Wednesday, December 17, 2008

for my third trick

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.


Wisewebwoman said...

OMG you had me laughing and crying so hard. I've been there only I have slightly different headlines on the local newspaper.
What a day!!!!
It will take you a week to recover.
Where do we get the willingness to just get out of bed knowing what can lie ahead?

Rudee said...

Did someone utter the Q word?

Sheesh, I have it on good authority that you own a perfectly good pair of hand made wool socks. Wool when wet doesn't feel as cold as cotton-especially in peep toed orthotic shoe booties.

Your snow hit us at evening rush hour. It took 3 hours to drive to one patient's house tonight. I felt bad for the family who had to wait for me to get there to pronounce her death and call the medical examiner.

Maggie May said...

RC..... that was a tale that if you were reading it anywhere else...... you would think it was fiction!
You could make a good novel out of some of the things you blog!
I so hope WE don't get snow! Hate the stuff.

Flowerpot said...

Sods law isnt it about the door? But I think we've all done that...

The Finely Tuned Woman said...

You do like to live dangerously, don't you? But you have perseverance enough for three women. I'm glad it all worked out in the end, but that sure was a harrowing tale. Please don't do that again ant time soon.

laurie said...

the way to drive safely in snow is:

1) go slow. don't worry about the moron who is tailgating you; he'll spin out and you won't.

2) don't brake. to slow, just lift your foot from the accelerator and let the car slow.

3) if you have to brake, be gentle about it.

4) steer into the slide to straighten yourself out.

5) call mom and stu and say, "i'll pay for your cab."

Anonymous said...

Don't like driving in snow either. And you wouldn't get me rafting for all the tea in China!

CJ xx

Kaycie said...

I actually go pretty good at snow driving when I lived in your lovely (not) state capitol. I try to avoid driving in the snow or ice here, though. Oklahomans are morons when it comes to slick streets. Morons.

We had freezing drizzle yesterday. I slid slightly at the first stop sign I encountered and was fine from there on out. When I watched the evening news, there were enormous numbers of cars on the side of the road. There were accidents. Roll over accidents. From freezing drizzle. Lord.

Marti said...

Whoever said you were a one trick pony?

Glad you made it safely back. Now that we are in Tx, any indication of snow has people all nervous. Stores will be without bread. Makes me do you. Enjoy your family.

Frances said...

Oh I am sooo glad to read this. I have only managed to lock myself out of my car twice. Once in a snow-storm and once in a rainstorm in gale force winds.
Maybe I should tell those tales over on my blog and see if I can find any more of us in the world. hah

Iota said...

Great story! (Can't think of witty comment.)

Devon said...

I hate driving in the snow and we get it here 4 or 5 times a year.

You and the old boyfriend floated by my house. I have never heard of or seen anyone going down the American River on an inner tube! You are seriously insane!

Nearlydawn said...

hmmmm... maybe the ending line of this post tells us why the next post is about your foot hurting? LOL Maybe...