December 27, 2011 – 10:29 PM
Last night at this same time, as I crawled into bed, the thermometer at the window read 39 degrees. Right now? -4.5 degrees. Now that’s a heck of a 44 degree temperature drop in 24 hours! When I went out to stoke up the wood furnace about ½ an hour ago, the snow sounded like squeaky Styrofoam under my mukluks, and the trees were snapping as the sap in them froze and expanded. I love winter! :) And I’ll take THIS *any* day over the weird, slippery 39 degree weather!
It had been mild for a couple of days following the last little snow, and Mama Pea was cautious about me driving in to town on Christmas Eve. She wanted me to telephone or send a last e-mail before I left home. Mind you, it was daylight and it’s NOT like I don’t drive that road all the time! And, never mind that I’ve been driving snowy roads for the past 24 years. So, appeasing an old woman (ha, I’m gonna get smacked for that, but I couldn’t resist!), I sent an e-mail when the car was loaded and running. I was heading out. See them in about an hour.
You know, if Mom hadn’t jinxed things, everything would have been fine. Instead, about a mile and a half from home, twilight beginning its early hold on the afternoon, I’d just crested a hill (yes, I was at the TOP of it), and . . . lost control. Are you KIDDING?! I was going slowly enough that I had some time to try to correct the spin, and so I ended up heading back in the right direction on the top, flat part of the hill with just my rear passenger-side tire into the slump of the (fortunately!) minimal ditch when I stopped spinning and sliding. Unfortunately, the warm temps were making the road underneath the couple of inches that I hadn’t bothered plowing (ahem!) completely icy and slippery. I couldn’t get any traction for love nor money. If I’d been on even the SLIGHTEST incline, there wouldn’t have been a CHANCE.
Running late, as usual, I patiently explained to the car that I just didn’t have the time to walk home, get the truck, pull out the car, blah, blah, blah, and that it HAD to get unstuck. No matter what I did, though, no matter how I rocked the car back & forth, I just COULDN’T get traction. So, I looked around the jam-packed car to see WHAT I could use to spread underneath the wheels. I didn’t think my Deluxe Mashed Potatoes were gonna do it. But then . . . what to my wondering eyes should appear . . . but the sight of my leather work gloves! My “good” work gloves. You know, the ones I wear to town. Yes, they juuuuust might afford the traction I needed.
So, I cleared as much snow as I could by hand (the shovel was well-buried in the car underneath all the Christmas loot) and then shoved a glove as far under each of the two front tires as possible. Then . . . coaxing the car along with the gentle threats that this was our last chance . . . I eased my foot off the clutch, stepped on the gas ever so slowly, felt the tires grab . . . spin . . . grab, grab, grab . . . and then I was spinning back onto the middle of the road! Whoo-hooooo!
The 4 ½ mile winter driveway and the main road were SO slippery with the warm temps that it had taken me that whole hour to inch along (and get stuck and then unstuck) by the time I got down to the highway. I stopped at Bundle of Joy’s house and used the phone to say that I was on my way . . . 20 minutes yet to go.
Ah, yes, never a dull moment, right? ;)