Monday, March 12, 2007

Ice skating to work!

I’ve learned a lot of new skills since moving to Alaska. I now know how to fish for salmon and halibut. I know how to cook fresh king crab, not a chore for the faint of heart, and how to keep ravens and bears out of my garbage. I’ve learned to talk to strangers in the grocery store and to not lock my doors. I’ve learned many things in the 7 years we’ve lived here, but probably the one I’m most proud of is my new found ability to drive in just about any weather condition.

Last week for example, we were having some huge snow storms that caused whiteouts… just when I was driving home from work. Can’t see the road? Can’t see the sky? Can’t see the other cars? No problem! I can handle it! Freezing rain, 2 feet of slush, sunny and snowing, I’ve done them all.

What really gets me though are days like today. It’s been snowing and hovering right at freezing. This means that the roads melt and then refreeze. I’ve been in ice rinks less slippery than the roads were this morning. I was slip-sliding all the way to work. I used to panic when my car slid on ice, now I’m so used to it that I simply turn into the slide and take my foot off the gas.

This winter the roads have been a sheet of ice for most of the last 4 months and you’d think that most people around here are also used to driving on it by now. But no, when the roads are wet but not icy, I get stuck behind someone going 35 in a 55, and when the roads are treacherous and I see 4 cars in the ditch (including a big delivery truck) on the way to work, some bozo zooms around me going 65! I did find it extremely ironic when I passed the same bozo 2 miles down the road sitting in the ditch talking on his cell phone.

I was so good; I didn’t even wave and smile… But I thought about it!