ImageAirheads and friends in sunny south Florida have probably noticed that I’ve been a bit tardy in my arrival this year. In fact, I should have been there by the last days of last year, as I usually make the three day trip from the glaciers of Minnesota to the edge of the Everglades betwixt xmas and new years. But with a gimpy left wrist to go with my other gimpy appendages and the old TDI’s pair of recent “out of service” events, figured I’d best get a replacement for my decade old Golf first. Having well timed the market of leftover ’13 VW TDIs I was all ready to cash out some stocks and add a newer dieselcar to the fleet. Then my brother the Executor informs me that he’s finally executing mom’s estate, and I should expect a check when we get together on xmas day, but for how much?… So much for buying the new TDI before xmas and driving down on schedule. The check is several thou less than the price of the TDI, so I get online and send the order to cash out the stocks on the 25th, they mail the check on the 27th, and I luck out and it arrives on the 30th before the bank closed and the dealer delivered the pictured TDI on the 30th.

The 200+ mile round trip to pick up the new TDI was telling, this TDI is being tried by not fire, but ice and snow. Temps never rose above zero, with scattered snow and ice all the way… And the TDI never missed a beat, while averaging 40 MPG with a new and tight engine in the cold. Spent new years day relaxing and checking out the manual and TDI, and yesterday getting packed. Shoulda left after supper and gotten at least a hundred miles south (and outa today’s snow), but I was sleepy. Got up at 2am and noticed blowing snow, but could still see lights a mile or three away. Suddenly sleepless, got up again at 3 and 4, couldn’t even see a light a quarter mile away. Gave up on sleep at 5, had breakfast, and with no let up in the blowing snow went back to bed for an hour. Got up for good, turned on the TV, and saw the local school buses would be 2 hours late… Optimistic , aren’t they?  Decided I’d better take the 4 by 4 Ranger and run it down the driveway a few times to bust the drift, dang near got stuck doing that.

Turned the TV back on and surfed the weather web, noticed that “two hours late” has devolved to “closed, evening basketball game cancelled”. Just before 9 the National Weather Service “upgraded” the “Winter Weather Advisory” to a “Blizzard Warning”… ‘Bout time, given that wind gusts were in the 40s MPH and visibility was measured in yards! Snacked a bit, then decided to run the 4 by 4 through the drift again to keep the ruts clear… And got as close as I’ve ever got to getting the Ranger stuck, even had to get out and manually move some snow. Having got the 4 by 4 barely through the drift that was quickly reforming behind, figured I’d best clear out the hump between the ruts a bit and get the loaded for Florida TDI through said drift and on clear ground, even if it has to sit there overnight.

“Twas a little nervous about charging through the drift’s remnants and hanging up the TDI on compacted snow, but after a couple gingerly advances I kept the throttle down and the TDI plowed right on through. The traction control was a wonder to behold, letting the wheels spin a bit to churn through the snow but not enough to lose traction, there’s a button to shut it off but doubt I’ll need it much. The new Golf Variant (Jetta Sportswagon in VWOA speak) continues to impress, no doubt I’ll be singing it’s praises later. Noon and still no letup, may as well put off my departure ’til tomorrow and the TDI will spend the night on the highway side of the drift in it’s little clearing.

Well, I’ll be off tomorrow… providing the threatened freezing rain don’t happen tonight!