Tag Archives: words of wisdom

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!

 

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