Pet peeves of winter


Are you one of those people that plows out your driveway by making a straight run and pushing the pile across the road and stacking it on the opposite edge of the street?

Are you one of those people that fire up your snowblower and toss the white stuff anyplace it lands—especially out into the road—with the only concern being that it isn’t in your driveway anymore?

I hate you.

(Ok… that’s a bit strong. I don’t hate you. But I definitely don’t understand you.)

A few days ago, I was driving along a fairly main road. Ahead of me, two people were out clearing a driveway, with one of them using a snowblower. I was easily close enough to be within sight, and far enough away for them to adjust, when they began pouring snow out into the road. As I passed, forced to move in a certain way by oncoming traffic, it covered my windshield. And the crap hitting the road would be there for other drivers coming along, creating a slick and icy patch on otherwise dry pavement.

And yet, all that can be said is how amazingly inconsiderate it is. Might not be legal in many places, but often legal is judged by what you are caught doing and if you are told to stop.

When I bring out the snowblower, I put a lot of care and effort into making sure I’m blowing the snow off into my yard and not the flow of traffic. I’d like to think I’m not alone, but it’s quite obvious that many people just don’t care.

Years ago, Terry and I had a drive to work that passed by a house with a long driveway, which reached the road at a strange angle near a bend. Their process for clearing it involved using a truck with a plow blade and shoving the snow across the street into a pile. As the winter progressed, multiple plowings would mean the pile crept from the side of the road onto the shoulder and once even into the edge of the travel lane. To my knowledge, based on multiple seasons of viewing the growing pile, there never was an official stop made to the practice.

Winter seems to bring into play—what I suppose can only be described as pet peeves, given the occurrences repeating whether or not the activities violate any law—on a far more frequent basis. And as I turned off the wipers on my car the other day… recovering from the snowshower we were treated to, I began considering some of the joys of winter.

What joys?

Wipers frozen to the windshield. Snow building up in wheel wells and rubbing against the tires. Car batteries more annoyed by being out in the cold than you are. Dirt and salt and messed up clothing.

It’s a funny thing though… since times do change. Keyless entry of any kind has reduced how many of us fight with frozen locks. But the winter does create scenarios we all get frustrated by, and it seems to create them far more often than other seasons. I’m guessing there are plenty of reasons why the dangers of palm trees and coconuts don’t result in the same bad feelings.

For now, there’s a bottle of washer fluid I need to find. Storm on the way. Slush on the road. And at least one street I need to avoid.


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