CAROLYN'S COMPOSITIONS

February 7, 2011

Driving on Snowy Laurel Mountain, PA.


CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

DRIVING ON SNOWY LAUREL MOUNTAIN, PA.

These snowy, inclement winter days I have the luxury of cozying up in our home, writing, cleaning, exercising, and even, sometimes, snoozing, while the snowflakes outside my window create a ten inch white blanket covering the browns and greens of the earth.

Others don’t have this luxury. My daughter, Sandra, a dialysis technician, must go to work. Patients need her. And she works in Somerset, atop the Laurel Ridge. Since we live in a foothill of Laurel Mountain, her job requires her to ascend—then descend—the mountain.

I’ve heard stories of her sliding down the hillside in the past. I prefer not to know her schedule—my sanity is more solid with that ignorance.

Sometimes, there is a truck (and the trucks are big ones) behind her. She said she stops at the top of the mountain and lets them proceed down before her. It’s safer that way, less nerve-wracking.

There’s often whiteouts on Rt. 985—a wide-open area where, when the wind blows, so does the snow, and drifts and whiteouts are common.

Other times she follows a salt truck, perhaps the safest thing when the snow falls or ice accumulates. Ninety-five per cent of the time, the roads on the Somerset side of her travels is worse than that descending Laurel Mountain.

On January 26, she told me that that wasn’t the case for her late-afternoon drive home. There was some whiteout on Rt. 985—the snow was falling right at her— but the wind wasn’t blowing. Sandy descended Laurel Mountain at twenty miles per hour, and no one was behind her. There was a car in front of her, however. It proceeded with confidence down the mountain, disappearing from her view. As she drove around a curve, she saw fresh tire tracks that crossed the road into an embankment. The car must have freed itself and driven on, because she didn’t see it.

I asked Sandy what her worst experience was. She said just as she started down the mountain she hit her brakes to slow down. The car spun. She ended up facing the opposite direction in the opposite lane. There was a car ascending the mountain, but she had time to turn around and continue descending.

Many persons are out there on the roads because they must be, regardless of the weather and road condition. Emergency situations, especially medical ones, don’t consider the weather when they strike. We need to pray for those who must travel, and we must see that they are as protected as possible.

It’s for their safety, and ours.

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ADDITIONAL READING:

The snow came softly and gently: Feb. 5, 2010

Skidding on Thin Ice Camouflaged by New-Fallen Snow

Hazardous Winter Driving on Atlanta’s Roads

Only Space Aliens Look Forward to Winter

www.carolyncholland.wordpress.com

www.beanerywriters.wordpress.com

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