It’s time to get ready! 

It’s time to get ready! 


Long-range weather forecast: “Up to 5mm freezing rain, followed by snow, as much as 25 cm, accompanied by easterly winds of 25 kph, gusting to 40. White-out conditions likely.”

Living in this corner of the country, we should be quite aware of that forecast. We could experience those conditions when we step out the door any time after Remembrance Day, any year after our fourth birthday. Those statistics were what we might have to put on our Grade IX Geography of Canada final exam paper.

Therefore, when we got our driver’s licence at age sixteen, we should know some of the basic information related to preparation for winter driving. It was up to Dad to get those so-called ‘all-season’ tires off the family car. True winter tires have a different tread pattern and are made of a rubber that has a more tenacious grip. If an appointment for the switch is booked in October, then we can go directly to the head of the line at the garage in mid-November. 

 Here are some useful Christmas gifts from previous years that should already be in the trunk by the time the southward-bound Vs of Canada geese and undulating gaggles of snow geese have stopped passing overhead: sleeping bag; windshield scraper and brush; folding snow shovel; mitts; toque; jug of deicer fluid; Sorels, mukluks (or whatever you wish to call those lined boots).

Traction mats. Two pairs are a must for a rural commuter. One pair is put directly ahead of the downhill side of the drive-wheel. Once the stuck car is eased onto them thanks to gravity’s help, the car can be backed onto the second set, Un-stuck you become. As the saying goes, “Bob’s yer uncle!” 

If you’re like the couple that lives at 55 St. Lawrence St., all the garage space is taken up by bicycles, canoe, lawn mower, snow blower and tools. As the fellow in Bethlehem told Joseph. whose wife was with child, “Sorry, no room!”  (In this case over 2,000 years later, no room for a car.)  

The driver who is in most danger during her winter drive is a rural resident, whose car overnights in an attached heated garage. Most of her long drive is during the early morning hours, along roads surrounded by vast corn fields. Her office job’s perk is the heated underground parking facility.

If she slides off into a ravine next to the snow-drifted road, her blouse, miniskirt and high heels won’t be her friends on her trek to get help. If she’s lucky, she has a charged cell phone and a near-full tank of gas.

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