people behind you who want to drive faster than you. It’s almost fun watching them pass you only to see them a few minutes slide off the road because they didn’t observe the principles above. On top of all this is nothing but good, sound defensive driving!

    When I went south to college, I loved watching the absolute ineptitude of drivers from the Deep South or urban southern California, who had never beforehand driven on snow or ice, spin their tires fruitlessly to try to get out a snow drift. Or later while living in NYC, seeing the taxi drivers from the Islands or Africa slam on their brakes only to skid — whee! — helplessly into the car in front.

    So, forgive me my hauteur — I’ll get mine some day — but follow the instructions given above and you’ll do just fine.

    Great, if chilling, photos today BTW.

    • closetprofessor

      Those were the instructions I followed last night. I was very careful. One major difference here and in the south is that they are prepared here for icy conditions. South Alabama was not, so all roads closed in cases of ice and snow, which was a very rare occurrence (maybe 4 or 5 times in 40 years). The main thing is that I need better windshield wiper blades which I plan to get today. Thanks for the wonderful advice.

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