So Much Drama

Jan
11

The last time I went out on our road, which is more than two miles over the hill to the hard road, it looked like this:
IMG_0290
We were on our way to pick up Mr. Pibb. Someone else was driving. I haven’t driven myself anywhere in a week and a half. It’s not just the driving on snow that scares me, but the hills and curves and steep dropoffs without guard rails. I have this massive terror of sliding off the road and careening down 100 feet. I grew up on flat land where it doesn’t snow. I learned how to drive in southern California. The last time I drove, it was to take Weston to the airport for a trip to family in Texas. This weekend, he flew back. And for the first time, I had to drive again. HAD TO. My child was going to be at the airport. By himself. That, or someone’s eyeball popping out of their head, would be about the only two things that would get me behind the wheel of a vehicle in this weather. Our road, going over the hill, was impassable this weekend after so much additional snow. That leaves the only other choice to be going across the river ford, which is a much closer access to a hard road.
IMG_1213
I haven’t had my car parked up at the house in weeks. This is what our driveway looks like.
IMG_1195
See? No cars at the house now. Just a tractor, which at this point isn’t going anywhere, either. (Though it has gone up and down a few times.)
IMG_1196
It’s a long walk down the driveway, and an even longer walk back up.
IMG_1198
Morgan came with me because she was STIR CRAZY by this time and wanted me to drop her off at a friend’s house on the way.
IMG_0311
Going out the river ford still means you have to drive on the snow-covered road, but only for a couple hundred feet.
IMG_1206
I was hoping the hard road across the river ford would be better. It usually gets snow plow attention, which our road does not. The only real scary part about getting to the river ford is this one narrow bit of the road where it’s close to a dropoff to the river, a deep spot which in the summer is the swimming hole.
IMG_1207
I don’t think anyone has ever slid off the road into the river there but WHAT IF?!
IMG_1209
I inched past that spot in my Explorer and finally arrived at the river ford. On the other side of the ford, you have to get up a short but somewhat steep bank to get to the road. I knew I’d need to take it fast or I’d get stuck. I hit it and crossed the ford just as a truck I hadn’t seen coming drove past. And I had to stop. And I got stuck. And started sliding. AND CRYING. Because I am TERRIFIED of driving in snow. I managed to stop sliding backward, but I knew I couldn’t get up the bank. There was no going forward! That would just be followed by MORE SLIDING BACKWARD. And possibly some more SCREAMING. And hysteria. Don’t forget the HYSTERIA. I told Morgan to go find Frank!!!!! Frank lives in the house across the river ford.
IMG_1210
Frank’s son, Denny, lives in the house next door, which is an old converted one-room schoolhouse. It’s the old schoolhouse where my dad went to school and my grandmother taught.
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Morgan came back with Frank AND Denny. Denny started giving me directions about how to get my Explorer up to the road. I said, NO, YOU DO IT!!! And cried some more then Denny got behind the wheel and got my car out of the river ford for me.


Only the hard road that was I hoping would be so much better than our road looked like this:
IMG_1174
And Denny said, “Oh, you’ll be FINE!” He told me how he’d driven back and forth to town a half dozen times. I sniffled and said, sure, right, and went inching off down the road.

Inching.

It’s seven miles to the two-lane main road where surely it would be cleared. But first I had to get there. Which seemed less likely with every inch.

A truck came barreling up behind us and I told Morgan, “These people are gonna LOVE me.” Because this is a narrow one-lane road. There was no place to pull over and I was going -10 miles per hour. The people behind us flashed their lights and waved their arms out the windows. The heavens opened and light beamed down. It was Frank and Denny! Riding to the rescue! I stopped the car. Denny jumped out and said, “I’ll drive your car for you.” And I could not scramble out of the driver’s seat fast enough. He drove my car all the way to the main road like he was on the Autobahn and it was nothing while Frank followed behind to take him back home.

Country neighbors are the best.

Weston brought a fiddle home with him, by the way. (Don’t tell him I told you that.) I’m fascinated that my child spent some of his Christmas money buying a fiddle from a pawn shop in Waco. Teenagers are so mysterious.
IMG_1161
I called 52 from the interstate. “I CAN’T GET HOME!” I left my Explorer in a church parking lot near the main road where he met us and took us home.
IMG_1162
It’s still there. I have no vehicle at the moment. At least I think it’s still there. Unless somebody stole it. From a church. Which would make them a very bad person.
IMG_1164
But I don’t think I’m ever going anywhere again SO IT DOESN’T MATTER. I can’t drive in the snow.

