January 18, 2012 - Long before it was chic to puff up kids' ego by making sure most get on the honor roll, or making sure all athletic participants get trophies, I was pretty sure I was "special."
I figured that out early in life. From about 7th grade through high school a black crow used to follow me to the bus stop and caw. I didn't know anybody else followed by a crow. I was different.
I got bonus points in school and college for doodling on my homework assignments. Tell me that ain't special!
Then there was that time, the first bad-snow day, years after the crow cawed its last, when I was winding my way through the curves on Clarkston Road, near Walters Lake. I was heading to The Oxford Leader, driving my very first front wheel drive vehicle (a black 1984 Dodge 600 convertible with red pinstriping and red, leather bucket seats). I made it all the way to Eston Road and lost control.
Round and round I and my black 1984 Dodge 600 convertible with red pinstriping and red, leather bucket seats went. Once every revolution I saw an Oakland County Deputy's vehicle parked behind another car's driver who "lost" it. And, on each revolution my stomach and butt cheeks tightened a little more, cause I knew said deputy's vehicle was what was gonna stop my forward and sidewards and spinning momentum.
It didn't happened.
Miraculously, my black 1984 Dodge 600 convertible with red pinstriping and red, leather bucket seats stopped directly behind the patrol vehicle, on the shoulder of the road, pointed in the correct direction -- about two feet shy of the deputy's rear bumper.
He must have been watching, too. As soon as I stopped, he exited his vehicle pronto-like, checked the distance between our two vehicles and then came up to my door. I rolled the window down, certain I was getting a ticket.
"You tried real hard to get me," he said. "You okay?"
After I said, "yes, Sir" he told be to be careful and bid me farewell.
Are you starting to feel the awesomeness of Don? No, wait. There is more.
Last winter some of you may recall I wrote about shoveling during one snow storm. Wrote I, "For fun, I wore my pedometer while I shoveled. By night's end I had shoveled the same patch of cement five times, and had shoveled over 2,500 steps. Assuming there are 2.7 feet per step, let's do some easy ciphering.
"2,500 x 2.7-feet = 6,750
"A mile is 5,280 feet.
"Now let's do some calculator math, 5,280 feet (one mile) divided into 6,750 = 1.278 miles."
This year I vowed not to spend as much time with shovel in hand. I skimped and saved and before winter asked my friendly lawn equipment dealer (Joel at University Lawn) to sell me a snow blower. He, knowing I am a cheap, tight-waddedly predisposed individual said a "like-new used" model would be right up my alley. We agreed, shook hands and I took home my first ever mechanized device that throws snow.
Despite my excitement, I only started the machine after reading and comprehending the owner's manual. "Bring it!" I taunted the gods. I waited.
That was December 2. I waited. I waited and waited some more. I am still waiting. See, you all can thank me for this mild, practically snowless winter. When was the last time we have had less than four inches of snow -- total -- by mid January? How about almost never! The only variable, the only change in the cosmos is that I opened my wallet and spent cash on something that wasn't essential, like food, petrol and copious amounts of coffee from A Bean To Go.
Had I not bought snow blower, had I had to shovel, we'd be socked with snow. Don't you see? Don't you feel the power that is awesomely Don?
(To prove my point, now that I have written this, to prove me wrong the gods will pound us with a snow storm soon. Just wait and see.)
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Of course, this is the first winter in about 10 that I am driving a front wheeled vehicle. The 1999 Racing Sonoma I drove forever (until last fall) was a rear-wheel drive truck. I wonder if I know how to handle it in the snow? Word of advice this winter: if you see me and don't want to feel the power of cold, hard steel. Steer clear.
Don is Assistant Publisher for Sherman Publications, Inc. He has worked for the company since 1985. He has won numerous awards for column, editorial and feature writing as well as for photography. He has two, sons Shamus and Sean and resides in the area. To read archived copies of his columns, click on his name, just under his picture up top . . . He can be e-mailed at: firstname.lastname@example.org