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Saturday, January 11, 2014

My Big Morning Adventure

This little guy made it across the driveway on Friday

I'm at Dog Ears now, after a harrowing morning adventure. My friend Ellen planned to pick me up at home and then we would pick up friend Trudy across the highway, down a long private drive, at her house on the Lake Michigan shore, so we could go together to a women’s group brunch at a home on the edge of Northport. But when I went out early with Sarah-dog, our driveway was solid glare ice, yesterday's snow and slush having melted and refrozen during the night, so after I packed up my things for the day I grabbed a stout stick and walked all the way out to the highway to meet Ellen, staying in the snow on the side of the drive, walking slowly and carefully, using the stick for support. I didn't want her to come down the driveway to our house and then not be able to get back up the hill again. When I got into her car, I left my stick plunged into the snow mountain left out at the road by the plow. I mention this fact because of subsequent developments.

Across the highway and going down to Trudy's, a big patch of open road (like our drive, no tree cover) was glare ice. We slid once but did not go off the road. Got down and picked up Trudy. Trying to come up was a different story. Ellen has 4WD, but that does nothing on glare ice. She wasn't going fast enough to make it up the icy hill, and halfway up we lost purchase and slid backwards into snow on the side of the road. When she tried to move the car, we slid deeper into the packed snow on the side of the road. 

We could not even get out of the car! The doors on the right side could not be opened because they were lodged firmly in the snowbank. Doors on the left could be opened, but the surface of the hill was pure ice. None of us had Yak Trax with us (we did have car heater and three cell phones), and Ellen had taken her ski poles out of the car to make room for passengers.

Plus it's Saturday. The garage in Leland wasn't open. The office for the excavating/plowing business that takes care of this private road (and our driveway at home) wasn't open. Ellen's husband found a tow truck (word to the wise: Bingham Body and Towing, if anyone else in Leelanau County gets in a fix on the weekend) and dispatched it to rescue us, but meanwhile we had no coffee!!! We had fruit salad, coffee cake, and champagne but didn't get into any of that stuff, in hopes of making it to our brunch, after all (which we did, eventually).

When the plow truck came, he could not back down the hill to us to hook onto Ellen's car directly, because he would have slid right into her car had he tried. Instead he had to fashion a super-long winch line and winch us -- yes, all three of us in the car -- to the top of the hill.

We got to the brunch – to friends, food and coffee! -- and my friend Sally gave me a ride to Northport when she and I had to leave to get here and open our shops. Highways and roads in the village are not a problem. Temperature is in mid-30s, so David is hoping the ice on our drive will melt today.

Here I am, then, coffee brewing, hoping my friend Susan will get here (she only lives a few blocks away), and determined to get a ride back to the highway end of my driveway sometime late this afternoon. (Sally said she'd give me a ride if I don't find one another way.) Then tomorrow -- DAY OFF!!! 

Everything in winter takes so much more effort and energy that a person can feel she's put in a full day after three or four hours -- before she even gets to work! But -- no injuries, no damage to vehicle, no terrible consequences. A few lessons learned. In summary, all's well that ends well.

Oh, and the best part, other than good company, of all the time we were stuck in the immobilized car? A pileated woodpecker!!! But did I have my camera with me? I did not!

P.S. on Books

No lengthy book review or reading reflections today. Next week I’ll be back with either or both of those. I just finished reading, at a friend’s request (he wanted me to read the fascinating, thought-provoking book "so we can talk about it”), The Web of Debt: The Shocking Truth About Our Money System and How We Can Break Free, by Ellen Hodgson Brown, J.D. After that my brain seriously needed cooling down, so I turned to re-reading Julia Child’s wonder memoir, My Life in France. I’ll have more to say about both of those in the near future.

Also, if you missed my sidebar, please note that I have in stock the $16 paperback edition of White Dog Fell From the Sky, by Eleanor Morse, my #1 top fiction pick of 2013.

Now, if you're going outdoors, walking or driving, be very, very careful out there!!!


Kathy in Oz said...

Pamela, thank you for bringing White Dog Fell From the Sky to my attention. What a wonderful, beautiful book. You said it was the best book you read in 2013. Having read it myself in 2014 I can't imagine finding a better book this year and I will let you know if I do. I was at a party last night (out doors, too hot to be inside on a January night in Australia) waxing lyrical about the book to anyone who cared to listen. I am going to try and find more of Eleanor Morse's works.

P. J. Grath said...

Hi, Kathy in Oz! (By the way, I mailed a letter to you yesterday, using our beautiful new "Forever" overseas stamp. When you get it, let me know how long it was in transit.) I'm so glad that you liked (loved) this book as much as I did. One of my friends here just finished it, and her response was the same as yours and mine.

Kathy said...

Oh my goodness~~what a day! Gosh, Pamela, it IS a lot of energy to live here in the north land on some winter days. It's just so inconvenient to cancel our plans sometimes, and besides, there is the whole Cabin Fever we must factor into the equation.

Hopefully you're enjoying a very quiet Sunday reading some magnificent book. Maybe you're still in your jammies?

Karen Casebeer said...

What a scary time you had on our icy roads! I sent this to friends in Royal Oak who'd planned to come up, but changed their minds with the advent of the ice storm, and were so disappointed to be stuck at home. Your "adventure" confirmed their decision not to head north. Glad it all turned out okay. Karen

P. J. Grath said...

Kathy, I'm preparing another post right now, and it will reveal some of my weekend-off preoccupations. Karen, our adventure was more inconvenient (and, for Ellen, expensive) than scary, but your friends undoubtedly made the right call. -- And now I'm so rested up that I'm in the bookstore on a Tuesday, though my official business week is only Wednesday through Saturday at this time of year. David commented on our way to town how lucky we are not to be dragging to jobs we hate. Indeed!