And so now you have found (at least) one thing I can’t do.

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on January 11, 2010  

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  1. 1-11
    1:19
    am

    to be very honest with you…I would be having the same issues. I have been in 3 car accidents in my life and they we in WV and the roads had snow on them. I wasn’t even driving in any of these cases. You’re OK…or are we both drama queens? Depends on who you ask. stay warm. BTW I had ice on my car this morning which is rare in Orlando FL.

  2. 1-11
    1:32
    am

    Ha! And I thought our trip to Nashville last week to pick up our son from the airport was a trip from hell! We (former Florida crackers) thought it would be a good idea to take a back country road that had never seen a salt truck in the 100 years it has been a road. Pure ice! We learned our lesson.

  3. 1-11
    1:49
    am

    Snow I can handle, at least in 4 wheel drive. Ice on the other hand is an entirely different matter. I don’t like to drive on ice except with a bulldozer. Just think we are not yet even half way through Ole Man Winter’s life. Ice in Florida; good grief!

  4. 1-11
    4:10
    am

    I assume Weston doesn’t play the fiddle?

    Absolutely stunning winter scenery! I’m jealous — but not of the driving.

  5. 1-11
    4:19
    am

    Too funny, and too real hehehe. I’d have done the same thing – including the crying party! those roads are no joke – specially not with snow. Reminds me so much of my dad.. I can’t wait to get down there this summer to see him. To get to his place you have to leave the “hard road” to the dirt road, then 20 minutes up a dried up (most times) creek)… so I totally understand how far out you are. Runnin’ to the store for milk hehhehehe…. puts a whole new spin on things :) Glad everyone made it safe :)

  6. 1-11
    4:24
    am

    :wave: You poor thing – I understand the need, as a Momma, to go get Weston – and I REALLY understand the fear of sliding off of that road.

    Thank goodness for Frank and Denny YAY! :snoopy:

    They’re awesome! And I am sure your SUV will still be there when you return to get it in….March? :wave:

    Take care and glad y’all are safe.

  7. 1-11
    4:27
    am

    A year or two ago I ran to Walmart and picked up a set of cable chains for our pickup (we live on a similar road). They are easy to take on and off (easier anyway than traditional chains) and make traction much better for those times I must go out. I put them on the front wheels and it helps steering too. Just need to get the size that fits your tires. Take them off at the main road. I keep them and a pair of coveralls in the truck in case I’m stuck out. Also, speaking from experience here…be careful in the ford when it is frozen. I’ve been stuck IN the ice too.

  8. 1-11
    5:50
    am

    You have the best neighbors! Make sure you bake them a cake to thank them for helping your get to the road to pickup Weston!

    I don’t drive in winter weather either so I understand your fears! Just glad to hear everyone is safe and sound. Hopefully the snow will melt soon and you will get your Explorer safe and sound to your house!

    Have a great week Suzanne!

  9. 1-11
    6:06
    am

    EEK! that looks really gorgeous but terribly scary.

    even though we have a four wheel drive landrover(jeep type of working vehicle) which is brilliant in all weathers, i refuse to drive in the snow – it’s the other people who scare me! I have some easy clip on snow chains for my volvo which are excellent but you can only drive at about 20mph which is a pain when you get on a good bit of road.

  10. 1-11
    6:17
    am

    Ironic that your vehicle is stuck at SPEED United Methodist Church. How did SPEED get its name. Maybe they should rename it CAN’T SPEED UMC!

    Before you know it, Weston will be playing like Melvin Wine, Tracey Schwartz, and Jake Krack and competing at Clifftop (at Camp George Washington Carver). Truly the “next step” for your new lifestyle. Oh, and to have a stringband, Morgan or Suzanne will need to play banjo!!!!! Yee ha!

  11. 1-11
    6:29
    am

    You might consider used snowmobiles.Im not sure where the river is if it totally freezes. But Have one at the house and the other across the river if it doesnt freeze. Go to freecycle.com and see if anyone has an older one that might need a little work. You never know. You can drive one down on the other side of the ledge. Maybe you can make a trail to.

