Saturday, February 21, 2009


The van windshield was fogged inside and glazed with ice out. I could not see the snow drift at the foot of drive though I might have remembered that a howling north wind blows snow across the twenty acre pasture next door and drops it over the fence line where my car parks. I returned home from bread and soup dinner at Trinity Lutheran Church, and wheeled into the trap --easy to do in a Honda Odyssey with just four inches of free board under carriage. Spinning the wheels stuck me further.
Joshua was the first one out of the van to help. He made a game by running toward the house, turning at the house and running full bore toward the car. Upon contact, he shoved and pushed on the grill. My headlights showed his grimaced face and shoulders above the hood framed by swirling snow. Not a budge. The van heater blew full blast inside the car but there was not blast enough to keep out the wind. My headlights illuminated more snow piling under and around the car. Shammond was out of the van by now, knee deep working with a shovel that made no difference.
Joshua went into the house for more clothes and came out swathed to continue his running start, charge and jump approach to freeing mom. He kept encouraging me. "This will do it," he shouted as he turned to take another run.
The girls bailed out and hustled into the house, leaving their backpacks and mittens on the floor in the back seat. "
"We'll make coco," they promised before they dashed. Shammond diligently shoveled against all odds. Joshua's running shoves didn't quit. I settled in the driver's seat for the duration. My place was behind the wheel, alternately shifting drive, putting on gas, shifting reverse and pressing the pedal again.
Ten degrees below zero. Dark outside. The lights from the house looked welcoming. There was no choice about leaving the car until morning. Snow was blowing so hard and fast that the car would be near buried by dawn.
Managing and leading had no effect right now. I just sat in the driver's seat with my collar turned up, waiting and watching for Joe's headlights to appear. When he returned home, I knew he could set me free.
When Joe arrived I did not even have to ask. He sized the situation, found a rope, backed his truck to my rear bumper, tied his vehicle to my hitch and gave brief instructions. "Remain in reverse, press steady but slight on the gas and put on brakes when I honk."
"Get the boys out of the way, " I open and call from the driver's side door since the van windows are frozen shut. Crunch goes the snow. Whirl goes the engines under load and the van is scooted out with fish tail wiggle.
Being stuck is familiar in my life. I sit at the wheel, notice that I can't get free by myself, see the lights of home ahead, know coco is brewing, wait and watch the redeemer work.

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