Weather is never a factor when you live in a place like San Diego, but in New England weather is your biggest enemy. Winter is a test of physical and mental endurance and it can make doing something as simple as going to the dentist more like a quest, or a really horrible video game pilot. We "played" the pilot for this game yesterday when we had to use the Groupons we bought to go to a dentist in Boston (a 45-minute drive on a clear day). (These Groupons were my attempt to save a few bucks on dentistry; if only I could find Groupons for root canals.) The weather was awful...what began as steady snow turned into slushy rain then began to freeze over to ice, but if we didn't show up for our appointments, we had to forfeit the Groupons and I couldn't stand to lose more money over my teeth, so our quest began.
Just on the way out of the long driveway at my work, a co-worker attempting to turn into the parking lot in his little Scion, was stuck blocking the way; his small wheels spinning in vain. Clearly he wasn't going to make it past Level 1 of the quest. After 10 minutes of trying, he backed (or should I say slid) down the driveway and ditched the car in a snow pile.
Next, I met up with Tommie and we got on the highway for Level 2. Cars were moving slow at first, but maybe because someone had flung their sports car into a snowbank along the side of the road...a warning that Level 2 wouldn't be as easy. We inched our way through the mess. At one stage a tsunami of brown slush put into motion by a truck on the other side of the road, came crashing over the median and directly onto our car. It was so loud that Tommie actually ducked...inside the car.
As we neared the city (Level 3) impatient commuters picked up speed despite the slippery road and zipped around our car as fast as knives being thrown at a target. The spray behind them made us have to practically drive blind until we got to the the bridge (Level 4) where an ominous sign above us read, "Beware of falling ice and snow from bridges." Just what you like to read a couple hundred feet above the water.
As you can guess, we made it to the final levels. We found parking without getting the car stuck in a snow pile and surprisingly without getting another tsunami wave splashed on us from oncoming cars; we climbed a mountain of brown snow just to feed the parking meter (thanks, Boston); climbed another pile of brown snow just to get to the sidewalk (thanks, Boston); and right before we got to the door of the dentist, I dodged a pile of snow that fell from a tree above me and landed with a heavy thud on what could have been my head.
We made it through the quest, and at least we got something really cool at the end...like clean teeth, right? (How sad is my life?) And so I give the winter quest two thumbs down. Anyone else ready for spring?