  12. 1-11
    6:40
    am

    Oh I feel ya Suzannne!! Poor you..I hate to slide or drive in ice or snow..I could truly feel your anxiety through your whole story.UGH!!
    A fiddle how wonderful!! So cool!!
    Big Hugs!!
    Granny Trace

  13. 1-11
    6:44
    am

    Better to be safe than sorry with the roads being in that conditon.
    Now you can just relax and listen to the fiddle. :)

  14. 1-11
    6:45
    am

    LOL. Sorry to laugh but I needed a small laugh this morning. The snow covered roads do not bother me. I have a little front wheel drive car and had it out in all kinds of road conditions this year already. We have a 4wheel drive truck and its great to have for winter driving. I dont drive it because it does not like to run all that well all the time. Hubby drives it. lol.

    You should get 52 and practice driving up and down your driveway wile there is still snow. You just need some confidence that you can do it. You do not have to drive fast. And most likely the car is not going to slide off the road. The key is TO NOT slam on your breaks. That is what will make your car slide and go out of control. Slow and easy it the key. YOu can do it I know you can. Just practice.

  15. 1-11
    7:03
    am

    ……a few years from now (well, maybe even this year), this posting will be one of those “remember when” links.
    If I can drive in this stuff, you can!! Better to be a bit nervous than over confident!!
    Scaring me when learning to drive the farm pickup truck MANY year ago was the slippery red clay mud (they didn’t put rock on our road) but those 3 or 4 inch ruts in the road kept us from sliding over the hill.

  16. 1-11
    7:33
    am

    Wow you live in a beautiful spot but I agree it must be very scary
    driving, lucky you have good neighbours, hope it thaws soon for you.
    Hugs
    Karen

  17. 1-11
    7:33
    am

    OMG!!!!! If I had been in the Explorer with you and Morgan, she would have had two drama queens to deal with! I learned to drive on flat, straight, almost never snow-covered roads in Northwest Florida. Then I moved back to Missouri with crooked, hilly, ridiculously curvy and quite often DEEP snow covered roads and I spent a whole lot of time figgering out ways to avoid driving. Thank God I had a sister and brother-in-law who did what Frank and Denny did for you.
    I don’t care what anyone says….SNOWY ROADS FREAK ME OUT!
    Glad everyone is home safe…now bake some cookies and relax!

  18. 1-11
    7:34
    am

    I’m terrified of driving in the snow too and I don’t have your roads to deal with:) Glad to hear your safe and back home!

  19. 1-11
    7:41
    am

    The explorer should be safe right where it is!!! Take your time…. Oh wait! How are the kids getting to school today??????

    Would Weston be willing to give us a little concert like 52’s sister did? I’m sure he’s been practicing!!!

  20. 1-11
    7:42
    am

    I don’t think I could drive in snow either. I live in Panama City Florida and it is 20 degrees at my house. We have ice but no snow.
    Those road would terrify me. I hate driving on a road with deep ditches on either side….I call them “the ditches of death” and those drop offs beside the road look like ditches of death to me! LOL

    You are a braver woman than I am….but what can a Mama do??? When their young’uns holler for them, we run straight for them!

    Deb

  21. 1-11
    7:43
    am

    I gotta agree with Diane — you ought to practice driving the driveway until it no longer intimidates you. It’s one thing to be “stuck at home” doing your everyday things because you are afraid of the road. It would be entirely another to have an emergency and need to get to the road. You need to know you can do it.

    Would it help to have some sort of plowing done? Surely you have some neighbor that has a blade and you could trade some amazing baked goods for that? Or a load of sand or gravel spread around the really scary curve? Do your kids drive on that road?

    Anyway, I really feel for you. I have a friend who lives on a lake, with a mile long driveway through the dunes. It’s bad enough in the summer, looking down those steep drops, but in the winter it’s truly frightening.

  22. 1-11
    7:47
    am

    What a frightening ordeal! Those roads look treacherous. Thank heavens for the kindness of Frank and Denny. And 52. What a blessing to have friends we can depend on to lend a hand when help is needed.
    I’m so glad you all made it back home safe and sound. Your snowy scenes are beautiful, but won’t we love it when the green comes back and the roads are clear again? :snuggle:
    A fiddle! What a mysteriously pleasant surprise :) I’m sure Weston (and the rest of the family) will get many hours of enjoyment out of such a good investment.

  23. 1-11
    7:48
    am

    The kids are getting to school today via helpers!

  24. 1-11
    8:11
    am

    Suzanne, you made me shiver just looking at the pics. Looks very, very cold in WV. It’s very cold here, too, but no snow. Safety first. I wouldn’t drive in it either.

