Friday, January 8, 2010

Here was the plan: I would follow Randy's truck tracks to get my little sedan to work. So far so good. Then I was going to wait until Randy got off work (5:30), and follow him home, so I could again follow his tracks. Plan excellent, execution, not so much!
Okay, I will back up some and explain. On Wednesday night, Thursday morning we experienced 5 inches of snow, and lots of wind. We live in the country, down about a mile of gravel, and 1/4 mile long, winding driveway. Up until last year, we both had 4 wheel drive vehicles. When the price of gas went up to $4, we traded my SUV in for a more economical car.
This was really the first test of making it in the country in a "car". I normally get off work at 5, but on Thursday we decided it would be best to stay at work until 6, when Randy rolled into town, so I could follow his bread crumbs, so to speak. Believe me, after a long day at work, with subzero temperatures, snow and blowing wind, the staff where I work was gone, and I mean gone by 5. So, here I am, alone in an old clinic/hospital, which by the way is gigantic. I hear the wind howling, and the walls creaking. About 5:15, hubby called to say that he was working late. . . there goes the plan! We decided that I would go to my children's home and wait for him to arrive (Plan B). They graciously fed me supper, and I played with my favorite munchkins.
About 7:30 the need to be home began to gnaw at me. Here comes plan C. I offered to take Maddison home with me to spend the night, since her brother had an early morning appointment in Columbia to get his cast off. (see previous blog). We bundled up and off we went, with a promise to call when we got home. So far, so good. Just outside of Renick, we hit our gravel road. In a moments indecision, I landed in the middle of a snow drift. Just like that. . . it was fast and did not make allowances for second thoughts. I was stuck! Thank goodness for cell phones (first on my blessings list). I called Josh, who said that he would be there right away. I kept the car running and decided to get out and assess the situation. I slipped on my boots, my heavy coat, my extra gloves and got out (blessing # 2. . . I had my snow clothes with me). I kicked what snow I could away from my tires, and tried to back up. No luck. About that time a good samaritan came up behind me and offered to help (blessing # 3). A woman, about my age offered to push me out. She had no gloves, and it was zero, with a wind chill of -20. I tried to get her to wear my extra gloves, but she refused. We couldn't get the car to move, so she returned to her car, behind me, and told me that her and her husband would wait in their car until Josh came. (Her husband had a heart condition, or he would have been helping, she explained). About the time she left, my cell phone rang. It was Randy, saying that he was heading home, and where was I. . . . Well, you know that plan B. . . I hadn't exactly followed it. Blessing # 4: He didn't tell me what an idiot I was to attempt to travel on this road in these conditions. Of course he didn't have to, because I was already thinking that about myself! So, I had Josh coming, and Randy on his way, a good samaritan watching my back.
And I have to mention that I had my granddaughter, Maddison in the back seat. I could tolerate a lot of discomfort, but I surely didn't want her to suffer. She was such a trooper. She never complained about anything. She chattered the whole time, and kept my mind of the situation with questions like: "Where will you live if you can't get home?" and "Where are we going to sleep tonight?" (Blessing # 5).
Soon, Josh came blazing through the blowing snow in his shining white SUV (white knight, anyone?) (Blessing # 6.. . . that Josh was home, and had an SUV). He pulled up beside me and got out. The good samaritan appeared again and together they pushed the front of the car while I sat in the warmth and accelerated. The car moved some, but not enough. My tough, weather resistant son was frozen, and decided that he needed to get Maddison and I home. The road was clearly drifted for a long way, with drifts up to 4 foot high. Well, we didn't want to break the law, but I admit that we went off roading on some private farm land to get home. When we had covered the distance to our house (in fields), we arrived in front of our driveway. Our drive is just beyond a curve in the road, and the roadway there was clear. However, our driveway was not even recognizeable in the snow. Josh knew that even his SUV was no match for this drift. So, leaving Maddie and I, in our second vehicle, in the road, he walked, in frigid temps down our long drive to get our "danger ranger", which comes in at blessing # 7. This little vehicle will go almost anywhere. He drove it from our barn to the road to pick us up and deliver us home. And yes, we now had two cars blocking our road.
That is pretty much the end of my experience with this situation. What happened next is a little foggy, since I was at home thawing myself and Maddison out (gas fireplace and hot chocolate, blessing # 8). But I will share that it wasn't long before Josh was home, my car was in Renick by the post office, and my husband was eating a bowl of vegetable soup. There were a hundred ways that this situation could have been tragic. But the many blessings we were granted allowed me to share this story without adding any sad post scripts.
And now, on Friday, we are still snowbound. But we think we saw the road grader pass through, which means that the road is partially open and passable. I am sure that our driveway entrance is piled up, but once we pass that, we will no longer be snow bound.
There is nothing like a little weather and vehicle trouble to list, count and gather your blessings.

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