My hands were clammy, knuckles white, nose was wet with cold. I couldn’t see past the hood of my car. The weather man likes the term lake effect snow. Vertigo started to kick in. The grey sky blended in with the highway ahead in combination with the gusts of snowy wind. It was 8 degrees outside and I thought to myself that it was one degree warmer than the night before. Perhaps this winter will end soon. I laughed at my sick humor.
I saw the traffic light. I knew it was red. I took my foot off the gas pedal and allowed the car to slow itself down. Soon I would have to apply the brake but I knew in doing so I was going to slide. I glanced in the rearview mirror and saw that the car behind me was just too close. As the slide began, I knew to turn the wheel to the right to get some traction in the snowbank on the shoulder. My car came to a stop.
The car behind me, hood full of snow, decided to slam on the brakes which put him into a slide that was uncontrollable. He jeered his car to the left and went right under the red light. There were vehicles shimmying their way through, barely missing the car that was behind me.
I sighed a breath of relief. As I merged onto the highway, I realized that the visibility was zero. I literally couldn’t see a thing. I continued forward at a very slow pace. I muttered to God, “If I should call in please let me see the exit so I can turn around.” I passed the exit, only seeing the signs for it seconds too late. I continued heading to work.
I know this commute by heart. I saw the cars in the ditch ahead of me and I casually glanced to make sure nobody was freezing to death. Everyone was on their phones, which meant it would have been more hazardous for me to stop than helpful, since there wasn’t anything else I could do to offer assistance.
I casually drove on at snail pace. I asked God again, “If I should exit, please let me know.” Again, I drove past the exit. Again I sighed out of frustration and agony. I continued on. As I continued, I saw the Coopersville sign and I knew that there was no way for me to turn around at this point.
As soon as I crossed the border, I noticed the snow quit. I could finally see the road ahead of me. The sun was shining. It was now 6 degrees, however, the sun was beautiful against the sparkling snow drifts. I smiled at the sky while thinking aloud that this is a winter wonderland. It’s amazing how the Michigan lakes affect the weather so much!