Activate Staying Sharp and you can create a brain health plan that includes games, activities, recipes and more. Try it today!
by Barbara Burris, AARP Bulletin, - January 23, 2009
For most of my adult life, I thought of the first snow as a giant pain in the butt. All that yadda, yadda, yadda about pristine beauty was great only if you didn’t have to get in your car and drive somewhere. But as soon as the first snow hit the ground, I might as well have painted bull’s-eyes on every side of my car. It didn’t matter how much driving experience people had. Everything they knew about driving on snow seemed to have evaporated with last spring’s thaw. Come winter, they were starting over from scratch.
Apparently, the most problematic part about driving on snow is that it requires steering the car with something other than a knee or an elbow. Cellphones and designer coffees, coupled with the old standby, the cigarette, have made driving quite a challenge. We just don’t have enough extremities!
And people cannot understand the concept of slowing down. Everyone is in a hurry. I’ve seen drivers risk life and limb to cut someone off just to be first at the drive-up window at the fast-food restaurant. They fly through intersections at the tail end of yellow lights, worried there might not be enough time to stop for their morning latte. Certain their 2-ton behemoth will crush the tiny snowflakes into submission, many drivers feel absolutely no need to begin braking sooner than usual. They act surprised when they slide into the middle of the intersection as the light turns red.
Now that I’m retired, I feel good knowing that when the first snowstorm of the season arrives each year, I don’t have to participate in the demolition derby. I curl up in front of a cozy fire with a cup of tea and a good book. No matter what appointments I had scheduled for the day, I change them. After all these years, I finally get to be the person admiring the pristine beauty of it all.
The AARP Bulletin's "What I Really Know" column comes from our readers. Each month we solicit short personal essays on a selected topic and post some of our favorites in print and online. Barbara Burris is a Bulletin reader from Burlington, Wis.
Please leave your comment below.
You must be logged in to leave a comment.
You are leaving AARP.org and going to the website of our trusted provider. The provider’s terms, conditions and policies apply. Please return to AARP.org to learn more about other benefits.
Your email address is now confirmed.
You'll start receiving the latest news, benefits, events, and programs related to AARP's mission to empower people to choose how they live as they age.
You can also manage your communication preferences by updating your account at anytime. You will be asked to register or log in.
In the next 24 hours, you will receive an email to confirm your subscription to receive emails
related to AARP volunteering. Once you confirm that subscription, you will regularly
receive communications related to AARP volunteering. In the meantime, please feel free
to search for ways to make a difference in your community at