Thursday, February 27, 2014

MY ROAD IS BREEDING FROST HEAVES AND POT HOLES

A repairman came over the other day and the first thing I noticed when I opened the door was how green he looked.

“You have any Dramamine?” he asked. “Your road up here is so bad, I nearly lost my lunch!”

The problem was, he wasn’t joking. The main road to my house, Deerfield Road, probably could make the Guinness Book of World Records for having bred the largest number of frost heaves in a single month. An aerial view of the road looks like a topographical map of the Himalayas. Without exaggeration, if you drove your car on the roller coaster’s track at Canobie Lake Park, it would be a smoother ride than on Deerfield Road.

When I went to the store the other night, I decided to take the dogs for a ride with me. Big mistake. A few hundred frost heaves later, they were giving a different meaning to the word “heave”…all over the back seat.

I guess the term “frost heaves” isn’t as widely known in the rest of the country as it is in New England. I remember when we had company from Maryland one winter and they asked us, “What the heck are frost heaves? We saw signs everywhere on our drive up here!”

My husband jokingly told them the signs referred to a large family named Frost who often took out their rage on passing cars and “heaved” things at them.

I think our guests believed him.

And if the frost heaves on Deerfield Road weren’t bad enough, they are interspersed with potholes the size of dinner plates. The road looks as if it’s been blasted with giant shotgun shells.

Because of the condition of the road, I have been avoiding going out this winter. When I do venture out to the supermarket, I buy so many groceries, you’d think I was preparing for the Apocalypse. But that’s so I won’t have travel on the road again for at least a couple more weeks. Having the fillings in my teeth jarred loose really doesn’t appeal to me.

Naturally, I drive very slowly on the road – mainly because I don’t want to leave my car’s exhaust system in a pothole. This inevitably results in some vehicle zooming up behind me and riding my bumper. The last one came so close to my car, when I looked in the rearview mirror, I thought the driver was sitting in my back seat.

In an effort to lose him, I stepped on the gas…just as I came to the Queen Mother of all frost heaves. I think some of my hair is still stuck in my car’s dome light.

Yesterday I received a call to schedule maintenance on my house’s generator system. After I made the appointment, I warned the guy who called, “You’d better take some motion-sickness pills first. The road up here is so bumpy, it’s like being in a rowboat out in the middle of the ocean during a storm.”

 “Really?” he asked.

 “Believe me, I’m not exaggerating.”

 “Thanks for the warning,” he said. He paused before adding, “Hmmm…now which of my employees don’t I like?  I’ll send him over.”

I was watching the Olympics the other night and they were showing some of the athletes training for a skiing event called the moguls, where they ski downhill over an endless assortment of huge bumps. This results in the skiers having to ski in a position where their knees practically are touching their chins. All I could think about as I watched them was how much the moguls course looked like Deerfield Road. I figured the skiers should come here to train. If they can conquer these bumps, they’ll be certain to win the gold.

When I had my car inspected a few weeks ago, the mechanic said I should think about getting it aligned. I laughed and told him I’ll wait until spring.

By then, I expect to have hit enough bumps to throw the car back into alignment on its own.

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