Those that live in a snowy area know this:
Keep GALLONS of windshield wiper fluid on hand at all time during the winter if you plan on traveling via express/tollway.
While traveling on major thoroughfares the dirt and grime and dirty snow come up and soil your windshield at a quick quick quick rate.
This evening I traveled out to the burbs. I filled my wiper fluid about 3 weeks ago - but, I barely drive so I figure I may have used an eighth of it, tops.
On my way out to the burbs I was using that fluid like it was going out of style. Every minute I was washing and washing again due to the snow and what appeared to be hail.
I feared my resources would soon be depleted. On my way back, about 5 minutes into my 45 minute journey my "hey - you - you driving the car - you are low on wiper fluid" light went on.
I have no idea when that light actually goes on. Is it when half the supply is gone? Is it when there are 3 tablespoons left? I have no idea. I MUST reserve.
I devise a plan. Every five miles, I will wipe it down. That lasted about 2 miles and my windshield was so filthy I could barely make out the lights of the cars in front of me....thaaaaaaaaaaaats not gonna work.
Revise plan...every....1.5 miles. And this is a 27 mile journey.
So I let my windshield filth up to the point it looked like I was going through a dense smog and I would wipe. Now mind you - I am traveling at about 50 - 60 MPH, I can't see, I have shotty breaks...this does not make for safe driving conditions.
Finally I get to about 5 miles from my exit. I am pleased I have made it this far and that The Maker has spared my precious life. I fear I'm literally on my last squirt.
FANTASTIC. I am now behind a salt truck.
uuummmmm what happened to operation beet juice?
What to do? What to do?
One should keep in mind that I drive only slightly above the limit because I am half grandma and half aware of my break situation. I do not travel in the far left lanes. Far too fast for ol' Mere. Must pass salt truck or travel at 40 MPH.
Let's weigh the options....drive around and it will be salt-spitting-fest 2008 on my windshield because lord knows I will not make it into the super fast lane. The reason this scares me is because I fear my fluid is so low I won't be able to clear off the mess and I will have to wreck my car into the median and find out how much of a safety feature those airbags really are...or travel a safe distance from the truck at 40MPH which is just longer time and more wiping and really- do I have the fluid for that?
I do it...I go around....Dear Lord...it was like a hail storm. Not to be confused with the hail I encountered in Utah in September 2004..but hail nonetheless. I was blind. Blind to the road for a good 20 seconds. Which really is a long time. My wipers moving feverishly left and right in an effort to clear away the salt and grime and snow...
horrifying...that is all I have to say.
BUT...I survived. I survived.
Now...what will happen to me and my low fluid situation? Well...let me tell you. I will continue to forget I am low on fluid or just be plain too lazy to fill it up and live this nightmare for the rest of the winter.
This is also the reason I don't get a mother loving I-Pass (forgetfulness and laziness ) and end the insanity of jumping 50 cent tolls because I simply don't have the change and I don't think ahead. I fear I reached the limit on toll jumping tonight. I had 1 dime, 4 nickels, 43 pennies, 20 Kroner and a Euro. Here is your 30 cents of acceptable Unites States Currency and I am out of here...thanks for the photo.
I'm not sayin' I'm just sayin':
I'm a lazy idiot.
I respectfully accept my fine from the Illinois Tollway with a smile.