Resolutions (Women are Better Drivers)

Since the New Year we have been bombarded with talk of resolutions. People resolve to be thinner, stronger, faster, richer, or in some way ‘better’ than they are today. I have made these resolutions in the past, some were kept, most were broken. This year, I’ve decided to keep it simple. I’m resolving simply to be. I want to be present in every moment and not let the beauty of life go unnoticed. It sounds a little cheesy (okay a lot cheesy) but think about how many little moments you may miss if you’re too busy stressing over the things you can’t change. Imagine the amazing things that could go unnoticed.

On New Year’s Eve we were in the midst of our family ski vacation in Utah. We were staying in a bitchin’ cabin (one of my goals for 2013 is to bring back the word bitchin‘, it’s far too underused since 1987). But though the cabin was completely fab, the driveway was another story. Imagine an extremely steep hill covered in hairpin switchbacks and then add plenty of snow/ice. It was AMAZEBALLS for sledding. For driving though, not so much.

The first few days we were there, I put my feminism aside and happily deferred to the men folk to drive our SUVs up and down the steep hill. I watched from the backseat as even they struggled to get the large 4-wheel drive SUVs up and down the hill, relived it wasn’t me. Then it happened. New Year’s Eve morning we were heading off to ski and somehow I ended up behind the wheel of one of the trucks. I should have been freaking out, but I was completely calm. Though I had never even driven in snow (and living in NYC, average maybe 1 day of driving each month) I was confident. I think it had something to do with view of the sunrise as it peeked through the snowy clouds. How you you not be calm looking at this?

So I headed down the hill following David, in another SUV, at a safe distance. We both made it down the driveway with no issues. Woohoo! But we still had about a mile to travel on a snow covered road. I proceeded especially cautiously as a light snow was falling. David was slightly less cautious and started to speed ahead of me. I started to worry just as the back of his SUV began to sway and then before I could panic, the truck swayed off the road into a bank of snow. Oopsies. Fortunately, everyone was safe and there was no damage. We just wouldn’t be on the mountain quite as early.

So we sat there, on the side of the snowy road as a light snow fell in the early morning light and my first thought was to get annoyed. As I sat there in the driver’s seat, with the heater blasting, as my blood started to boil. Stupid boy (I don’t really think he’s stupid) why does he always have to drive so fast?

Then I realized a few things.

1. Nobody was hurt, no property was hurt. This really wasn’t a big deal. We just needed some kind of tow truck.

2. It was snowing.

3. Little snowflakes were falling onto the car door.

4. I had never seen individual snowflakes like this before.

5. SNOWFLAKES!!!

I stopped and took a few pictures and soaked in the experience. How had it taken me 35 years to see an individual snowflake? I took a few pics with my trusty iPhone (sadly my real camera was back up that monstrous driveway). Before too long, our cabin’s caretaker had come down to pull out David’s SUV with a strong rope and her own SUV. It worked and we finally headed to ski.

After an awesome day of skiing followed by a disappointing trip to the liquor store (who runs out of Champagne at 5pm on New Year’s Eve?!) we headed back to the cabin. That meant driving UP the icy, steep, snow covered, switchbacked driveway . Awesomesauce. Guess what? I successfully showed that driveway who was in charge and drove up without incident. Bitchin! NONE of the men had done that, not even once. Whoever said women were bad drivers hasn’t encountered my mad skills. I fully soaked in the moment and celebrated by conquering the driveway again. This time on an inner tube. Bitchin’ indeed.

***All photos taken with my iPhone and shared via Instagram. Follow me on Instagram @summerlalande

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