Winter Driving In Iowa: I Need A Drink And A Clean Pair of Underwear

Is this the guy forecasting our weather?  SERIOUSLY!!!!!!

Is this the guy forecasting our weather? SERIOUSLY!!!!!!

Last year’s winter spoiled us.  I think it snowed twice, and one of the times it snowed it technically wasn’t winter yet.  Oh how I had forgotten how awful winter can be, especially when you have to drive in it.

The bad weather that they forecast last week?  We got some snow, but nowhere near the Snowmageddon that they were anticipating.  The other day we started out with a 30% chance of pm light snow and we got a major snowstorm.  I came to work expecting a little bit of snow by nightfall.  It started snowing a little a few minutes after I got there.  It didn’t stop.  It got heavier.  I shrugged it off.  Not gonna panic.  Nope.  I figured it would let up soon.

Then they let the schools out early.  My son was able to go to the sitter’s house, which was good because there was no way I was going to be able to get there on time to get him!  Even though this important detail was taken care of, I was starting to get somewhat nervous.  Somehow I manage to convince myself that just like last week it’s just a state of panic.  Yet I’m spending a good amount of time fixated on the white stuff that is getting heavier and heavier outside our classroom window.  Finally at 2:30 the out of town people, me being one of them, were dismissed and we headed out.  I figured it wasn’t too bad yet-I was wrong.

The following is the tale of my harrowing ride home:

Did I mention that I live close to a half hour away?  Part of this drive is highway, part of it is interstate, and a small portion of it is county road. The interstates are usually cleared and the best form of travel in this kind of weather.  However getting there is half the battle.  I have to drive on the world’s worst highway to get there.

I go 30 miles an hour down the highway that I usually drive at 65 miles per hour.  It’s very slippery and scary and I am very scared as I see cars in the ditches everywhere.  This is a sample of what I was saying as I was going driving and sliding around:


I finally give up and turn off the highway to cut through town.  I don’t think they own a snowplow.  Or salt.  Or sand.  They just let you slide around and fear for your life.  Intersections are anxiety provoking, especially when you have to drive into traffic that may or may not be able to stop for you.

Princess Defiant does not like this, “Where are we going?  Why did you get off the highway?”
Me:  “Because I don’t want to keep driving on this road.  I want to go through town to get on the safer exit.”  (Translation-I don’t want to die trying to get on the interstate.)

There could have been definite spewing on my little journey.  Less singing and more screaming too.

There could have been definite spewing on my little journey. Less singing and more screaming too.

I knew once I got on the interstate it would be better, but it didn’t make it any less scary getting there.

Once I was on the interstate, travel was definitely an improvement, but there were a few moments when I really thought I was going to die.

Nonononononononononononononononono.  This is what I uttered every time a semi drove past me doing 90, splattering my windshield with slushy stuff and almost forcing me off the road.

At one point we passed ambulances and state patrol cars on the opposite side of the road.  There was a car half in the ditch with nothing left of the front end.  If it wasn’t a compact before, it definitely was now.  I was really getting nervous.

That’s when I hear Princess Defiant sigh and then ask in a very loud annoyed voice:  “WHEN WILL BE HOME????”
Me:  “This is scary driving.  We need to take our time.  I don’t want to have an accident.”
Silence from the backseat for a moment, then she asks, “What do you mean have an accident ANYWAY????”
Oh.  She thinks accidents are when you pee or poop your pants, which I actually came pretty close to doing, so she really wasn’t far off in that thinking.
Time to be blunt.  “It means crash the car.”
“Oh” she says quietly, then I hear her whisper very loudly “I don’t think I want you to crash the car.”  That’s nice that you’re on the fence about that, dear.

Eventually the longest drive of my recent life ended.  It took us almost an hour to make a 23 minute drive.  We picked up my son and were able to drive the few blocks home from there with minimal sliding around.

