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A Cautionary Tale - When in Doubt, Shovel

I posted this on my facebook, but thought I needed to post it here, too. :)

AKA: The Universe Still Hates Me and I Don't Know Why

AKA: The Universe vs. Karma

(Notes: anything in italics are my thoughts; Sunny is our dog; Grandma Dorothy passed away in December)

Yesterday Holly, my sister-in-law, and I were going to meet at Grandma Dorothy's apartment to clean it. I was not looking forward to it, so of course I procrastinated all morning. When I finally got going, I was in a hurry. I got the car loaded with my shiny new shopvac and a fresh cup of coffee. I looked at the driveway (because it had been snowing the past two days, but not heavy). In my infinite wisdom, I forgot that I was not driving my (made of awesomesauce) Jeep and instead driving my (POS) Daewoo, and decided, I don't need to shovel - it's just a little bump at the end of the driveway where the city has plowed. I'll just drive over it. Famous last words... 

I got in the car, put on my seat belt, plugged in my iPod, and started backing out. Uh-oh, starting to swerve a little. Keep going... keep going... still swerving. I'll just gun it. (Oh, come on, everybody does that!) That, of course, is when I got completely stuck. In fact, I couldn't get out the driver's side door because it was hugging the snowbank and had to climb out the passenger side. My car was half-way in the street and for the bonus round - my back passenger side tire was pretty nearly flat!

I got the shovel and stared shoveling. I shoveled all the way around the car and dug out behind each tire. It looked like I should be able to just drive right out. So, I got back in the car, put it in reverse and... nothing. Didn't move an inch. Sigh...more digging.

Did I mention I fell over into the snowbank? No? Let me explain. The snow in the driveway and around it was like sugar sand and slippery! I stepped wrong, slid, and fell right over. I tried the car one more time and decided I needed a push, so into the house I went and bellowed up the stairs for Kendrick (who was sleeping).

Me:  Kendrick!

Me:  Kendrick!


Kendrick:  What?

Me:  The car's stuck. Come help me push!

And out the door I stomped. Five minutes later, Kendrick came out. I got in the car and put it in reverse and he tried to push. Nothing. We shoveled some more then I told him to go get some cat litter from the basement. He found it (finally) and we put some under and around the tire that'd been spinning and try again. The car didn't budge. I looked under the car (because we'd shoveled all the snow away from the tires) and realized the car is hung up on hard snow underneath. There may have been some serious cussing going on in my mind at that point. Also, my knees were freezing and wet.

By this time, I'm late in meeting Holly and she doesn't have a cell phone, so I had Kendrick call Mike's phone to see if she's actually left yet. She had. After explaining what's going on, I talked to Mike. He decided to come over and help. Actually, it went more like this:

Mike:  Maybe I should drive over and help get you out.

Me:  It's up to you, but I don't know if I'm going to be able to get out on my own. Please, please, please come help! 

Mike:  I have to put some air in my tire, but yeah, I better come over.

Me:  Okay, if you want. That'd be great. Oh, thank goodness! See you soon. 

Kendrick:  (looking tired and forlorn) Can I be done now?

Me:  We might as well shovel the driveway while we wait for Mike. Otherwise you have to do it by yourself while I'm gone.

Kendrick:  Why do I have to do it today?

Me: Must resist rolling my eyes. So I can get the car back in the driveway. If we ever get it out.

Kendrick: Oh. 

So, we're shoveling.

Me: pant, pant, pant. All the single ladies, all the single ladies, all the single ladies, all the single ladies, now put your hands up... up in the club, doin my own little thing... I think I'm going to have a heart attack.

Kendrick: Okay.

Me: Wonder what he'd do if I fell over and started twitching? Better not risk it. pant, pant, pant. If you like it then you should've put a ring on it, if you like it then you should've put a ring on it... I'm going in to get dry pants for when I get to grandma's. (at this point, my pants, boots, and socks were completely soaked and I was on my second pair of mittens.) (Also, I needed a break, because I was sort of serious with the heart attack comment.)

When I got back outside, we kept working on shoveling the driveway.

Me: You can stand under my umbrella, you can stand under my umbrella ella ella ay ay ay,  under my umbrella ella ella ay ay...

Kendrick:  Sunny! Sunny, get off the road.

Sunny:  Snow, guys! Can't catch me! You can't catch me! Snow! I love snow!

Me:   Just leave her alone, she'll move if a car comes.

