Driving in a Winter Wonderland

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Driving in a Winter Wonderland

cold-dog-meme

 

As I listened to the roar of my snow tires through the snowfall last week, I had to laugh at some old memories. My late husband Angelo used to argue that winter tires were “for people from Toronto who have to call in the army to shovel the sidewalks when it snows.”  That was until one day he backed down my father’s snowy driveway on Miltimore Drive in Bromont and removed part of my Dad’s fence. Not content with believing his Delta 88 could do such a thing he attempted to reverse again, only this time he hit the mailbox. He remained silent on the drive back to Ottawa and I never heard him tell tall tales about snow tires again.

 

My late father Arthur Knight always insisted that you should keep bags of sand in the trunk for traction in case you got stuck in the winter. His 70s Ford Pinto was loaded to the brim with bags of sand, and when I went to visit him he insisted tossing in more in my trunk. It was supposed to add weight, and if I ever got stuck, the sand could be used for traction he said. I never actually got stuck, so I never had to use the sand. Somehow I doubt that a couple of sandbags add or subtract anything meaningful to the traction of a vehicle that already weighs a ton when empty, plus a few hundred pounds with a driver and passenger.

 

Every year CAA publishes advice for winter driving and putting sand or litter in the back of a rear wheel drive car is always on the list. I personally prefer cat litter because it’s relatively inexpensive (non clumping, non scented) and provides decent traction.

 

When I was a kid everyone had snow tires. It was only in the 80s that people got silly and bought into the “all season” foolishness.

 

We’ve all heard someone say:

 

“I’ve been driving 50 years and have never needed winter tires–or– really, I only need two snow tires!”

 

Which meansHold my Timmies! I got this!

 

My Dad also used to tell the neighbours to pour hot water from the kettle on a frozen windshield. I heard him say that so many times, but he failed to tell folks about the puddle it left behind. That can lead someone to suffer a nasty spill– which he seemed to take each time he luckily didn’t crack the windshield with that boiling water.

 

Or how about turning your car on and idling it so the car will be warm? Sometimes I had time to run up Albert Street and buy something at Bonneau’s before the neighbour’s car was fully warmed up. Years ago cars didn’t have technology to properly warm up a carburetor but some folks still believe the myth their Dad and Grandfather told them about keeping the car warm.

 

If anyone ever tries to tell you any of these are true, block your ears and slowly back away. My favourite thing about winter? When it’s over!  Just be glad you don’t live in Newfoundland!

 

Cattle Driving — Keeping the Beast on the Road

“Let the Cattle Pass” An Insulting Nuisance

Weekend Driving- Smiths Falls Franktown and Carleton Place 1925

Tips From the Almonte Gazette “Travel Section” 1874

TWO GIRLS FINISH LONG MOTOR TRIP-Eileen Snowden— Almonte

 

About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

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