It's only three months late. Who's on a schedule, anyway? Not Mother Nature. That fickle bitch has her own time frame, and it apparently coincided with my needing to drive from a long distance to home at the end of a long work day. It wasn't a bad day, just long. When the sleety-mix of nastiness started falling at 3:00 PM, and I was heading into a long meeting, I thought: Well, dang. This isn't going to be a fun ride home.
When I left the bulding an hour and a half later, it was sleeting more. Of course, it was colder, and getting darker, and feeling ominous, too. Off I headed on the usual 1 hour 50 minute drive home, keeping my mental fingers crossed that I wouldn't hit anything "too bad". (My actual fingers were safely holding onto the wheel.)
30 minutes later, I was temporarily airborne, hurtling off the road and down into an old pasture. When Lula hit an incline, which was covered by an inch and a half of ice, she started sliding--and even though I turned into the skid and was only going 10-15 MPH, we were broadsided by heavy winds and launched. Lula took out an old T-post and some barbed wire, but came through (after flying over a frozen stream, and bumping through the pasture a ways). I had to hike around looking for old tractor trails, and then Lula hiked up her skirts and made use of four-wheel drive to get us out of the field, through a thankfully unlocked fence, and back onto the road.
We made it another 5 or 6 miles, going 10 MPH, hit yet another incline, slid, got whacked by winds, and flew off the road again. This time, it was off of a culvert/bridge thing, letting the road pass over a fairly deep ravine with a creek in it. I managed to get control back enough to avoid the guardrail, and evade a huge thick wooden fencepost, but off we flew into the air...I closed my eyes, and screamed. All I could think was, oh my god, we're going to hit the top edge of that frozen bank, and she's gonna roll. I am going to be dead...oh dear lord, I hate my frickin' job! Then came a blessed KAH-WHANNNNGGG THUMP, and Lula was on all four wheels, sliding rapidly to a bumpy stop in the middle of a cornfield.
I was NOT DEAD. How nice. For a few seconds there, I wasn't entirely certain.
Another hike around the car, a quick climb around underneath Lula to make sure nothing was dragging, leaking or attached to something, and we were off, following more tractor trails out onto a road. I made it to a church parking lot, pulled in, and just started shaking. After a bit, I recovered enough to call a good friend whose husband is the guru of driving trucks, got some sage advice, and started the long long looooooooong crawl home. It finally started this slushy-snowing bit, which actually was helpful, and made the last leg of the journey a bit less slidey. I just was getting vertigo from the swirling...but hey, I was on the road, staying there, and averaged a speed of 12 MPH. Wahooo. Sign me up for NASCAR.
Everyone was happy to see me come home. I was pretty damn happy to see myself, too. The dogs had to pee desperately, the rabbits commenced a thumping Morse code tattoo to let me know how hungry they were, and the girls had a few comments about my late egg collection. Once everyone was fed, tidy, warm and dry, I popped a beer and ate some noodles. Gawd. What a night.
This morning, after a night of sleep interrupted by the sound of the wind, sleet slamming on the windows, and something that sounded like a boulder falling, I awakened to a world of ice and snow. The front door was drifted shut, as was the entry to the coop run. The girls were snowed into the hen house and had to be excavated...although they took one look, and scuttled back inside. The rabbit barn was covered by snow, which had to be shifted off by pushing a broom against the tent sides. I did some minimal shoveling, and now I am having a snow day. All the area schools are cancelled, the roads aren't plowed, and Lula is content to hang out in park for the day. All around there is the sound plows, and snowblowers, and revving for ATVs equipped with small plow attachments.
I think I'll go have another cup of tea. The shoveling can wait.