Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A Beautiful Death Trap

I live in a nice area.

I call it 'the country just outside the city'.

I've heard the locals refer to my area as the 'community of lakes', and yeah ... we definitely have lakes!

It seems wherever you go in this neighbourhood, you're driving by a lake.

There's one across the street from my house.

There's one where the boys go to daycamp every summer. A private lake, and community centre, which only the 'locals' have access to.

We drive by one on the way to school every day.

Lakes, lakes, everywhere!

While it's certainly a nice perk to be able to simply walk 'down the road' and jump in the lake for a swim and I'm sure the boaters love being able to simply pull up curbside, back into the water and launch their boats, it does pose one small issue for me ....

See this ....

And this ...

And this ...

This is the lake Adam and I drive by every morning on our way to school. And the one I drive by every night on my way home.

And the one the boys and I almost slid into a couple of years ago.

Beautiful in the summer! A death trap in the winter.

Yup, this is the ONE spot in my community that I absolutely HATE during the winter.

There is absolutely NO barrier to stop someone from sliding into this lake if the roads are bad. And around here ... that corner is ALWAYS bad in the winter.

The snow simply blows off the lake and packs onto that corner. Both lanes.

This morning, after dropping Adam off at school, I was on my way home again (I've been sick sick sick the past couple of days, so no work for me today) and this particular 'corner' was snow covered.

I have snow tires, and STILL slid over into the opposite lane on my way through.

Thankfully, there wasn't a car coming the other way. And even more thankfully, I slid in the opposite direction of the lake.

This evening, there were two other cars that weren't so lucky, and had a head on collision in that very spot.

Alec and I were on our way to the grocery store (chicken soup for the sick chick), when we reached this spot, and had to turn around because of the accident.

Because we couldn't exactly see what had happened, we both thought someone had finally gone into the lake.

That wasn't the case ... THIS TIME.

I honestly don't understand why some sort of barrier hasn't been installed before now. Even if it were simply the concrete ones they could remove during the summer months.

Is it because nobody has actually gone into the lake?

I can't believe I'm the only person in this community who thinks that particular spot is a death trap waiting to happen.

Two years ago, I had picked up the boys from the sitter's after work, and we were on our way home.

It was snowing. Roads were bad. I wasn't going fast.

We hit that spot, and I slowed down even more.

I started to slide.

Towards the lake.

I tried not to panic, and just muttered an 'oh shit' under my breath while lightly tapping the breaks, and pulling the wheel as hard as I could.

We weren't stopping. We were heading straight for THIS spot ...

I can't begin to tell you all the things that went through my head. But there was one thought in particular that kept screaming in there, and that I'll never forget.

'If I see we're going to hit that water, I'm telling the boys to open the doors and JUMP!'

Sure, they may break something on the fall, but I'd rather they hit the snow, then try to get both of them out of a submerged vehicle.

Finally, I just stood on the break, and pulled on that steering wheel as hard as I could.

We didn't come out of the slide, but ended up almost on the lawn across the street instead. LOL

Yeah. I can LOL now at the mental image of it. But I wasn't LOL'ing that night.

I still don't think I panicked, but the three of us were definitely shaken up by the whole thing.

We talked about it afterwards, and I told them my 'exit plan' if the situation had turned out differently.

I don't know if they would have jumped at the time, even if I said so, or if they would have understood the severity of the situation, and said "I'm outta here!!!"

So I told them, if anything like that ever happened again, and it looks like we'd hit the water, JUMP!

Sad really, that I had to have that discussion with them at all. And sad that they both get quiet and nervous every time we go around that corner on 'bad' winter days.

But simply a reality of where we live.

Yes, this lake is wonderful for boaters, and it's beautiful in the summer.

But, a beautiful death trap in the winter!

Drive safe! And watch those lakes!


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