    Susan

  25. 1-11
    8:42
    am

    :snuggle: I am a West Virginia girl too and I hear you on the roads. I can do a little bit of snow driving but my nerves go if it is a long snowy trip. I agree that practicing with 52 in the car might help ease your nerves. My husband has taught me better snow driving since we’ve been married. We used to have a long driveway that the snow never melted on and I would have to gun it everyday to get up it without getting stuck. My littlest would always say on the way up “You drive crazy mommy!”

  26. 1-11
    8:52
    am

    When I was younger I loved the challenge of driving on snow just to see if I could get to where I wanted to go. I had a little front wheel drive car and it would go anywhere in snow (ice was a different story!) Anyway, I’m a mom now, older and is it wiser? or just not quite as stupid? as I was back then so I stay in when I can and have DH pick up everything we need while he is at work!

  27. 1-11
    9:01
    am

    I love the country of WV but this time of year I’m happy to be living in south carolina~ Its freezing here but no snow. I did slide on some ice this morning from a broken sprinkler….
    Be safe and stay warm! :sun:

  28. 1-11
    9:14
    am

    Over the river and thru the wood,
    To grandfather’s house we go;
    The horse knows the way
    To carry the sleigh,
    Thru the white and drifted snow, oh!
    Over the river and thru the wood,
    Oh, how the wind does blow!
    It stings the toes,
    And bites the nose,
    As over the ground we go…
    How many times have you sung that tune on your way down and around the hills….we do a lot here in Tennessee on our old road…
    Suzanne, you need a sleigh..and a horse then you could just leave your car at the the Gods Speed church during the winter months…LOL

  29. 1-11
    9:19
    am

    :sun: You do have some very nice neighbors!! Glad you made it safely! I want to hear that fiddle! Too bad you’re so far away, as one of my buddies is a real killer fiddler. I know that’ll be sounding sweet on the porch! Here’s to warmer weather! Voting now! Have a great day. :happyflower:

  30. 1-11
    9:19
    am

    God bless Frank and Denny!! I live in the country and don’t have neighbors like that…you are lucky! I’m with you…I am not a fan of icy winding roads. I’m glad you are home safe and sound with your kids. Kudos to you for asking for help when you need it!

  31. 1-11
    9:22
    am

    I agree, practice would be good and then always carry extra warm clothes or a blanket and snacks for the road, that way if you got stuck anywhere you could wait for someone to come along and rescue you. I don’t drive on the snow much, and my road doesn’t have any drop offs, we have a hill, then a hairpin curve then another hill, so my problem is that I can’t get up any speed to make it up the hills because of the bad curve. Thankfully the manager where I work comes and gets me on snow days so I don’t have to drive on it.

    Both of my kids play violin or fiddle depending on what you are playing. It is harder to learn that most instruments, but beautiful music for sure. I don’t know why, but when they where in school and they got old enough to be in the band or orchestra, they both chose to play violin. If you can survive until the screeching stops and the actual music begins you will love it.

    Stay safe and warm

  32. 1-11
    9:29
    am

    I grew up here in E. WA and have been driving in snow forever. Snow, no problem, but ice is always a challenge. Do you have studded tires all the way around on your rig? That might help. I drive a Prius 99% of the time but don’t have mountain roads to drive on. My Jeep fills in on those days I think the snow is too deep for my little car.

    Hang in there and keep practicing. It’ll get easier.

  33. 1-11
    9:41
    am

    Don’t drive. Don’t like it. The End.

  34. 1-11
    10:10
    am

    I do relate to the fear of driving on snow. I moved to Wisconsin from Florida 27 years ago. I still use my “I’m from Florida” excuse about why I don’t like driving on snow. My husband seems so confident just blasting down the road like it’s dry pavement. I inch along, fearful that I will fall off the road. I have fallen off the road. Once, I drove right through the field and back onto the road without stopping. The last time, I landed in a snow bank with no injuries. My husband had to come and bring a tow rope and pull me out. It does help to have good tires on the vehicle. I’m thankful that I didn’t fall off the road where there was nothing but a deep ravine to fall into. If I were you, in spring I’d look into getting a driveway with a culvert put in where you have all that water. For the time being, be thankful you don’t have to travel!

