Trial By Fire, Not Quite

I have only driven our vehicle under a handful of times since the pandemic began. The technology changed significantly in the new vehicle, and although I catch on pretty quickly, with months and months in between experiences, I have to really work at remembering all the little ins and outs of how things work. They work differently than our older vehicles, which all of my life had similar ways of doing things. Not this new vehicle, push button start, odd controls for the defrost and heat, as well as the windshield wipers. I have to figure it all out anew every single time! I would only need a handful of consecutive experiences not too far apart to remember the systems automatically, but that hasn’t happened yet. My comfort with driving has been a victim of Covid isolation.

Attila has no such issue, he uses the vehicle to travel to and from work, it all comes to him now without thinking.

Well, today it was trial by fire.

Attila had day surgery this morning in a hospital about an hour away. He had to bring a driver, as he was not able to drive himself home. That driver was me!

I had a few moments yesterday, of “nerves”, contemplating not only driving for the first time in a long time, but driving for an hour, and navigating the downtown of a city to boot.

This morning though, fate upped her game; snow storm, ice, treacherous roads. It would be trial by fire!

There was no question that we would make the journey despite the weather. Attila had waited many long months to get this appointment for surgery. We were going.

As we came into the city during rush hour, we began to witness some pretty scary driving, cars fishtailing at speed, that sort of thing. Attila drove us there, he could do that. The roads were appalling. The city streets had not been cleared. Traffic was heavy.

The surgery went really well.

Then I was in the driver’s seat. We were in a parking garage, I hate them. I can’t reach the wicket, so I have to open the car door to move myself out further to reach it. This takes time. People waiting behind me are usually impatient, luckily there was only one, and they didn’t honk at me. I got through it.

The city roads were better than they had been on our journey to the hospital, still not cleared, but the temperature had risen, the snow was no longer packing into ice, and the ruts had thawed to make steering easier. After leaving the city, the roads were better in many spots than they had been earlier, but wind drifting made sections of the road snow covered, icy, and hazardous.

It was a knuckle biter of a journey home for me. We arrived safely, and without incident. I gave a sigh of relief.

Of course, by lunch time the storm had abated and the roads were improving by the minute!

Attila is resting and well on his way to recovery.



Updated on Tue, Feb 28, 2:05 PM
1 °C
Wind 23 W km/h
Humidity 82 %
Visibility 17 km
Sunrise 6:47 AM
Wind gust 35 km/h
Pressure 100.4 kPa
Ceiling 400 m
Sunset 5:54 PM


“Human Dignity has gleamed only now and then and here and there, in lonely splendor, throughout the ages, a hope of the better men, never an achievement of the majority.”
James Thurber
1894 – 1961

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Diane Dahli

I’m glad Attila is better, and hope he continues to improve. The drive you describe sounds like my worst nightmare! I’m not overly find of driving at the best of times LOL!

Joan Lansberry

I’m so glad you and Attila are safely back at home and he is recovering! (I drive, but still do not like freeways and big city traffic!) (I avoid freeways by going alternate routes.) And that’s with no snow. I do remember it, though. I was a much younger driver then!


Best wishes for Attila’s quick and complete recovery!

We had our bad weather yesterday. I would not have wanted to drive in it as we had what looked like a swirling blizzard in a snow globe, with at best about 5 feet of visibility. But you did great! I haven’t even driven our new push button car yet, and we’ve had it about a year.


Well that was a day and a half for you! It’s nerve racking enough trying to ‘feel confident’ in an unfamiliar environment without other distractions to contend with. Congratulations- the mail got through!! And you got your man home all in one piece
And I hear you on getting the car close enough to those little keypads that unlock doors/gates/lift booms……my arms are in the ‘too short’ to reach section as well. You try leaning out to the point of half your body hanging out the window before deciding to be sensible, open the door and get out, all the while smiling sweetly at those behind you in the queue. ‘‘Twas your lucky day by the sounds of it with only one driver there to see your predicament.


What a scary adventure but you did it! In the Chicago area we have drivers who know better but still drive like maniacs when it’s snowy and icy. I’ll never understand them. I hope Attila feels much better!