Years and years ago, back when I was in college the first time, a boyfriend and I went white water rafting in Northern California for the weekend. On the last day, we decided to try something different and went inner tubing instead. Sounds simple on the surface. Instead of being in a multi-person raft in the rapids, you're in a single person inner tube barreling toward...something. And you're doing it fast.
Somehow we ended up taking the wrong fork of the river, and what did we see ahead of us but a dead tree laying directly across the water we were speeding over. A nasty splat seemed inevitable. I've blocked out exactly how this happened, but one of us decided that the best thing to do was to try to grab a low hanging branch to stop ourselves. So we did. The folly of this was apparent immediately, as we clung to dear life on the branches with our upper bodies, while our lower bodies were almost horizontal from the force of the water.
As we hung on - damned if we did and damned if we didn't - I turned to him and said, "I can see the newspaper headline now. Stupid Southern Californians Rescued from Tree on the American River."
Needless to say, we survived. But today this Stupid Southern Californian drove the interstate during a snowstorm. And even though the only similarity with the first episode is that I spent the day writing newspaper headlines in my mind, there is one thing that comes to mind. The process. Sometimes it's all in how you get there.
When we woke up this morning it was to many inches of snow and more in the forecast. When I drove my kids to school, I slipped and slid all over the place. When I stopped to think that I needed to drive the hour each way to pick up Mom and Stu at the airport, I got a little antsy. I'm not a good snow driver. I've actually had friends force me out of the drivers seat of my own car so they could take over. The fact that I was facing oncoming traffic at the time was not lost on me.
I timed my day to run a couple of errands, pick up Surfer Dude from school early to go with me, and hit the road. At the appointed time, I trudged out of the house, all babushked up, started my car and pulled out the window scraper. By the time I was done I was cold and wet, and my right foot, daintily ensconced in an open toed to the knee walking boot, was covered in snow. If you're going to tweak your ankle, I highly recommend winter time for it. Warm toes are completely overrated. I went to climb back in the car and head out.
The door was locked. The door that is supposed to be unable to lock with the keys in the ignition unless you're in the car...was locked. And all of its little door friends - in solidarity - were locked as well.
And my keys were in the car.
Which was still running.
And so was my phone.
And I don't stash a spare house key under the mat.
And thanks to Sasquatch, I only have one car key.
And I needed to be on the road in thirty minutes.
Today's headline: Stupid Kansan Wishes She Was Still On the American River.
To make a long story short, I ended up walking to Gumby's school and getting his key. (Three and a half blocks each way). Then I tore the house apart looking for the spare keyless remote for my car that the FX gave me back when he moved out. Found that and got in the car. Which had miraculously not been stolen. Picked up Surfer Dude more or less on time, and was so stressed out from all of that that I barely even noticed that I was slipping and sliding all over the interstate. Picked up the folks, came home, made dinner, climbed into bed, and am just now able to feel my toes. Note to self: tomorrow try four pair of socks on right foot instead of three.
The major piece of good news in this whole scenario was provided by my back door. For months I've been griping that the door doesn't close right and that any moron on a mission would be able to kick in my door in about four seconds flat. Well, I stand corrected. The moron on a mission today couldn't make the door budge.
Even with the kick-ass ankle boot.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Posted by the rotten correspondent at 12:02 AM