Monday, January 11, 2010

Tennessee Paradox

It has been interesting the past few mornings, driving to work. Looking out my kitchen window, the roads are still snowy white. Yet, as I pull out of my subdivision, onto the main road through town, and onto the interstate, they are very different. They are clear. Dry even.

When I first ventured out of my driveway, I was grateful for the training I'd received from my mother. The first snowfall after I had my license, we headed out early. My mother drove us to the local grocery store and parked the car.

We were the only ones there. The store was closed and the parking lot had not yet been plowed, so it was covered in a blanket of snow.

We traded seats and she began instructing. "Head that direction. Faster. STOP!" I pressed my foot hard on the brake, and the car began to slide and spin. From there I learned to steer into the skid, to handle the brakes more delicately. I learned that there is more traction accelerating than stopping, so I should slow down BEFORE my turn, so I can gently accelerate as I make it. I learned how to test the roads peridically for traction. (My education of "black ice" came once I hit the south!)

So, as I pulled out that first time and tested the roads, I gave my kids a quick lesson on traction. One politely said "ok" and the other "that's weird", and we were off.

Once we hit the main roads, I laughed at the Tennessee Paradox. The difference in the road conditions less than 1/2 a mile from each other was amazing. As is the difference in the way the North and the South handle a little snowfall.

Yet, I have adopted the Southern caution. Not only does a little sunshine on a freezing day turn a snowy road into a sheet of black ice more readily here than there, but not everyone was fortunate enough to have such wonderful winter driving training. Thanks Mom!

And thank You, God, for keeping me safe these past few days....

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