Last night I realized at 8:30 we did not have enough milk to get through this morning so I got my shoes back on my feet rallied the troops (let the kids know I was going & fielded requests to come with & for candy- snacks & sodas) and opened the door. Much to my surprise it was snowing! Hard!
There was a good dusting on the ground & once ms 12 (the only kid still fully dressed- able to locate her own personal money stash & shoes to put on her feet in the 5 minute duration between my opening the fridge & discovering the milk level & opening the door to go to the car) & I got on the road I was surprised at how heavily the snow was coming down during our 3 mile trip to the store visibility was terrible.
Since we had driven west to the store -into the storm (which was supposed to be a flurry- light flurries at that) driving back wasn’t so bad. That is until I had to make the left turn off the big road to the secondary road that leads to our very third rate road (it’s not dirt but I can still remember when it was- although we didn’t live on it then) The car didn’t really want to stop & slid left quite a few unpleasant feet. (and I already had the 4wd on- just in case- only the third time I’ve gotten to use it at all)
We made the left off the secondary road to our road & the right turn into our driveway without incident & that was all. It had almost stopped snowing when I went to bed & I figured in spite of the heavyness of the snow that it was just a passing squall. It was. However more started somewhere just before dawn & I was not at all happy about the situation when I got up.
Ms 18 & the BF had already left (18 has to be at work at 6) I knew the BF was supposed to work today so didn’t think much of it when he didn’t show up shortly after I got up (which is the normal situation) I got the little ones up for school among miserable protests & frequent requests to call the school closing phone number for a report- because with all that snow they just had to ‘at least postpone school mom- don’t you think?’
It didn’t really look all that bad & though I left a little early(like 5 minutes) I wasn’t worried. No problem getting out of the driveway- no problem on my road or at the stop sign. The road wasn’t bad at all I was tooling along at about 40 (usually 50-55 in this area) taking it easy & making sure to slow down before each curve. There was a 4wd Subaru behind me who was laying back – not following too closely & not so far behind that I felt that I was driving too fast.
Then we reached the part where the road climbs. It’s not a mountain but it is a steep ridge. There’s a former store at the bottom on this side & as soon as I rounded the corner before the store I could see there was trouble. There were 3-4 cars in a row stopped like they were waiting for a school bus- which is what I was hoping they were doing.
They weren’t. Ahead of them there were 2 or 3 cars in the ditch- spinning out etc. I didn’t hesitate- I pulled into the wide space in the road in front of the former store turned around & headed back the way I’d come thinking that I’d take the late to work & go the long way around on the numbered roads. not a half a mile back from the store I came down a little hill to find a truck spinning out trying to get up the hill (it’s a very small hill- but the truck wasn’t 4wd) and behind him a bigger truck parked in the road with it’s driver walking back & forth between his front wheels- obviously one of those trucks where you have to get out & flip something in the front wheel wells to turn on the 4wd.
The smaller truck came up beside & past me diagonally- the driver glaring at me & me glaring back – neither one of us looking forward to what seemed to be an inevitable collision. I touched my brake a little & found I was going sideways myself – away from him. He got past me & I found myself in the ditch. the passenger side of the car right up against a 7 foot bank. The guy who was still flipping his 4wd on glanced over toward me with this look on his face which pretty much told me he wasn’t about to help me.
I started to get out & then thought the better of it. I thought breifly of 18’s friend’s friend who’s family lives on the other side of the aforementioned ridge & run a garage with wrecker service (I also used to work with the daughter of the family) I thought briefly of the other cars in the ditches back the way I’d come & figured even if I had ‘stump’s’ phone number- they’d be out & I’d have a long wait. So I dropped the car from park past drive to low (the 4wd was still on) and rocked myself out of the ditch- it wasn’t so hard at all! I was surprised how easy it was.
Meanwhile the jerk in the other truck had got back in his truck & was trying to leave the scence. His 4wd didn’t do him a bit of good- he slipped – he spun- he landed in the same ditch-facing me (meaning he was on the wrong side of the road) just as I got out of the ditch- I drove around him & more than a little shaken up I went back home.
Mr 9 was on the porch waiting for the bus when I arrived. It was already 7:40 by then (The bus usually picks them up at 7:25) they came back in- we called the school cancellation line & still no report- I got the heater lit- 18’s BF showed up with his own tale of trying to come home- landing in the ditch- being pushed out by some guys in a van & then going back to a store in town & Sitting around drinking coffee for over an hour- until the VDOT came by with a plow.
I had called work by this time to say I would be late- which I was- by an hour & a half. I didn’t stay home very long waiting for the roads to clear- but going all the way to town on the main road & then out the other main road to where I work is about 15 miles out of my way & so takes a lot of extra time.
The ex’s visit begins tonight & the house is looking pretty good if I do say so myself- mostly thanks to ms 18’s efforts after her BF picked her up at work this afternoon. It’s still really chilly here even with the heater on & I’m more than a little worried that if it’s like this with snow & not over 30 all day in November- what’s January going to be like?