Friday, December 09, 2005

New car - Yay! Old car - oops...

This morning we picked up our brand new Subaru Outback. Pretty. Atlantic Blue Pearl. We have named her Nimbus. (Jay's cloud fetish showing.) And thanks to my dad, the bank owns very little of it. It's a manual transmission, so I have to relearn how to drive a stick. I learned in 2004 on Jay's old Subaru, but I haven't actually driven a manual since that summer, so I need a major refresher.

And I realize that I sound like a student essay here... been reading for grading all morning and the pattern starts to stick after a while. Gah. Shoot me.

Of course, we've been getting snow up here... looking out the window, I see it's just now stopped. Now, I like snow. It's very handy for xcountry skiing, makes the dark Vermont evenings look a little less dark, and looks so pretty on the trees and all that. However, I don't really care for the white stuff when it's on the freezy roads. And of course, that brings us to "old car... oops".

I generally don't drive in the snow. Jay is a borderline (ha! more like TOTAL) control freak, and it's easier for me to let him drive than it is to listen to him freaking out in the passenger seat. As a result, I haven't driven much in bad weather for a really long time. Sadly out of practice.

Roads didn't seem too bad on the way to the dealership this morning. I kept an eye on Jay's speeds to gauge how fast I could go on the way home. Unfortunately, it kept snowing while we were inside signing papers and making nice, and the conditions didn't exactly improve.

Because of my long lapse in manual driving, Jay had to drive the new car home, and I had to take my poor old Oldsmobile with its crap tires and faulty heat system (low traction and an icy windshield - Lucky me). I made it through the first intersection and up the hill to the Interstate on-ramp. And then... wheel turned, tires facing one way but continuing to slide instead of turn... sliding very gracefully, very gently, off the snow-covered pavement and onto the embankment. Thought for a moment that I would be lucky and the edge of snow and grass would stop me, but after a slight pause, I slid down the hill sideways.


I will say this for Vermont. No fewer than 5 people stopped to see if we needed help. One guy even got some boards and things out of his truck to try to give my car some traction, and then helped push from behind, but no dice. Had to call the tow truck. Our only consolation was that we were definitely not alone in sliding off the road today. Tow truck comanies are raking in the bucks. Fifty from us, in fact. Sigh.

But we have out lovely new Nimbus, complete with the standard All Weather package that includes heated seats and heated windshield wipers. Oooh ahhhh. But I think we're still going to need to invest in snow tires.

I miss my mild western winters. Sniff.

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