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Icy Road to Work

Have you ever made a seemingly innocuous decision only to come to regret it with a vengeance? I have done this many times. Most recently, my poorly thought-out decision nearly ended in disaster.

Last Wednesday we had icy roads topped with rapidly falling snow during my morning commute time. Visibility was poor, and it was cold. Very cold.

My Dodge Charger is notoriously horrible on ice and snow, but I had to drive it if I wanted to get to work. I got up early that morning and left my house with thirty minutes to get to work.

My car kept sliding and fishtailing even though I crawled along with great caution. I reached the intersection where I normally turn to take the back way to my office and automatically turned. I had planned to stay on the main roads, but old habits die hard and I turned. That was a big mistake.

I managed to stay on both the first and second streets, even though my car kept trying to find the ditch. The real trouble started when I turned on the third road. I crossed the bridge without incident and began the assent up the hill. The Charger skidded to the right, so I turned into it. I ended up cross-ways on the road, blocking both lanes of traffic. I was stuck. I couldn’t move forward or straighten out.

I tried to ease into motion. When that didn’t work, I gave it more gas, then more until I was spinning my tires and they were smoking in protest. The traffic headed in both directions had stopped to give me plenty of room to maneuver.

My heart pounding, I threw the car in Reverse. It moved. I straightened the car and got back in my lane. I switched gears to Drive and was stuck again. My car was simply not climbing that hill.

I did the only thing I could. I put my car back in Reverse and backed down the hill. I even got in the proper traffic lane, but the other vehicles on the street stayed still and waited to see if I was going to crash and burn before they moved. Once back on the flat street from which I’d turned, I followed it around to a residential area where I turned on the nearest street taking me in the general direction of work. That road was by far the worst one I traversed that morning. The Charger skated down the street, fishtailing like a betta fighting fish the entire way.

I finally made it to work. I was a few minutes late and anxiety-ridden, but I was unscathed. Two of my coworkers travel the same roads as me, and neither of them had any trouble making it to work. They both kept to main, well traveled roads, as I had intended.

I know better than to take back roads when they’re icy. It was force of habit that had me turning down my regular road. My unfortunate route choice could have cost me a great deal more trouble than sliding into work late. I could easily have wrecked and caused damage to my car and other people’s property, as well.

I like to plan for every contingency, but sometimes I make a careless blunder such as turning down the wrong icy road in a snowstorm. While I will continue to make mistakes in my life, I won’t make that one again.

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