After a week of spring like weather, it looks like winter has it’s firm grip on New England. We have been quite lucky this winter, only a few weeks of cold and only a few snowstorms. Thursday, I decided to work from home since I had to get my annual physical. The snow came that afternoon and made for a terrible commute from what my co-workers told me on Friday. Springfield, MA has a terrible reputation for managing their roads during the winter, so I was not expecting any changes this year. The Friday commute was very easy, right up to the point where I left I-91 and turned onto Springfield streets.

It was at that moment that my commute turned to more of an ice dance. While I have driven on many icy roads in my life, this was, by far, the worst. I settled in quickly, but continued to worry about someone else sliding into me. There was a full inch or more of ice over the entire road surface – clear indication that Springfield did nothing since the snow had started. Happily, I made it to work unscathed (both me and the car). Fortunately, the city workers had cleared the roads by the time I headed home. I’m certain that there were a few angry calls to the city that day, likely from accident victims.

There are times like this that I feel fortunate to live in a small town, where roads are cleared before I get out of bed, and continuously throughout an winter weather event. We made the right choice to move here – and this is just one more reason!

Starting on Monday, and concluding today, I purchased a 2009 Toyota Camry Hybrid. This car is loaded to the gills, with a full navigation system, XM radio, heated leather seats, and moon/sunroof. I never thought I’d pay this much for any vehicle, but with my job situation likely to change in the next few weeks, I will have a much longer commute each day. The car is very comfortable and will also make the 18-hour drive back home for a weekend or two worth while!

Here is a picture if you want to see (CLICK HERE).

One of the things I like most is the Bluetooth integration. From the steering wheel, I can initiate calls or answer calls. From what the people I’ve spoken to say, the clarity is excellent – much better than with my Bluetooth headset in my truck.

The other thing I like is the dead silence when the car is stopped. No noise what-so-ever. After running tonight, I asked Melanie to tell me if the car was running or not. She said no… then I put it in drive and edged away. She was surprised to say the least. Give me a few thousand miles to figure out if I really like it!