Winter Woes

Paul Morrone |

By Thomas Morrone, CFP®, CPA

We are a little over one third of the way through another winter season. Time seems to go a little slower in the winter and much faster in the summer. Maybe its me but that is how it feels. The shorter periods of daylight this time of year takes a toll on me as well. Now that we are gaining a little more daylight each day, I can see the “light at the end of the tunnel” so to speak. The colder weather seems to be harder and harder to cope with as I progressively get older. The layers of clothing, scarfs, hats and gloves are part of the daily ritual before venturing outside. The fringe benefits of heated seats and a heated steering wheel in my vehicle are options that are greatly appreciated and make driving on those frigid days a little more tolerable. After having those heating features, any future vehicle would most certainly have those options as some of my shopping criteria in addition to all wheel drive and the other functional and desired items.

Is it wisdom gained from years of driving in winter conditions or just common sense that makes me drive more cautiously? Maybe it’s a little of both. For some drivers out there, it seems that they have never driven in the snow before. We all have seen that idiot who zips by us on the roadway as we are doing our best to stay in control of our vehicle. It is understood that we are all attempting to get some where or else we would not be driving. Arriving at your destination a little late and safe is a far better result that getting in an accident because of aggressive driving on slippery roads. Boy do I sound like an old fart, at least maybe part of me is heading in the old fart direction. 

Snow skiing, ice skating and other winter sports are part of my ancient history. Those daytime outdoor activities of years past are now replaced with Sundays of binge-watching episodes of some series on Netflix, Amazon Prime Video or some other channel. There is always some little project around the house that needs my attention but I long for working in the yard versus cleaning out a closet or the garage. Football season is winding down as well but of course we still have the Super Bowl to look forward to on February 2nd.

Another reason to not enjoy winter for me is having a dirty vehicle. The salt and sand accumulate inside the wheel wells and the exterior of the vehicle is filthy. If you brush up against the outside of the vehicle, your coat gets some of the nasty filth. The windshield is never clean, and you constantly are using the wipers and windshield cleaning fluid to clean off the road spray. The floor mats take a beating as well as the snow, slush and who knows what else get tracked into your vehicle. The thermometer is crucial as I long for a dry, sunny day when the temperature is above 32 degrees. On one of those days, I treat my vehicle to a car wash at one of those drive through garages with the high-powered wash nozzles. I spray the underneath of the vehicle and smile as the winter road grime washes away. It is a great feeling to drive out of the car wash parking lot with the cleanest vehicle around. Occasionally, other drivers give a look of envy as I drive by with my vehicle glistening in the sun. Life is good.

Then the car in front of you goes through a puddle and splashes road grime all over your clean vehicle. It was fun while it lasted. Bring on the Spring!

Until the Next Tom’s Take…

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