Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Houston? We Have Liftoff...
Again, dense icy fog to start my day. I could feel tiny hairline cracks splintering my brain. Flashes of Jack Nicholson, snowbound crazy at the Overlook Hotel, crept into my head, but I was determined to get down this bloody mountain today regardless of weather, a mental breakdown or alien invasion.
The boys and I walked the road before lunch so I could get a feel for the terrain. As we're rounding one of the hazardous bits by my closest neighbor, I see him in his driveway trying to break through the ice with a pickax. I haven't seen him for over a week. and as it turns out he was stuck down in the flats for the six days I was stuck on the mountain. Pretty funny. Sort of. He told me in the 22 years he's lived here, he's never been stuck a single day, and never seen ice like we've had this past week. Lucky me then.
So, I have lunch, feed the boys, and get in my prepared-for-anything gear: thermal undershirt, flannel shirt over that, fleece hoody, water/wind resistant parka shell, jeans, heavy socks, all terrain hiking boots, mittens, scarf and my favorite wool hat. I have extra boots, socks, gloves and a parka in the car. And, yes, I was a Girl Scout. I put my cell phone in my back pocket, take one step toward the stairs to the garage...and the phone rings.
** sigh **
A few weeks ago I went to Lowe's and ordered new blinds for the living room. They were having a really, really good sale and I'm fed up with the metal Venetians that generate heat in the scorching Summer sun, turning my house into a furnace. I figured it would take quite some time for 11 blinds to be made and delivered. Especially factoring in the weather between somewhere back East and southern Oregon. I figured wrong, it seems.
It's the FedEx guy with my blinds. He'll be at the house in an hour or so. I'm glad to have the blinds, but damn. I'm dressed like Nanook of the bloody North and now have to take everything off then put it all back on again. I explain to the guy that I've been stuck on the mountain for nearly a week and I must get away today. He laughs and promises not to hold me up and an hour and a half later, here comes this huge FedEx truck lumbering down the road. I didn't think on a regular day he could have made the sharp turn into my drive--let alone on layers of ice--and it took a few tries, but he made it. His spinning tires and the slip/slide thing sort of freaked me out a bit though.
So, he unloads the boxes, skids down my drive and I get back into my prepared-for-anything gear, put the Blazer in 4-wheel and off I go. There were a couple gnarly bits on the way down, places in the winding road where the sun don't shine, but I didn't have any problems at all. And truly, if I could wave a magic wand and turn my Blazer into a man, I would marry him. I mean it. I love my car. Reliable, trustworthy, and takes excellent care of me. My kind of guy...
Then I got to the main highway, and this peculiar sensation sort of swept over me. It was surreal to see cars and people, hear traffic noise, and sirens off in the distance...and not see a single snowflake or glint of ice. I felt oddly removed, like Rip Van Winkle, as if the real world had just carried on without me. It was even more unsettling at the store, which was packed with holiday shoppers and bargain hunters (I'm so out of the loop, I didn't know there was a gigantor sale today). Course, it doesn't take long and I'm back in the swing of things. I got all my groceries, then went to the coffee place and had a mocha before heading home.
I was slightly concerned about getting up my driveway, but I shouldn't have wasted the energy. The Blazer cruised up with ease.
Freezing rain by Friday, followed by more snow next week might put me right back into Jack's mentality, but for now, for today, I made it to civilization and back without a hitch...