Saturday, December 19, 2009

Snow falls and Good People...

It snowed here yesterday. I had an adventure. Busy stuff.

I went Christmas shopping, for though I am an Atheist, I still celebrate holidays for my own reasons. Christmas is, for me, a time of charity and being with family, for appreciation of the year passed by. My children and husband are not Atheists, I do not impose my belief systems on them, and this celebration of togetherness gives us good holidays. So anyway, I was in the middle of my final bits of Christmas shopping. It had started snowing a little when I got there, nothing big... what we folks in West Virginia call "a snowflake an acre".

I shopped for about an hour and was heading from one part of the store to the next, from toys to clothes as it were, and passed by the entry doors.

Holy sheep shit, there was three inches of snow out there! I hurried through the rest of my shopping and checked out. We headed home.

Now, I live a good 30-45 minutes from the nearest city. I live in the country and the small towns nearby are lucky to have a gas station. So shopping days are hours long trips. I left the store at about 4:00 p.m.

Our little car crept through the snow and slush covered roads, through bumper to bumper traffic, slipping this way and that. Between the city and my house, there are five mountains to crest. Oh yeah. Fun.

We start up the first mountain, and at the steepest part our little car started spinning. And not moving.

Now, I'm a strong willed, strong minded woman. But I'm not possessed of much physical strength. I can carry an arm load of wood or a fifty pound bag of potatoes, but beyond that... that's what guys are for.

We were stuck, with a line of traffic behind us. So, I got out and started pushing the car. My husband was with me and he got out to push too. We got to the top and hopped in the car.

Got stuck on the second mountain, we pushed it uphill again. We were barely getting the car to go. I'm pushing with all I have, cars trying to pass by us on roads now covered with six inches of snow. Snow and ice pelting into my face, me with no gloves and my jacket hood full of ice. My husband is to my left. I slide and hit my head and shoulder on the back hatch (the shoulder has a nicely sore bruise for my troubles). Then, someone is at my right and he says, "We'll get you up to the top. I'll help." I look over at him and a teenage boy, couldn't be more than 13-15 years old, in nothing but a sweatshirt hoodie, starts helping push the car. Once it got going good, I told him to go back to his car and get warm, with my thanks. He nodded and lagged behind. Crested the top, on we go.

Third one, stuck again. I got out and started pushing. (My brother was driving us in his car. I can't drive and my car needs an alternator. My husband's car needs a windshield and back glass, thanks to some vandalism. Doesn't something like that always happen near the holidays?) The car takes off faster than we expected and we couldn't catch up. Knowing my brother would wait at the top of the hill for us, we start walking.

An SUV stops in the middle of traffic and asks if we need a ride to catch up with our car. They saw us pushing it, knew we'd been left behind. The hill still had better than half a mile to the top and they say we'll freeze. We accept, more than grateful, because I was freezing, wet, my fingers and feet going numb. They drive us up to the top and offer to follow us through the next few mountains--they were going the same direction we are. We say thank you and go to our own vehicle with them following behind.

Ass holes abound and pass the people following us. With no four wheel drive, we have to keep moving just to keep moving. We start up the next mountain and get stuck, yet again. Damn it!

We get out, start pushing again. A man pulls to the side and helps my husband push from the back while I push from the open passenger door. A volunteer fire department worker turns on his emergency lights and also helps push from the back. This is the next to last hill. Only one to go; if we can just get over this one, we're home free. The snow is up to seven inches.

We get going again, and faster this time. My husband, the man helping him push and the fireman all fall back, but we can't stop. It's not too far from the top. I get in and at the little knoll just before the crest of the hill, we slide again. And I'm the only one to push the car.

Knowing it's a front wheel drive, I open the passenger door and start pushing. It was slow going, I'm only one small woman, but I got it up to the top. By this time, I'm shaking all over and even with the heater on full blast, I can't get warm. We wait for my husband to catch up and on we go. My brother says fuck this and takes the next hill, which has a nice flat and straight stretch before the ascent, at high speed for nearly eight inches of snow. This time, we don't have to push.

We finally get to our little one lane road and start in. But where we live, in a little valley between two huge mountains, we get drifts from both sides. There's over a foot of snow in front of us and it flies up over the windshield. We can't see. The little car won't make it. We can't get any further than maybe 50 feet from the turn off. We're stuck and no amount of pushing would make the car go.

Neighbors come by in their big truck and offer to help us get the car to the side where it wouldn't get hit by other drivers, and to take us and our things home.

What should have been a thirty to forty minute drive turned out to be more than 5 hours. We didn't get home until nearly ten o'clock. It was an adventure, but I don't want another like it in the near future.

But for those who helped us out, you have my gratitude. There are still good people in the world. I knew not a single one of those that helped us, but they helped anyway. They didn't have to. Four people who were strangers to me, thought enough of me and my family to help when they didn't have to. They deserve to be told about. These are a rare type of people in today's society. Out of hundreds of vehicles that passed us, only those four bothered. There should be more people like these in the world.

Hopefully, someone will read this and decide to be.

Peace & Love, y'all

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