Clare County Review & Marion Press

Pat’s Bits and Pieces: The perils of potholes

I looked out the window this morning and thought I had time traveled back to February. It was snowing again!
The calendar said spring arrived two weeks ago, but I don’t think Mother Nature got the message, or maybe it arrived even earlier than March 20 and she decided it was just a little Michigan joke…
It seems like every year actual spring weather slips a little further along into the year. And all of the other seasons start a bit later as well. In any case I don’t like it much at all…
If I thought I was really important, I would say the snow flurries and cold nasty stuff was my fault because I was bragging about our great weather just a few weeks ago.
Snowy weather or not, some trees around the area are showing buds. The robins are back and so are the red-winged blackbirds and our resident bunnies out here on Whiteville are out and about.
Used to be I would be seeing mallards cruising down the river in pairs about this time of year, but I can’t attest to that anymore. They don’t land in our puddles around the place. At least the snow is – for a brief time – covering up the mudhole we call our driveway…
Actually, you know what the real sign of spring in Michigan is?
Potholes. And believe me they are back in force this year, as we found out in a recent back roads jaunt home from Mt. Pleasant. We don’t drive on the highway much. When traveling to and from places less than 30 miles away, we tend to drive the roads less traveled and more scenic. Trouble is, this time of year it is hard to enjoy the scenery when you are weaving all over the roads to avoid the potholes!
Those little beasties are the first spring critters to arrive in the area and like gremlins, they will catch you if you’re not watching for them.
Potholes are a true Michigan creature. Suddenly, there they are and they hang on just about all summer long. They lie in wait for any unwary motorist driving just a bit too fast down that lonely country road…
Then they attack.
They just love tires, suspension systems and especially hubcaps. Speaking of that, I remember seeing someone’s hubcap in an unusually deep hole one spring a few years ago.
Potholes have questionable reproductive habits, and multiply faster than hangars in the closet.
You can head for work in the morning without a single problem, and be waylaid by a whole “flock” of the critters on your way home that same night.
You might try and avoid them by using an alternative route home. Then you face mud holes (almost as bad) and chatter bumps. Worst of all, you could get stuck and have to (horrors) actually get out of your car and walk! Just this past week we spotted a truck buried to the middle of the hubcaps in a mudhole – it actually was in a person’s back yard!
Anyway, you know it’s just not really spring unless you have to drive down the dirt roads with your teeth clenched so you won’t accidentally bite off the tip of your tongue. Our shortest route into Clare these days involves a mile of gravel road, but we haven’t gone that way since the frost came out of the road…I don’t want my little blue car buried up to the hubcaps…and Jack’s white explorer, well I guess it would be two-tone if he went that way.
If we were really smart, the color of choice in this state would be brown. A coffee-colored vehicle would always look cleaner than either of our vehicles do this time of year.
We used to travel on a treacherous stretch of gravel road to get home before the pavement was extended on Washington Road back in 1999. After that I didn’t have the same experience with bad roads that I used to.
And, I haven’t actually heard too many complaints yet this year, so maybe we will have a good spring for a change – if it ever gets here, that is.
Think summer… now, wouldn’t that be nice?

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