In exactly two days I’ll be putting my studded snow tires on the car.

Say what?

Yes, it’ll be Oct. 1 — the day we may legally don our studded tires.

You know what that means.

Winter is not far behind.

I normally would not put them on this early in the season, but had to make a decision.


My car needs new tires now. Shall I buy them, put them on the car for only a month or two and then replace them with studded snows, or simply put the snows on now and buy new summer tires next spring?

The latter seems more reasonable.

This may not actually be jumping the gun — my putting the studded snows on early.

They say we are in for a horrid winter this year — cold, snowy and brutal.

A white Halloween, white Thanksgiving and white Christmas, is what I heard someone say we’re in for, and I don’t mind that a bit.

I love snow; it’s the ice that wreaks havoc on my sanity in winter.


There’s nothing worse than slip-sliding around on icy roads, out of control, heart pounding and with no power to curb the errant vehicle. At least with snow, we can head into a snowbank if push comes to shove.

It seems to me the ice came particularly early last winter and it was pure aggravation from the start.

It also was the first time in my life that I declared “Enough of this nonsense,” and bought studded snow tires.

For many years before that, I’d prided myself on never having to buy snow tires because I was such a good driver and, being a hardy Mainer, could handle any road conditions just fine.

Beyond that, I reasoned I saved lots of cash over the years using only all-season radials.

But as I grow older, I stop trying and pretending to be so stalwart.


If I’m cold, I turn up the heat.

If I happen to be craving something sweet, I reach for something sinful and vow to harbor no guilt about it.

A few years ago, I swallowed my pride and bought a remote starter for my car. Every day for many years I passed the shop that sells and installs them and one day, stopped and made the remote starter my Christmas present.

I have not regretted that decision one single minute.

How nice it is to get into a warm car at 20 below zero. It may be a poor use of fuel, but hopefully, never again will I have to throw hot water on my door locks to unfreeze them when the stupid de-icing spray doesn’t work.

I figure there are certain things we earn as we age, and warm toes and fingers at all times is one of those.


When I was out early last winter in an ice storm, flailing around on the roads like a runaway train, I decided to relinquish all claim to invincibility and join the ranks of sensible people who use studded snow tires.

My little car drove more like a truck with the studded snows, and the click, click, click of the studs on pavement was annoying at first, but I got used to it real quick.

The tires did not work perfectly in all winter conditions, but they were a darned sight better than those I’d hobbled through winters with for most of my life.

And at least I could leave the house mornings without fear of always slamming into the car in front of me.

Yes, winter is coming, and we’d better embrace it, as there’s not much of an alternative.

For me, that means making it a bit more palatable by using every trick in the book.

Amy Calder has been a Morning Sentinel reporter 26 years. Her column appears here Mondays. She may be reached at [email protected]

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