STUCK! THEN — HELP ARRIVES!!

The last time Garry could get free of the driveway was last Saturday. Today, as I write this, it’s Thursday. The kids picked up a few things, including dog food — which was getting perilously low — when they were out a few days ago. Otherwise, we are stuck. Our PT Cruiser has been dug out and is actually sitting on bare asphalt, but the driveway is so completely iced over, the car will not go more than a few feet. Then, it just spins its wheels.

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I tried to get a tow, but it’s a front wheel drive car without a tow hitch. Pulling it out from the front … which is the only way it could be done because of the way it’s parked … would tear off the whole front bumper. So the driveway has been plowed twice — for whatever good it did which isn’t much — and our car is still trapped.

Both the yellow car and the silver Cruiser are ours. Mostly, Kaity uses the yellow Sunbird. We use the Cruiser for pretty much everything. For a 2-wheel drive vehicle, it’s been good. Until this winter, which has defeated the snowblower and the car. And the best efforts of everyone in the house.

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Yesterday afternoon it rained. It was in the mid thirties, so I hoped it would at least take the level of ice down, but what it did was convert the last remaining hard-packed snow into solid ice about 3-inches thick. Our neighbor came by early this morning with his tractor … but he said the ice was too hard and too thick.

I called the town, but they had nothing but one (just one!) bucket of sand to offer us. And we’d have to come and get it. I pointed out we are two senior citizens trapped by ice. They suggested we call the police and evacuate to a shelter. Nice to know our tax dollars are so well spent.

AAA say their vehicles don’t have 4-wheel drive, sorry. Good all those years of dues are paying off.

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We are down to our last hope, the neighbor with the tractor who says he’ll try again later. Maybe the ice will have softened a little. I’m not feeling optimistic at this point. But we do have to get out. The Cruiser needs to be inspected before the end of the month. I have a doctor appointment on Monday. I don’t think we’ll run out of food, but I’m running out of time. It’s 13 days until I go into the hospital and there’s much to be done. At this rate, I won’t be able to get to the hospital because I can’t get out of the driveway. Isn’t that a kick in the head.

In all the years we have both lived in New England, never have we been trapped like this. Garry’s lived here since 1970 and me since 1987. We’ve had bad winters, but never have we been marooned. I really don’t know what is going to happen. Or when.

– – – – –

And then … the tractor arrived! Good neighbor Burt and the green miracle machine and suddenly, we can see pavement! That’s right. Asphalt! It’s been more than a month since we’ve seen it and now … it’s back. Owen is helping, shuffling cars … and of course Bishop is helping by barking continuously, with occasional input from Bonnie. Nan barks too, but stays inside while lending moral support to the outside dogs. It’s amazing!! It’s … a neighbor. A member of our church’s congregation — an elder, actually.

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Because in the end, the reality of the valley and perhaps of rural life in general — you need your neighbors. They are the ones who have trucks and tractors, who will bring you a cooked meal when you are sick, do your shopping when you’re laid up. You meet your neighbors, not over the fence but in church. Believe what you like, but join a church regardless because the heart and soul of relationships in rural New England begin in churches.

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Opinionated writer with hopes for a better future for all of us!

15 thoughts on “STUCK! THEN — HELP ARRIVES!!”

  1. Well do you have cats? If so kitty litter works like that road salt. All you really need to do is get the car on the ice and drive real slow, no quick changes. But other than that I’m not really sure what you can do. Maybe have your kids break up a path in the ice with a shovel or something, and then have the neighbor push it off with the tractor. I don’t know if it’ll work, but I do wish you luck.

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    1. We have tried everything, from rock salt and sand to kitty litter. But the good new? It’s beginning to melt. If the tractor gets here today and he promised it would, we will be unstuck. The car is dug out. It’s the solid sheet-of-ice driveway that’s that’s the problem.

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  2. Wish I were near you, Marilyn, then I could come and give you a hug and some moral support, if nothing else. I’ll just have to send a virtual hug and cross all fingers and toes for you and Garry and the rest of the family. xxx

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    1. The neighbor with the tractor has, in about 10 minutes, cleared our ski slope of tons of ice! It’s amazing. I knew there was a reason I really wanted a tractor and everyone told me I was nuts, what do you need a tractor for? Ha! Thank you Burt! Thank you Pleasant Street Church. When all else failed, you guys came through.

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          1. It must have been scary and claustrophobic – and just what you definitely DIDN’T need so close to the operation. Hope that spring is about to – er – SPRING! xxx

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  3. I was worried about you guys today! It was thawing so nicely, but then as the sun began to set, I could feel the ice coming back. We’re getting even more snow and ice tonight, but at least we’ve been able to get out of the drive.
    Hooray to good neighbors. Spring is coming, Marilyn, believe it. The Red Sox are playing again!

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    1. Thanks for the reminder. Spring training brings the hope of spring … and another year of baseball! The good neighbors broke the ice out of the driveway today and though we’ve also got freezing rain coming tonight, it should be warm enough tomorrow (supposed to be in the 50s …) to melt it off. Good because I’ve got to get to the lab for tests and from here on, it starts to get really busy.

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  4. Aren’t good neighbors wonderful? I hope you’re able to get to town and get stocked up soon. Don’t worry about all of the things that need to be done before your operation. Make a list and cross off the things that aren’t 100% necessary and delegate what you can. 🙂 I’ll be thinking warm thoughts to melt your ice!

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    1. Good neighbors make it possible to live out here! Most of what I have to do is necessary for the upcoming surgery. Tests tomorrow, doctor Monday. Prescriptions to pick up, drop off. And money and bills to organize to be paid. I’m just hoping I can remember it all. I didn’t realize how much I do until now … no “big” things but a million little ones. If it isn’t necessary, trust me, I’m NOT doing it 🙂

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