  35. 1-11
    10:14
    am

    I don’t like to drive on snow either, and if it’s icy, forget it! Hubby has slid us up a neighboring house’s driveway nearly hitting their two children shoveling the driveway. And a few other sliding mishaps where we came so close to hitting cars, but thankfully no actual hits with people or cars yet! Trees and fences are a different story! He has hit those, once each that I can remember. He also hit black ice in a work truck on the freeway and the truck flew up on two tires almost rolling itself over, thank God it didn’t and he ended up in a ditch. 4 wheel drive got him out. This is why I don’t drive in the snow. And other drivers in the snow scare me, because most still drive like it’s summer time.

    I have to say yay for helpers! And how awesome it was that the neighbor’s came after you to help out again!

  36. 1-11
    10:27
    am

    Jessica, if you check back, please email me! I’ve been trying to get in touch with you–you won the 12/29 BBB drawing.

  37. 1-11
    10:33
    am

    Winter driving….I hated it. Grew up on a farm in the midwest….learned to drive in snow/ice but not confidently. Moved to a town where there were buses. I took the bus when my friends drove. Fortunately I had an opportunity to move south, enough south so there are seasons but no winter driving. Your country setting is beautiful but I feel your pain about having to drive in it!!!

  38. 1-11
    10:42
    am

    Why don’t you try a set of chains?! It’s all part of life in the country – don’t let the snow/ice win!!

  39. 1-11
    10:49
    am

    I hate driving in the snow. I have to pick my kids up from school and it’s 23 miles to town where they go to school. When it’s really snowing I call my husband at work and tell him he has to go get the kids, they hang out with him at work till he comes home. My cousin’s daughter was killed in an accident when they hit black ice and were t-boned. The ice is terrifying.

  40. 1-11
    10:50
    am

    I would be in the same predicament. I do not like snow in any shape or form. I live on the coast of California for criminy sakes, there is no snow here, totally unheard of!
    You need to get a snow mobile…that way you could get out and back a lot easier. It’s smaller and made for those narrow lanes.

  41. 1-11
    10:54
    am

    Unless you’ve been on a West Virginia country road, you have no idea how scary they are! I have traveled with my husband, he has to work there sometimes, and I have begged him to let me out so I can walk! I can’t imagine driving on roads like that everyday, I would be crying too!!!

  42. 1-11
    10:58
    am

    I am from Missouri and we have hilly, crooked roads. I am so glad my dad taught me how to drive on snow. The main thing was to learn NOT to fear it. Go slow and do act stupid. The other drivers who are idiots on snow bother me. But, I know how to drive in snow and get around to where I wanted/needed to go. I used to teach about 45 minutes from home. All of the other ladies out there were terrified to drive on the snow. I always volunteered to head out first leading us towards home – that way if they wrecked it would be behind me!

    I agree with the others on getting some practice with 52 teaching you. There may be a time where you HAVE TO get out and drive in the snow and others may not be around to help you. Get some chains, put blankets and snacks in your vehicle. You will do fine, Suzanne. Just think of it as another thing you need to do to live on the farm. Hugs, girl!

  43. 1-11
    11:09
    am

    Suzanne your life is so full of drama…Living the “good life” in the country in a back to nature type way, is supposed to be less stressful and yet you have this drama curse it seems. I would feel the same way if I had to drive on your roads. Snow and ice, I have handled often enough living in several snowy climates, but not on your kind of road. Stay safe …

  44. 1-11
    11:13
    am

    Robin, I know! Nothing scarier than these roads. You have to see them to believe them, they are so narrow and all the steep dropoffs with no guard rails make it even worse!

  45. 1-11
    11:37
    am

    What beautiful winter wonderland pictures.Even though it may be cold and snowy there this warmed my heart…….LOVE LOVE reading your stories…
    Blessings :wave:

  46. 1-11
    11:44
    am

    I grew up in that kind of terrain. I was one of the first to get on the school bus in the mornings. After picking me up, it drove farther down my backroad that happened to go behind the mountain, known locally as the Devil’s Nose. There were some places back there that never saw sunlight. There was one stretch of road that looked just like your road, it was called “Wildcat Hill”. Straight up mountain on one side and sheer drop off to trees and the creek below on the other and it was barely big enough for the bus. Most mornings the bus driver gunned it and sped up it as quickly as possible. One day we were released from school early, and due to the conditions, he decided to do the route backwards to get the worst spots out of the way… that meant going DOWN Wildcat Hill. The driver (who was fearless) stopped at the top, told us to get down and hang on, then he started the drive down the hill. I am pretty sure we slid most of the way, but he kept control of that huge bus, and got us all home safely. Later on, my mom and dad taught me to drive in the snow and ice as well, and I don’t mind it at all. My hubby is from Michigan and scoffs, he is waiting for “real snow” lol.