Sunny:  Aww, it's no fun if you don't chase me. Might as well go back in the yard.

Me:  pant, pant, pant. Okay, Universe, enough. I've had enough. Stop with your shenanigans in my life. Is this about that joke about you and Zeus and Buddha having a threesome? It was a joke! Geez... get a sense of humor!

Kendrick:  Can I be done?

Me:  We have the steps to do.

We started on the steps together.

Me:  I'm really sick of the Universe. I don't know what I did, but whatever it was, I'M SORRY! I wish it would get off my back.

Kendrick:  It's not really the Universe. It's more like Karma. You know, you reap what you sow?

Me:  Okay, seriously, what did I ever sow to deserve all the crap I've been reaping this past year?

Kendrick:  You didn't, I'm just saying Karma gives you what you can handle.

Me:   Okay, but it's not like I've had an easy life up to this point. And seriously, I'm not sure how much more bad stuff I can take.

Kendrick:  I know. (my son, the voice of reason and patience)

At which point, our savior, AKA my brother, showed up.

Me:  (watching him come down the hill in front of the house) Just hit it and knock it out of the driveway!

He didn't. I think he thought I was joking.

Mike:  I hope it's not your tranny. I've been worried about it all the way over here. They're pretty delicate in these little cars. My buddy ruined his when he got stuck.

Me:  (starting to have a panic attack thinking about telling my parents I ruined my car by getting it stuck.) Jesus, I hope it's not either.

Mike aired up the tire with his handy-dandy air compressor and with him and Kendrick pushing, we got my car out. Hallelujah!

When I got to Grandma's I found out that Holly had left to call and find out where the heck I was. I also found out that the managers have basically been cleaning the apartment while they've been painting and re-tiling the floors. It was the first time I'd been in Grandma's apartment that it didn't smell like her, which was so bittersweet. So, we didn't have to clean. I went home, changed out of my sopping wet socks and pants and baked a cake. And wrote a cautionary tale.

And yes, I acknowledge that it was my own fault I got stuck. I should have shoveled - at least the end of the driveway. But it took a few hours for me to admit that.


PS: I don't own "Single Ladies" by Beyonce Knowles or "Umbrella" by Rihanna - they're just part of my internal juke box



( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 31st, 2011 01:53 am (UTC)
Oh, honey, I hope you won't be upset with me, but you made me smile ! at least your way of telling this story did... ;o) I'm having a shity day myself, and it's soothing to see a karma-sister ! At least your day didn't end too bad ! :D
Jan. 31st, 2011 04:05 am (UTC)
Don't worry - I'm very happy I could make you smile. My family laughed at me (with me) about it. My day definitely ended pretty good - I made a chocolate cake with 7 minute frosting and it actually turned out very good. Hope your day got better! ♥
Jan. 31st, 2011 06:38 am (UTC)
Since you and your car are both all right, I don't feel bad that this made me laugh.
Jan. 31st, 2011 07:49 pm (UTC)
Like I said above, I'm happy I could make you laugh! My car and I are unscathed, for the most part :)
Jan. 31st, 2011 03:43 pm (UTC)
Shout Out from Minneapolis!
And it just keeps getting better, doesn't it? 6-9 inches forecast for today (Mon.) I live in Golden Valley, a small and wealthy enough burb that the city plows the streets about 3 times for a bigger snowfall like today's. Your story served as a good reminder that my (POS) 2002 Ford Focus will not make over the mound I expect to find at the end of my drive when I get home from work tonight. Think I'll have to park in the street tonight when I get home from work, trudge through the mound at the end of my drive and spend the first hour home from work snowblowing.

Ain't MN grand?

Jan. 31st, 2011 07:54 pm (UTC)
Re: Shout Out from Minneapolis!
Hello, Susan, my fellow Minnesotan! My daughter lives down in Minneapolis now (she's at the U) and loves it so much I don't expect her to ever move home. She's been after me to move down there. If I don't find a job up here soon, I'm going to seriously start looking further south (starting with Duluth area, though).


Goodness - I'm lucky if Coleraine (the tiny town I live in) plows the first day after a major snowfall! I was shocked that they'd actually plowed yesterday! I'm jealous that you have a snowblower! I just have my arms, back, and a 20 year old son living with me :) Don't get me wrong, I do love MN, but I do get sick of the snow by about now! Hope you don't get stuck anywhere today!
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )