Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Ditch Diving

My little Vibe ended up in a ditch this morning.
February 3, 2016

After a snowfall, the temperature always drops for a few days. This morning it was MINUS three degrees outside. That's below zero, folks. So, although the highway through town is now fairly clear of snow, the backroads like those in our neighborhood were quite icy.

Mark had to work at 6:00 this morning, so Jake got up and drove him so that Dylan and I could sleep until we had to get up for school. On his way back home, Jake took one of the more narrow, non-county-maintained roads on the block behind our house. It was still dark out, so Jake (a somewhat inexperienced driver, especially in snow) was unprepared when a large truck came barreling out of the darkness toward him. Usually, on these narrow roads in this situation, both cars slow and carefully ease past each other, but Jake reported that this guy didn't even slow down. So he quickly pulled as far to the right as he could, misjudging it and sliding into the ditch.

Dylan prepares to get in the car and wait for AAA.

Under dry conditions, this wouldn't have been a problem. The car would probably have hugged the edge of the ditch without sliding down into it. Even if it had, it would have been easy to drive it out without assistance. You can see that it's not even a very deep ditch. However, with the slick snow and ice, it was impossible to get any traction.

After Jake called us, afraid I was going to be angry about my car, Dylan got up and drove over to see if he could somehow ease my car back onto the road, but no luck. He slid all over the place. In fact, at one point he slid into a fence post and cracked the heck out of my fender (or is that the bumper?). I wasn't exactly thrilled about this new development, but it's not the end of the world. In fact, I'd already decided a couple of weeks ago to start looking for a new car in February, so it's all good. If I do buy a new car, I'll let Mark drive this one. He'll just be happy to have some transportation and not be dependent upon us for rides! And despite its nicks and cracks and noisy engine, it still drives great. The Vibe is a good little car.

My newly cracked bumper...or fender... But the headlight is fine.

This little crisis made me nostalgic for the old days, when Mark and I were still married and he had his Chevy Cheyenne pickup. When it snowed, he loved to bundle up and head out, looking for stranded drivers he could tow out of ditches and snowbanks. He never asked anyone for a penny. He just loved to do it. We sure could have used that old pickup today!

Once we'd determined we weren't going to be able to get the car out without some help (and I certainly wasn't going to be calling neighbors for help at 6:30 a.m.!) I had Dylan call AAA to come give us a tug. I texted my principal to let him know I was going to be a bit late, and then Jake drove me to work while Dylan waited with the car. I got to my classroom just minutes before the first period bell rang. I let the office know Dylan should be excused for being late to class, and then he checked in about midway through first period. Once AAA had arrived, it hadn't taken long to extricate my little red car. I can tell you, our AAA membership has been worth its weight in gold over the years. Later, our principal grabbed Dylan to give him a hard time about putting my car in a ditch. I think he was a little disappointed to learn that it wasn't Dylan after all!

Some mornings just don't go the way you think they will.

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