  47. 1-11
    11:59
    am

    WOW!! I did not learn to drive until I was 27. It came about because dh would not get up on a Saturday and take me to the PX or grocery store. So I fed him what we had.

    On Sunday, he got cold spaghetti for breakfast, did not say a word!! just looked at me, and hired a driving instructor the next day.

    Sue something… Wolf??? Behr??? was a vicious mean horrible demanding instructor!! This was in Colorado in January, by the way… near Ft. Kit Carson, down from Rabbit Ears Pass.

    She taught me to park in front of the police department!! Mean woman.

    Taught me to do a 3 point turn on a gravel road with a drop off on one side and a cliff on the other in the snow… horrible woman!! The road was 3 feet wider than the car was long.

    Taught me to merge at 80 miles an hour on the interstate!! LOL Anyway, thanks to her mean spirit, I can drive anywhere now. You need Sue!! I was more afraid of her than I was of driving.

    Buck up and don’t cry! We can only cry if there is blood.

  48. 1-11
    12:00
    pm

    Maybe you should move to Florida… It may be cold here right now but at least we don’t have all that white stuff!

  49. 1-11
    12:05
    pm

    Oh please,just reading the story,I could feel my insides quivering,hate hate hate driving in snow or ice.It’s such an awful feeling when you are that afraid!!Been there done that,shed many tears driving in that weather,had such a grip on the steering wheel,could barely get them off the steering wheel.Talk about white knuckles.If I lived where you do I would never go anywhere till spring!!How doyou go shopping?How far is it? Sandy

  50. 1-11
    12:09
    pm

    I used to live close to Waco, Texas. I lived in Temple, Texas before I joined the army and moved to Harker Heights, Texas. I used to go visit friends in Waco quite often. I sure do miss it. Glad all turned out okay for you. Hope you get your Explorer back soon!

  51. 1-11
    12:18
    pm

    Sandra, that’s why I stock up!

  52. 1-11
    12:36
    pm

    You poor thing! I grew up between Kansas City and a farm in north Missouri so I got all kinds of experience driving all kinds of vehicles on all kinds of roads and I am thankful to my dad for that. He taught me that and a sense of direction so I never feel lost no matter where I am. We are having a heat wave here today of 28 degrees. :)

  53. 1-11
    12:40
    pm

    I’m always getting harrassed because I’m afraid to go places in my car but that’s because I have no sense of direction and I hate merging and all the other crazy drivers out there. Living in PA there are lots of hills and I really don’t mind driving in snow (not ice though). No one ever believes I’m not afraid of the snow lol. I’m sure I’d be afraid of your icy roads though!!!

  54. 1-11
    12:45
    pm

    I’m from the midwest, currently living in Maryland. I’m not at all afraid of driving on the snow. but I go slow and am careful. This past weekend we went to Sidling Hill area and Green Ridge Park (depending where in WV you are, you may be familiar). It’s sooooo beautiful up there. I’d like to live in that area. We tried driving up a hill that looked much like your driveway — but very steep. Near the top, the sun had been shining on the switchback and gravity suddenly took over and we just started sliding backwards down the hill — toward the cliff side of the road i might add.

    We ended up backing the entire way down the one-lane “road” because there was no way to turn around and no way to proceed up. So…. GIRL! i can relate. My heart was in my throat! Next time we venture uphill, in the snow, in Western maryland or WV, we’ll have chains in the truck! (and maybe a pair of Depends for under my coveralls!!!)

    Stay safe.

  55. 1-11
    12:55
    pm

    I live in British Columbia, Canada… In the town I grew up we rarely got snow but when we did half the town wouldn’t drive in it and the other half went out and did donuts in their cars in it. We then moved to a different town where they never got snow, but if they did the entire town shut down (including the banks) and nobody drove. Now I live way up north and it is winter for about 6 months of the year and you have to drive in it, and not only do people drive in it but they drive like maniacs.

    Anyway, my point is… you can do it. It is totally in your head that you can’t. Get someone to take you to a parking lot somewhere and try starting and stopping really fast, then try turning and stuff. Once you feel comfortable there get them to take you to your driveway to practice there… once you get the hang of it you will feel like you conquered it and you are and awesome female driver because “look at me… I can drive in any weather!!”

