It’s winter in Idaho. At least it is in the southeastern section of the state where I live. Winter can begin anytime after October 1 here. Sometimes the snow stays, sometimes it melts, regroups and then blasts us with a mighty downfall that blankets the ground until May or June.
Last Friday and Saturday we received about 6 to 8 inches of snow. Beautiful, white fluffy flakes that immediately brought to mind a Norman Rockwell picture. So soft and white and sparkly. It lingered on the pine tree branches, dusted the wheat fields and created pillow soft lumps over our deck railing. Ah, winter.
Then the wind started up. Saturday night.
It blew hard all day Sunday and Monday.
Monday afternoon my husband and I went to pick up our daughters from school and take them to gymnastics. We decided to have dinner in town and then drive home. He led most of the eight miles out to our road in his plow truck. I followed closely in my Suburban. Four wheel drive is not a status symbol in Idaho, it’s a necessity.
The roads from town to our road were totally fine. A little drifty, but nothing to speak about. Then we got to our road. I’d noticed in the last few days that the wind had picked the beginning section of our road as a particular favorite. Like a brand new toy, it seemed to covet this section. Blowing hard. Gleefully piling up drifts after drifts.
My husband blasted through the first straight section with no problem. I followed the narrow – wide enough for a truck or SUV – path. There is a small hill before we get to our house. His truck began to fishtail around as he began the uphill. I followed the snakelike path as best I could.
I should mention that my husband just returned from a hunting trip to South Dakota earlier in the day. In all of his manly wisdom, he made certain that his truck – the non-plow truck – and my Suburban both received new sets of tires before he left. We did not have snow a week ago and he was entirely focused on his trip.
I reached the top of the hill and stopped. His plow-truck, with the bald tires, was parked at an angle halfway down the hill. Neither one of us had a shovel in the car and his tow-rope, the one that I bought him last year, was not in his plow-truck. I’m sure he had put it in his other truck for the trip.
After several back and forth rocking motions, his door opened and he got out. I watched him start to stomp down the snow in front of the truck. My 8 year old, who had driven with Dad, began to call me. My 6 year old began to ask a million questions about what Dad was doing.
Twenty minutes later, I had to leave the warmth of my vehicle, along with the 6 year old who refused to stay put, to bring back the 8 year old who was in tears. I believe they were tired of hearing me say “it’s all right” and “Daddy will get unstuck soon.” When they began to whimper pathetically and cry “we’re gonna die” in tones of great anguish, I called a friend to bring us a shovel.
Four minutes later my husband got the plow-truck unstuck, blasted his way through the two foot concrete drifts and I followed. We were free. I quickly called our friend to relay the good news. He had left his cell phone at home. We got home just in time to watch our friend come up and over the hill and . . . get stuck.
It’s going to be a long winter.
But good for scenes in a WIP. What lovely disasters have made it into your WIP?