It's cold as I write this, and we just had what I hope will have been our final winter storm for the spring.
Please, please bring on mud season!
I know that sounds like a prayer. Maybe it is.
And it's one of the rules for driving in mud.
Rule number one: look straight at that mud. Don't be afraid.
Rule number two: think 'Press hard on that accelerator.'
Rule number three: make sure nothing or no one is in front of you.
Rule four: go for it. Mash down on that accelerator. Get going! He who hesitates is stuck!
Rule five: pray you won't get stuck. That one is up to you. But even on days when I'm not feeling all that religious, even on those days, I pray that prayer.
Be thankful: when you've gotten past the mud. Another prayer, "How'd that happen?" Well, maybe not a prayer. But a genuine question for after driving through that mud.
Remember, even if mud season is waiting just outside, those muddy ruts will be frozen the next time you hit that accelerator. The car will bounce over them, especially if you have to turn to get up the circle of the driveway and you don't want to hit the other car that's parked just off the circle.
"Whee!" you probably won't say, "Isn't this not fun."
So yesterday morning, I bounced over those frozen ruts and missed Dolores' Scion, which was parked innocently -- though the Scion looked worried as Miss Kitty Yaris just missed her on those bounces.
Time for another prayer, "Thanks, oh God of the steering wheel in the mud."
A prayer of thanks is never wasted.
The other night I did it in reverse. I wanted to be facing out, when I left in the dark of the next day's early morning. So I swung into the muddy curve, past the Scion, and stopped facing away from my parking spot.
Then I backed as fast as I could through the mud and into the parking place. When I saw the Scion next to me, I stopped. (It's true that you're supposed to look before you back, but, in this case, if I felt I needed the prayer more than the look in our own muddy driveway. The only thing behind me was a snow drift.)
I sighed, a sigh of thanks.
And went in for supper.
I've driven out on long muddy drives and roads, where you learn to really pray. "Please, get me through this!"
And to your foot you order, "Don't, don't even think about letting up on that accelerator."
One of the fears of mud-season driving is that rock. You can see it. You just hope -- no pray -- that you miss it. You did.
You'll live to drive in mud -- and pray -- another day.
But mud season ain't bad. After all, it's usually above freezing when you drive through mud. That, in Maine, ain't bad.
As you can tell, I like mud season.
Milt Gross can be reached for corrections, harassment, or other purposes at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Milton M. Gross Copyright 2013