  56. 1-11
    1:12
    pm

    But, did you get any powdered sugar while you were out?
    Your road is treacherous looking, but gorgeous! We have road issues, but it’s with gumbo mud!

  57. 1-11
    1:15
    pm

    I have a question…When you sent Poor Morgan out to “find Frank”, how did she get across the river ford?
    I agree that you need to practice the winter driving. My learning (teen) years were in Mich. in a car (donuts & slides in the empty parking lot at Kmart and chains occasionally, if you actually had to go somewhere). I then moved to Duluth, Minn. Yes, they are call ‘goat people’ because the city is built on the side of a hill leading straight down into Lake Superior. I learned about snowmobiles, how indispensable they are in winter, and not just for fun.
    Since you can’t – just hold off going to hospital to have that baby in Feb, instead of April.
    Safety says, to get you some chains, and learn to get yourself into town even in the snow.
    I could picture every step of this story, when you were sliding and had both feet on the brake.
    The shining knights in their truck behind you….the whole thing.
    You have a great blog!

  58. 1-11
    1:29
    pm

    You’re a great mom! willing to face the elements to bring your son home! my own son (17) has been begging to shop for musical instruments at pawn shops in waco (not far from our farm) – – glad to hear your boy found something he likes!

  59. 1-11
    1:40
    pm

    Suzanne! :wave:

    THIS is why I LOVE my Nissan Armada…4-WHEEL DRIVE!!! She goes through snow like BUTTAH…Her name is Sally…she KNOWS I love :heart: her and she takes REAL good care of my family and myself…NEVER getting stuck OR sliding…LOVE IT!!! I’m in Missouri…Kansas City area…LOTS of snow (and ICE…underneath!!!)

    Never fear…we ARE getting closer to SPRING!!! :sun:

    Take Care…and be safe!!!

  60. 1-11
    1:53
    pm

    I sympathise completely. Our car is a 30-year old Mercedes, built during a time that they just really did not take snow into account. Every time there’s a wee bit of snow on the road, we have to hold our breaths and just sort of slide there. It can be an extremely harrowing experience!

  61. 1-11
    2:00
    pm

    Jan, we were on the other side of the ford at that point, on Frank’s side of the river! She didn’t have to walk in any water to get there, just in the snow and mud on the bank.

  62. 1-11
    2:22
    pm

    Your travel troubles look about like mine! Our driveway is about 1/2 mile long and our road is rarely plowed, unless Mr. Wonderful plows it himself. We’ve had over two feet of snow already and some good wind to blow and drift things around. It looks like a cool whip sculpture out there!

  63. 1-11
    3:52
    pm

    One year I asked for chains for my wedding anniversary gift (it’s a long story); I got them, too.

  64. 1-11
    4:06
    pm

    33 inches of snow during the most recent snowstorm here in the Green Mountain State of Vermont.
    Winter here is from Nov 1 – June 1. it can snow in May.
    I use to use a nice set of chains on my vehicle until I finally broke down and bought a used 4×4 truck. My next vehicle will be a Subaru, since 90% of all non truck vehicles, in this state, are Subarus, for a very good reason~! They will drive thru anything. Get chains and then a snow driving lesson.
    With Global Warming, the southern areas WILL be getting worse winter weather.

  65. 1-11
    4:46
    pm

    Suzanne, here is a trick that you may not be aware of. Actually, it’s not so much a “trick” as a necessity for driving in snow/ice. Do you know why an automatic car doesn’t have just “P”, “N”, “D” and “R”, but also a “1” and a “2”? Those are MANUAL gears that are – “1st gear” and “2nd gear”. When your are driving on snow and get to a hill or icy spot you need to be going slower. Right before you get to the base of a hill, stop and manually shift the lever into “1” and THEN pick up speed to go up the hill. By manually putting it into first, it can not shift into another gear on you. If you can pick up enough speed so that the engine sounds like it “needs to shift” – a higher pitch whine, then go ahead and shift it into “2nd” – manually. That gives you control of the torque on the engine. If you just put the car into automatic (“D”), and try driving in heavy snow or up an incline, the pressure on the pedal will cause the car to shift into second before you have good enough traction to do what you’re trying to do and it won’t down shift soon enough to control the car. You can get up to about 15-20 miles an hour in first and about 35 miles an hour in second. On hills and back roads, you REALLY don’t want to be going much faster than that. HTH

  66. 1-11
    5:51
    pm

    I learned to drive in southern NJ, so I don’t mind driving on/in the snow.