I texted my husband when I got home to let him know that I got there safely and gave him an idea of how the roads were.  Apparently he thought I was mocking him.  He texted me back that he was planning on driving it after a few drinks.  Brat.

So I didn’t die.  I drove in Iowa winter weather and once again lived to tell the tale.  At least until next time.  We’re expecting snow next week…

Thankfully my drive didn't end in disaster like this one did...

Thankfully my drive didn’t end in disaster like this one did…

33 thoughts on “Winter Driving In Iowa: I Need A Drink And A Clean Pair of Underwear

  1. I’m glad you made it home safely. It’s always extra scary when the kids are in the car during a slippery drive home.

    The “have an accident” conversation made me laugh. Mom’s gonna have an accident?!

  2. I am glad to live in east TN for we have snow in small amounts if at all. I have lived farther north and have memories of sitting on the interstate behind an accident for hours. I don’t miss it at all!

  3. I am totally with you about being freaked out driving in snow / slush! I live in Wisconsin and have only landed in the ditch ONCE (thankfully), but it is so scary! I also hate those semis and other huge trucks that just speed on by! Great post – and safe driving! Winter is not yet over for us!

  4. Glad you had safe travels. Thankfully, here in Ohio where I live this year hasn’t been so bad. (Watch me just curse the whole thing now)

  5. As a Northern Illinoisian (is that a word?), I share your pain!! Like Bill Cosby used to say, “first you say it, and then you do it”. Maybe have an extra pair of underwear stashed in the glovebox? Oh wait, you have kids and they may go looking for something. That could get awkward.

    Anyway, glad you made it and had a great story for a snowy Friday!!

  6. I guess when you live in Iowa you’ve got to get used to that kind of driving…here on the east coast we have our share of snow storms and I too am so nervous to drive in them, saying the same things that you do! Glad you made it home safely…

  7. I am SO afraid of driving in the snow. And I’ve lived in Massachusetts my whole life; you’d think I’d be used to it. Last Sunday, I was at the mall with my husband and son, and when we came out, there was about 17 feet of snow on the roads (I might be exaggerating a little). He drove and I literally cried the whole way home. I’m such a little bitch.

    • I’m from New England – Massachusetts drivers are infamous for not being particularly safe. I wouldn’t want to be around some of them in that kind of weather. Though I’m sure you’re the exception to the rule, you are an excellent driver, right?

  8. I say the EXACT same things when I’m driving in the snow. I grew up driving in it, but as I’ve gotten older, it freaks me the hell out. 😀

  9. Holy crap! I would have def shit my pants! I’m from and currently live in Florida. I get scared to drive when it’s raining really hard! Glad you made it home okay!

  10. Yep, I’ve been in that exact situation more than once this year, and it is NO FUN AT ALL!
    I’m visiting today from Raising Imperfection.

  11. I am so sorry you guys have all had to deal with as much snow as you have this winter. And the weatherman can’t predict anything right anymore!
    I think I am a great driver in snow, but like you I HATE being around other idiots that freak out and end up in the ditch or cause a 30 car pile up! Ugh!

    Thank you for linking to Raising Imperfection.
    Please come back Friday to see if you were featured. 🙂

    (¸¤ Lanaya | xoxo

  12. I Was never afraid of driving in the snow until about six years ago. We had a horrible storm and I left work early my 35 minute drive took just over three hours. I for sure had a panic attack while I was driving, complete with hyperventilating. It was so bad that cars were just stopped in the middle of the highway. When I finally got home, I called my husband to meet me in the parking lots of our complex because I couldn’t even handle parking. Worst night ever. All that to say….I understand!

    Thank you for linking up to Raising Imperfection!
    Make sure to check back on Friday to see if you were featured.

    • I totaled my first car in this kind of weather. I really need to tell that story sometime! We have some weather coming tonight-I’m hoping maybe it will all blow way north of here so we don’t even have to deal with it! I’m tired of this weather!

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