The winter of 2010 – 2011 was particularly brutal here in Edmonton. It just never seemed to stop snowing, and it didn’t help that the roads weren’t cleared for weeks at a time.

Ailish drove her little 2000 Honda Civic to work most days, while I had my 2000 Chevy Cavalier. Hers was the better car, certainly, but mine had winter tires. And air conditioning, for that matter. The Cavalier quickly became the go-to car for longer trips but Ailish was perfectly happy driving hers to work and back.

Except last winter.

Ailish’s Civic just couldn’t handle the snow we got last winter. It quickly became standard practice for me to start putting on my snow pants while Ailish started her car, just so I could push the little Civic out onto the main street in the early morning darkness. And some days, even that didn’t work. Some days, Ailish just threw her hands up in disgust, and borrowed my Cavalier. Not a big deal as I worked from home all last winter.

After one particularly difficult morning where even the winter tires on the Cavalier didn’t seem to help, Ailish announced that she was not going to suffer through another winter with our cars. By the first snowfall of the next winter, we were getting an SUV. Something with four wheel drive and ground clearance. And winter tires. And it was going to be an import, because domestic cars are crap (even if the Cavalier always managed to get her to work, ahem).

According to the weather forecast, there’s a chance of snow flurries on Tuesday. Today, I took delivery of a Subaru Forester, a crossover/small-suv with lots of ground clearance and all-wheel drive. It was a vehicle Ailish and I had specifically discussed. Ailish wanted a larger SUV (Tribeca or perhaps a Toyota 4Runner), and perhaps we would have gone with one of those, but I preferred something smaller, something with better gas mileage.

It’s a beautiful car, and I miss Ailish like crazy.

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