Every year, I vow to not be miserable when the cold weather hits.
This year, I made it to Oct. 31.
All it took was a hellish 15 minutes trying to hold the ladder with both hands—and a flashlight with my mouth—while Bob hurled tires onto our pergola’s new steel roof to weigh it down on that hurricaney Halloween night. Gale force winds were doing their best to pry it off, ripping out dozens of trees by their roots all around us.
It was genius on Bob’s part; our roof remained intact.
Still, just hearing the word ‘winter’ makes me want to curl up in the fetal position with a spoon and a jar of Cheez Whiz, heated by the warmth of my S.A.D.D. lamp.
In my 32 years of humour writing, I’ve racked up so many I-hate-winter columns, I simply filed this one on my computer under the heading: “winter bleah 2019.”
My niece Judy cheered me up by sending me a post she saw on Facebook recently. It said: “Marriage is where you gasp while your husband is driving and he gets super annoyed, over and over, until you die.”
Dozens of wives commented that the quote described their driving situations perfectly.
It’s so nice to know I’m not alone.
In my defense, I gasp—uncontrollably and regularly—because I genuinely think I’m going to die.
About 15 years ago, I was driving (slowly) westward on St. David’s Road when our pickup truck hit a patch of black ice, and sent me swerving back and forth between the two-lane stretch of road. Luckily—and uncharacteristically—there were no other cars in either lane. After several swerves and unsuccessfully pumping my brakes, I blacked out, awakened by a woman screaming, “Call 9-1-1!” outside my window, thinking I was dead.
Facing in the opposite direction, the truck had veered waaaay down the road, with me unconscious behind the wheel, and rolled onto its side after it apparently bounced off a guard rail overlooking Hwy. 406.
Still choking on the powder from the airbags, I managed to climb out the window while my friends from the Thorold Fire Department escorted me—stunned—to a police cruiser.
I walked away without a scratch.
Mentally, though, it’s a different story.
Right before I blacked out I remember thinking calmly, “Hmm, so this is how I die. Weird."
And while I didn’t die or get hurt, I've hated every second of being inside a car or truck ever since, though it’s significantly better when I am driving. And Bob—who’s absolutely fearless behind the wheel, even in blizzards—has borne the brunt of my passenger PTSD for 15 years.
If I had a dollar for every time he said, ‘Relax!’ we could’ve retired 14 years ago.
On the motorcycle, I’m in heaven, sitting blissfully on the back and soaking in the scenery with nary a gasp. When the dark day comes that we’re forced to put the bike away for winter, I’m in full mourning until springtime.
When it comes to driving, Bob and I are literally polar opposites.
Last year, as usual, I was tensing every muscle in my body driving home in a severe snowstorm, occasionally opening one eye to make sure the road hadn’t swallowed us in its icy grip, and praying non-stop we’d make it home.
Bob stopped for chips.
Sometimes in a marriage, there are no words.
On the bright side, my right leg has developed Hulk-like muscles from fake-braking. I could probably lift a freight train car with it.
There’s more good news: our new car has dual climate control, which comes in really handy when Bob’s moustache starts forming icicles and I’m stripping down to my skivvies, hanging my head out the window like a dog to get a breath of fresh air.
This brilliant bit of marriage-saving technology has made our drives slightly less stressful.
But not in blizzards.
Welcome to winter 2019.