I really want to write and tell you all about The Dirty River Boys but I have a more eminent issue to get off my chest.
My Man so thoughtfully bought me a car with all wheel drive. Since then I have been stuck in the snow twice. One of those times was when Shalah visited and it took three of us to dig out around the tires and one very determined retiree to gun it out.
Our drive way has been an icy mess this year because we got some big dumps of snow and then it warms up, melts it down but not away and then more snow dumps and freezes the melted part underneath. So under all the snow are solid sheets of ice.
I’ve been parking the new car half way up the drive way because I can’t get it all the way up. Or I get it up but then I can’t get it down. Sometimes it’s been kind of fun because I feel the car slipin’ and slidin’ down the driveway but have the reassurance that as soon as I hit the gravel road I’ll have something to grip and the car will drive fine.
Several neighbors and friends (all who have lived here for 10+ years) have told Man that I should really have snow tires. He thinks I just don’t know how to drive.
“Snow tires are a sign of weakness,” one friend recently said.
“You’re a sign of weakness,” I told him.
“I am. I have snow tires.”
While we were in Steamboat our sweet cousin and her friend watched the boys for us. Wednesday morning I was going to take them to the airport. The weather forecast was predicting snow fall that morning of up to 3 inches.
“Babe, is there anyway that you could go in late to work and take the girls to the airport for me?” I asked Man.
“No, I really can’t. You’ll be fine. It’s only going to be 3 inches.”
“Yeah…probably won’t be bad up here it’s down the hill I’m worried about. They always have more wrecks down there…”
“You’ll be fine.”
In the morning I threw on yesterday’s jeans, a long-sleeved shirt, and clipped up my tangled hair.
Those cute college girls are going to think I am a gross frumpy mom but…Hm…maybe I should wear a hat in case for some reason I end up standing outside for a long time. Nah. I’ll be good.
I sent the boys on to Caren’s so she could put them on the bus. I started the car to let it warm up and armed myself with the proper tools to rid the car of snow. I moved around the car and then…
I found myself flat on my face, having slipped forward. Luckily my face did not actually ever make contact with the ground but the rest of my body hit it pretty solidly. Nothing really hurt so I slowly got back up while grumbling to myself about the ice.
This is exactly why Mountain Women don’t bother with hair and make up.
I shook the snow out of my hair and finished getting the car cleaned up and loaded the girls luggage. We piled into the car and headed out. Due to the steep grade of our road it is best to drive down it in Neutral. This has worked great for me in the past. Drive in N, slowly break, slide, slowly break, stop. So as soon as I hit the road I made a shift to N. I gave a slow break, slid, slow break, slid, slow break, slid….
“Girls we are going through the stop sign,” I said to prepare them. I thought I would turn my car left in the direction we were going in the hopes that we might grab the road once we passed the stop sign and head out in the direction we were intending to go. Instead my car slid across the road, over a bank of ice and stopped. It was slow and it was soft. That’s the good part of having an accident in the snow. POOF! instead of BAM! We were all fine and so I got out to check the damage.
There was a fence post on the passenger side that the car had not even hit. What stopped us was the iced over snow bank. It’s also what was holding us hostage because my car was straddling the big icy hump.
I called Caren. She sent her husband down to assess things. He and another neighbor with straps, tried to pull us out but to no avail. I called Aaron and he called the airline to change the girls flight out to 5 p.m.
By now Caren and the kids were at the bus stop. We took out the girls luggage and loaded it into her car and she drove us up to her house to call AAA while Her Man waited for the bus with the kids.
I called AAA.
“On no! That’s awful! I’m so sorry that happened. Do you have snow tires?”
“Well, AAA does not assist anyone in snow that does not have snow tires or chains so call me back when you have that taken care of.”
WHAT? That made zero sense and now I was pissed. And sore. My fall on the ice that had seemed so harmless was now starting to rear its head. My chest was starting to feel sore as were my legs, arms, wrists… I asked the girls if they were hurting at all but they were fine. No, this was not the accident. This was definitely from my fall on the ice.
I began to call around to my other neighbors to see if anyone had chains we could borrow.
“I’ll call Laurel. She’s a real Mountain Woman.” I figure if she hunts and processes her own meat she should surely have chains.
She did not. But she also could not get up our road that morning which made me feel more validated that my accident was not caused by poor driving skills but by not having the proper “attire” for the conditions.
Caren’s Man said to call AAA again and insist that they come. This time Caren called and this time no query was made in regards to the tires. AAA was there in 15 minutes.
The tow truck guy hooked my vehicle up to his line and began to pull me out. Except I was going nowhere. Instead his truck was sliding on the ice toward my car. I considered jumping out but then the line quit pulling. He pulled his truck up and tried again. Again, his truck came sliding down towards my car. He pulled up further and this time it worked and my car was freed from the ice wedge. As the tow trucker came down the hill to unhook my car he also slipped and fell on the ice.
With my car free we went back up to Caren’s to wait out the snow. We were hoping it would stop, the roads would clear, and I could take them to the airport. I was annoyed with the ease that Caren’s truck moved about the roads.
“Do you know what makes me a Mountain Woman?” Caren asked, “Snow tires and AAA.”
In the end we got about 6 inches of snow and Caren drove the girls to a shuttle pick up for their ride to the airport.
“Surely now Your Man will be convinced that you need snow tires,” she said.
You would think but no. He is still insisting that it is a User Malfunction.
“Those tires are brand new!”
“Yes, they will be great this summer. We live on windy dirt roads that are currently coated with ice. It doesn’t matter if you have all wheel or 4 wheel or brand new wheels. I need snow tires!”
“I’ll take the Volvo to work tomorrow so I can see how it drives. You can have the Explorer.”
This sounded good to me because Buddy would have band in the morning, cub scouts in the evening and all of the errands I had not been able to run that day could be run on the next.
Except that he didn’t take the Volvo. So now I am stuck here at home. Again. I think I could probably drive today but I am a terrible gambler. I decided to stay in and make a protest.
“I am not driving that car in the snow until I have snow tires,” I IM’ed him this morning.
“I have a meeting tonight with my boss so I will not be home until late.”
“Well, I am not taking Buddy to cub scouts. I am not getting groceries. I am not being a brat. This is a safety issue. You have a nice day and evening out.”
There has been no response. I am so stinkin’ mad! (And sore.) I have no control because I can’t go where I want when I want. I have decided that as soon as the roads are clear I am going to get snow tires put on myself. I have a beautiful argument prepared and I am miffed that I have to not only wait all day but very likely it will be a late night until I can lay into Man.
“Get a video camera and record it so you don’t forget things or lose your fire,” suggested a friend.
We cracked up laughing with the imagery of me chewing Man out over a video recording.
“Bwahahaha! Oh! Please do it! It would be so funny! Oh…except, he could just fast forward you.”