Jan 31, 2014

The Angel in the Ford Focus

We got a break from the North Pole like temperatures yesterday only to be plummeted with bucket loads of snow instead.  I like the snow,  so I won't complain.  What I don't like is getting stuck in it.  I've known for months now that my tires have no traction on them.  We kept meaning to get new tires but ...you know how that goes.  It just never quite works into the budget or life gets so busy you forget.  Many excuses but none that seemed good enough when I was stuck in my predicament yesterday.

I took Chloe to school early because I knew I'd have a hard time making it up the hill that led out of her school.  It's not even a true hill if we were using the proper definition of a hill, rather a large incline that leads to a street with another large incline.  I'd been having some difficulty the past few times I drop her off getting out of the school parking lot.  So as not to embarrass myself or cause a multitude of honking horns, I dropped Chloe off 30 minutes early so I would have time to make my slow get-a-way.

Bald tires and snow don't mix.  The combination is more like a sled effect.  It's a lot more fun to slide downhill on a tube or sled than backwards in a car with other cars around you.  Thankfully, my backwards slide did not hurt one car or person because I thought ahead and was early and handled this little episode with little to no eye-witnesses around.  Genius.

Unfortunately, that was where my genius runs out and becomes moron.  I make it to the top of the first "hill" after the first slide down unbeknownst to passersby.  Unfortunately, I had to make a hard stop once I got to the top of the hill because the on-coming cars had no idea of my little bald tire problem and wouldn't have appreciated me sliding on out into their lane of traffic.  Hard stop I did and then....nothing.

My car WOULD NOT GO!  My heart starts pounding.  My head decides to follow suit.  There are no more cars in the cross street yet my car refuses to budge.  I push down on the gas pedal with all my might and whew - I glide a whole 3 inches out into the road.  It just gets worse from there.

Now I'm successfully in the middle of the street AND not going anywhere fast.  My tires are spinning, the snow is falling, my heart is racing and my car is apparently napping.  It refuses to move even one more millimeter.  Did I mention we were experiencing white out conditions during this snow storm?  That means it's almost impossible to see 1 to 2 cars ahead of you.  This is an added stress factor that none of us really want to deal with at the time.

So here I am blocking the only way out of the school and the street in front of the school and the street into the school.  I'm barely hanging onto the road I'm on hoping that I don't start sliding backwards into the car behind me.  Miraculously, no one is honking...yet.  But on the other hand, no is is running to my aid yet either.  It is very apparent that I am under LOTS of duress!  Where are my rescuers??  I just want to stick my head in the snow and disappear.  I am mortified by the backlog of cars I am causing.

I know I need to do something, but what?  What else is there?  My mind was searching wildly through my databank of options and there was absolutely nothing in my training or background to cling to.  Rescue was my only option.

I did come up with only one plan but immediately shot it down when I figured it would make Chuck mad.  I seriously thought about getting out and pushing my car into the ditch and then walking home in the snow and letting Chuck deal with it when he got off work.  That scenario didn't play out well in my mind's eye, so I went back to the drawing board.

I then got out and used my ice scraper to shovel some snow out behind all my tires hoping against hope that it would encourage my sad, bald tires to cling to the little bit of asphalt it could find.  But to no avail.

I barely had a Plan A, how in the world was I supposed to come up with a Plan B?  Not knowing what else to do, I got back out of my car and ran down to the car behind me ready to get an earful.  But when the lady rolled down her window she was smiling at me.  I apologized to her and asked her if she wouldn't mind pushing my car.  I certainly couldn't push it and steer it at the same time.  Thankfully, she said yes.

In my mind, I'm thinking she would get out of her car and push while I sat in the car, with it in neutral while she pushed me up the hill.  I know that sounds horrible but it wasn't even my plan, The picture of it just sort of popped into my head.  But apparently she thought I meant that I wanted her car to push my car up the hill.  The lady was the sweetest little hispanic lady and gave me some advice about my tires that I didn't quite make out but shook my head to anyways.

I run back to my car and assume the position of foot on the gas pedal pushed all the way to the floor, rocking back and forth like that might somehow lull the car out of it's stupor and trying not to look at the massive back up of cars all around me.  Then all of the sudden her bumper is on my bumper and she is pushing me up the hill.  Granted, we are going 2 miles an hour, but it's working.  I am no longer in the same spot, spinning my wheels.  Did I mention she was driving a Ford Focus?  I don't know how this little Ford Focus mustered up the strength to push us both up the hill in the slippery snow, but it did and for that I am grateful.

I'm also grateful that not one person honked or heckled me or gave me a mean look - I was already on the verge of tears and that would have sent me over the edge.  As it was, I had tears of gratitude in my eyes for the angel in the Ford Focus who saved me.
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