When everything around is covered with snow it’s hard to tell the difference between just plain snow and a snow bank.
At least I think that’s why I wound up with my car stuck in a snow bank when I tried to drive out of a parking lot one day last week.
After my experience last March when I couldn’t make it home during a monster snowstorm, I tend to view snowstorms a bit differently than I used to. I see them less as a challenge and more as something that should wait for a day when I don’t have to go anywhere.
Of course, they don’t get the message.
When a heavy snowfall was forecast last Wednesday, I pulled on my snow pants and double-checked to make sure my snow shovel was in the trunk of the car before heading off to work earlier than usual. I made my slow way to town, dropped my stuff off at the office and moved my car to the parking lot behind the library on the theory that at least it wouldn’t be wind up sitting in mounds of snow left by passing plows the way it would if it were parked on the street.
The snowfall seemed to ease up for a time. We were advised to wrap up our work early, if possible, and take off. By late afternoon I was ready to take that advice. After pulling on my snow pants, boots and the rest of my outer gear, I headed out into the snow, which had picked up the pace again as the afternoon wore on.
The first thing I was sure of was that this was no Winter Storm Stella. The sidewalks weren’t impassable and getting from sidewalk to street did not require wading through hip-deep snow banks.
My car sat alone and snow-covered in the parking lot. I cleared the windshields and knocked the snow off the headlights and taillights. I settled for kicking the snow away from the tires and was quite pleased when put the car in gear and it rolled through the snow with no problem.
All went well until I tried to pull out onto the street. Suddenly the tires were spinning and the car was going nowhere. I tried backing up to see if I could rock it out, but that wasn’t happening either. I put on the four-way flashers and climbed out - right into a snow bank. With all that white stuff around I hadn’t seen the difference in the depth of the snow and had plowed right into it. I popped the trunk and pulled out the snow shovel.
A man was shoveling just up the street a little ways. "Do you need a push?" he asked.
That would be helpful, I told him.
He came with his shovel and started working to clear some of the snow. I pitched a couple of shovelfuls of snow away from the tires on the other side of the car. Just then another man came along with a shovel and a third took my shovel from me and they all went to work. After a few minutes they said I should be able to go. We put my shovel back in the trunk and I started the car and put it in gear while the three of them pushed and I rolled out into the street.
I waved my thanks and drove on down the street. Other than sliding a bit at one intersection, my trip home was quite uneventful.
And there was still enough daylight to get out the roof rake and clear some snow off the back roof.
Donna Thompson is the trends editor of the Times Telegram. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at 315-866-2220.