I apologize to you all for that snow in this week’s forecast. Totally my fault. I got my snow tires off a few weeks ago, so it was likely Kelly karma. I jumped the gun.(I also put the snow shovel in the shed too, so yeah, guilty).
My bad. Oh well, what’s a little snow in April, right? Like, in the grand scheme of things that could further exasperate us in 2021, what’s the big deal about snow and zero temperatures in spring? Nothing, that’s what.
When I got the call from Jenna, the manager of my favourite mechanic shop, inviting me to book my seasonal tire-switch appointment, I could not hide my excitement. I felt a sense of accomplishment mixed with adrenaline. Accomplishment, because my car and I survived another long winter; adrenaline because having those thick winter tires with the ugly, black rusting hub caps replaced with my slick, road warrior wheels and chrome hub caps helps me imagine, just for a moment, that my decade-old Toyota hatchback is actually a sleek, sexy Porsche 718 Spyder (I’m brand specific). Imagination is a powerful thing. A girl can dream.
When Jenna handed me back my car keys, I was ecstatic. Spring was officially here. My car and I were ready for road trip adventures (note: third wave lockdown was announced the next day). I imagined myself peeling out of that auto centre, tires squealing, leaving a little smoke and a waft of burnt rubber as I fish-tailed out of the lot, steering off into the sunset with smooth, accelerated speed, like a rocket.
Of course, the reality was that I got to the end of the driveway and signalled to turn left, because I’m wild like that. I waited. I cursed the traffic on Highway 6. Contemplated scenarios where I could dodge oncoming cars and cross two lanes. Contemplated my engine’s capacity to scoot that fast. Waited some more. When it was finally safe to cross the lanes, I did so without squealing tires because imagine how embarrassing it is to squeal tires on a Matrix. Seriously. And I didn’t shift into gear. I drive an automatic. A boring automatic. Sometimes, I pretend to use a stick shift, pushing imaginary double foot pedals, making noises as if I’m gearing up. What? It’s fun. Try it.
As I headed out of town, it didn’t take long to remember that my all-season tires hit pot holes and raised patches of road with a velocity entirely different than my snow tires did. Ouch. My shocks were not happy. I probably shouldn’t have taken the S-bend on Colbourne Street between Fergus and Elora. My car bounced and wobbled along the rough surface of that stretch of broken asphalt like a pinball in a pinball machine. Brutal. Will it stop me from taking that road again? No. Also, I’ve discovered that the posted speed limit of 40km/h feels faster if you roll the windows down, stick your head out and yell “wee.” Sometimes I scare people on the trail nearby. It’s fun. Try it.
I’m restless. I miss road trip adventures. I miss the journeys. But I’m reminded that all roads lead me home and right now, home is where I need to be. Soon, very soon, I’ll be getting lost on back roads, singing Radar Love with the windows down, navigating the bumps on the road. Until then, I’m parked. And that’s okay with me. Stay safe.