Friday, November 02, 2012

In Which the Kids are Thankful Mama is a Farm-girl

Disclaimer:  I am not very qualified as a true farm girl.  I don't work with the animals.  I don't drive tractors, trucks or combines, in fact I don't know how to start the garden tractor!  But, I do know a little and my thimbleful of knowledge came in really handy last night.

I noticed someone scraping ice off their windshield as we loaded groceries into the van.  The rain had been barely there since we hit the city for our weekly lesson-run and I hadn't paid much attention until that moment.  Freezing rain makes driving rather difficult.  I started out on the pick-up part of the evening, praying we'd get out of the city before it got too bad.

By the time I had finished the pick-ups and was heading to Tim Horton's for my large steeped-tea double-double to keep me awake the roads were skating rink slick.  This wasn't going to be fun.  SPK said, "Mom, I think we should stay in the city."  I should have listened to him.

We crawled along at about 40KM/h, sometimes making it up to 50, then finally 60...woohoo!  It took us 2 hours to traverse a stretch that usually takes 45 minutes.  I thought we were home-free when we hit highway 15 and things seemed to be getting better.  OH NO...the fun was about to begin!!

I knew we were in trouble the moment we crossed that main highway onto the secondary.  I could only go about 20 km/h without sliding.  I warned the kids that we would be taking 'a while' to get home...and maybe they might want to pray!  Any touch to the gas pedal sent me sliding.

We got about one and half miles down the road and then we simply slid across.  My son and I decided that perhaps if we could gain purchase on the grass in the ditch we might have a chance of moving forward.  I was a little nervous, I could see another vehicle in the rear-view and here I was on the wrong side of the road!  Oh well, I didn't seem to have much choice.  Meanwhile we listened to the accounts of the 10 car pile-up on a major road we had just vacated in the city and other accidents.  No wonder there were so many emergency vehicles out and about!

That plan worked for a little ways and then...nothing.  We just stopped moving.  The tires spun on the ice and we stayed put.  I noticed that other vehicle wasn't getting closer, then they turned and disappeared.  "Must be nice, I thought, at least they got some traction."

The littlest was sleeping through this and the older ones got out to 'do their business' and have some fun skating on the road!  I called Kelly and we tried to come up with a plan.  Meanwhile, the disappearing truck showed up in the field next to the road!  The young man came over to us to see how we were doing.  I attempted to carry on simultaneous conversations but that wasn't working very well.  He hopped back in his truck and took off toward home on the gravel road.

I was 15 feet from that same gravel road...and this is where my thimbleful saved the day, earned me "Awesome Mom" points and got us to a warm, safe, dry motel!

Thought #1
It's way easier to drive on icy gravel than super slick roads where you have no traction.

Thought #2
Driving in the field would provide even better traction and perhaps get me closer to the highway and, therefore, a motel in a nearby town.

Yes!  A Plan...way better than sitting contemplating whether my chicken would make it home okay!

The kids got out and pushed us to the gravel road! Perfect.
We drove through a very weedy field and could hardly see where we were going.  Fortunately God was in the field with us and we stopped just before a rather rude drop-off into a very nice straight-cut field.  JDJ got out and took a look around to find us a good entry point to said nice field.

He found one but I thought a little further down would be better.  Then I noticed re-bar sticking up out of the field at regular intervals.  Not so good, gotta get between them.  I turned to go to nice field and my son yells, "Stop!"  I was about to plow into one of those pieces of re-bar.  Now we were stuck, out in the field, in the middle of nowhere.

Yay for awesome kids who all got out and pushed the mama over the berm and into the nice field where we kept driving until we got to the irrigation ditch!!  Now what?  Let's try to get back on the road.  Hmmmm, not such a good idea.  How about we slide right over the road and maybe to what looks like the possibility of something on the other side.  Okey-doke, away we go.

Here we are, about 15 feet closer to warmth and a bed!  Looky there, that looks like a road all be it a field road, but it's running along the irrigation ditch and looks fairly well travelled.

Thought #3
Irrigation ditch road must lead to a real road!!

And it did!

NOTE:  Gravel roads can be icy, too, but epic James Bond style driving will get you to the other side and win you more, "Awesome Mom" points!

Made it to the highway which must have been salted and we drove our weary bodies to Outlook to the Irrigation Centre Motel where the kindly manager only charged me for one room instead of two.  The bed was comfy, the room was warm and clean and we managed to make it home this morning.  Praise be The Lord!!!


Katharine said...

Wow. You are superwoman! What an awesome story, so glad you are home safe and sound...gotta love our crazy weather!

Lunamoth said...

I am impressed. Way too impressed! Love it!

fragrantroses said...

My bottom was all puckered and pinched just reading this. I do not even drive in rain, so you are the woman!

Lizzie Branch said...

Oh my....I think I am traumatized by reading this story. And my hands are really, really cold. I won't say never, but ... well nevermind. I have learned not to say never!! You are a mighty brave mama!! If I ever get stuck on an icy road, I hope I am with you!

Laura said...

Oh my word girlfriend...I was having an anxiety attack just reading that. Glad you made it safely!!

Marcy P said...

Oh God is SO GOOD!!! When your dear husband put his post on FB last night I prayed immediately knowing that it was treacherous and I turned around yesterday just because of a few icy drops. I"m glad you are safe. I was wondering, so I'm glad you gave us all the exciting and terrifying details. Yay for "cool mommy" points but try to do it another way next time. LOL

Amy said...

Wow!! Not sure what to say except that if I ever visit it will be between May and October. Glad you made it out safe and sound. I'm not a big fan of ice either. I give you 3 bonus points.

Debi Stangeland said...

DUDE! I would have paid MONEY to see this go down. I love it. I can also clearly visualize Lizzie Branch being traumatized as she read this. Ha!!!! You are da bomb!!