    But driving on/in the snow in WV is a “whole nuther thing” and I won’t even ride in the car in the snow.

    I stay home, safe and warm, and cook and bake and tell people to visit in the spring. :D

    Of course, I’d have gone out in the snow for my son, but he’s in Turkey now. I miss him.

  67. 1-11
    6:16
    pm

    Oh my! You poor thing! I would have been very upset at getting stuck too! Glad you all got home safely!

  68. 1-11
    6:55
    pm

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who doesn’t like driving in the winter. I’d stay in my house for 3 months rather than drive the 30 minutes to the city. And we don’t have any drop offs or creaks either.

  69. 1-11
    7:40
    pm

    The real burning question is…… did you get powdered sugar while you were out? LOL

  70. 1-11
    8:49
    pm

    I am terrified of driving in snow and/or ice. It TOTALLY freaks me out. I cry. I sob. I make deals with God. I can SO relate. Hope you don’t need to go out again til it all melts away.

  71. 1-11
    9:41
    pm

    We were terrified coming to your house when the roads were clear in October, I can’t imagine driving with snow on them. And OH MY GOSH getting stuck on that hill after the ford, I would have passed out!! I believe it was your kind neighbors that told me I would be fine going down that steep bank with a blind drop off. It was then that we were almost no shows to your party. My children just about jumped ship when I said we were going IN the water! What an experience we will not forget! Where is the picture of Frank and Denny?

  72. 1-11
    9:47
    pm

    I wish I had taken a photo of Frank and Denny! I actually did have my camera with me. I think I was too traumatized, LOL. I didn’t get it out!

  73. 1-11
    10:49
    pm

    God Bless Frank And Denny!!!and 52. The older I get the less I like driving in the snow. I am a nervous wreck. My stomach gets tied in knots and I shake the whole way. I used to be fine and wouldn’t let it keep me from going anywhere I wanted but now, not so much. The only place I go is to work at the hospital and then only because I have to or they will send someone to get me. You’re roads look beautiful in the snow, but also wicked. I would cry if I had to drive across that river too. It gives me a shiver.

  74. 1-11
    11:46
    pm

    I think Frank and Denny deserve a cookie.

  75. 1-11
    11:52
    pm

    Oh that would of been me for sure! We only live a few miles from the main road and I swear it just gets harder every year on my poor hands from gripping that steering wheel. Great story!!! Hey Spring is around the corner after the flooding you can get your truck!! :snuggle:

  76. 1-11
    11:57
    pm

    Yikes!!! I don’t do snow driving either. Happy to stay home thank you and I don’t have those horrible scary roads. You are so brave. Just leave your car at the church until Spring. Perhaps you all need snowmobiles, although they would be scary on the cliffs too.

  77. 1-12
    12:53
    am

    Oh man! I feel all tense just reading this!

    Thankfully I don’t have to drive in conditions such as you describe, but back in the early 90’s we had one winter of ice storm after ice storm. Because I worked at a hospital, I HAD to get there. My hour commute became 4 hour commutes somedays. ACK! My bladder could barely take it! LOL!

    I think a snowmobile would be a good idea, and maybe think about installing some sort of guard rail on your driveway this summer!

    Good luck to you with the rest of this winter.

  78. 1-12
    9:40
    am

    I’m with you Suzanne, I don’t drive in the snow (and I live in the city) I rarely drive after dark unless it’s a well lit street, in our neighbourhood.
    I’d be just the same, hysteria, crying, moaning.
    My stomach actually hurts just reading your post
    anni

  79. 1-12
    9:59
    am

    I’m having driving issues this winter too! We moved back home to WV (to Beckley) in November after 16 years of living in metro Atlanta. We’ve had 60+ inches of snow since we moved back and I haven’t driven since the big storm on Dec. 18th! I am going CRAZY! Was planning to drive yesterday, but didn’t because there are still some bad spots. Woke up this morning to another 3 or 4 inches on the ground. Sigh.

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The Slanted Little House

"It was a cold wintry day when I brought my children to live in rural West Virginia. The farmhouse was one hundred years old, there was already snow on the ground, and the heat was sparse-—as was the insulation. The floors weren’t even, either. My then-twelve-year-old son walked in the door and said, “You’ve brought us to this slanted little house to die." Keep reading our story....






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