Snow up to there and getting stuck in the garage

Posted on December 11, 2009


Cheri Leach and I had planned to get together for breakfast today, but last night she wrote, I don’t know what the roads will be like tomorrow morning, but I am either making up a day in a school OR trying to catch up on paperwork. Let’s look for a time that isn’t so snowy!! We still haven’t been plowed out today. What a mess.

I, of course, understood completely.  I wrote back.   

I have been plowed out and I still:

  • Got stuck in my garage
  • Got stuck in the driveway at the Eastport Market

Got unstuck from both PDQ, but yes – What A Mess.

Cheri found this hilarious.  She wanted to know how on earth I managed to get stuck in the garage.  So I explained, in email-speak, as I was running out of steam.

Y’know how you can get a whole lot of slush frozen in the wheelwells?  And how, when you stop, it can fall off?  Well . . Pull car into small garage.  Button up garage snugly.  Go inside. Heat from engine warms garage slightly – at least enough to release large slushpiles behind tires. Howling blizzard from hell blows icy winds all night, freezing garage and fallen slushpiles. Open garage door this afternoon, turn on engine, put car in reverse, apply accelerator in approved manner, and . . . Nothing.  Car would not move in approved manner until I had removed some of the frozen slushpile mess. Do not blame car.  If car had moved in unapproved manner, would most likely have shot off at angle, destroying southerly garage wall and dumping car into mosquito nursery across driveway.

OK, so Cheri forwards this to Nancy Hellman, knowing that Nancy, the intrepid coordinator of volunteers for Raven Hill, will be deeply amused. Nancy, you see, lives in far boonier boonies than I, cooks on a woodstove, cans venison stew, and . . . well, let me just quote her email for you:

Before you put your car away you have to sweep it off – gads – this is just funny now that your vehicle is released from the garage – I have my vehicle in a lean-to and it keeps off some of the snow – did work when it was just frost I was not scraping – our roads need to be plowed again – have not been out for three days – really hope to escape today – appreciate Cheri sending on your fun e-mail – snow here is past my knees – time to get out snowshoes – errands late this afternoon and we are going for it – assume in your location you must have drifts from lake – snow-blower or shovel – Glenn plows and I shovel (when I am up for it) – need to broom off bird feeders – porches – no fun when a storm lasts this long – GRIN and thanks for a good way to be up – Nancy

Sigh. All my friends buck me up. They have to, or I could never even pretent to keep up with them. (In my defense, I am substantially shorter than most of my friends, and must trot along double-time. Snow up to her knees indeed.) So now I must brush off my car AND, I might add, knock off the slush from the wheelwells, before I put it away in the garage, which would be right after I get home from a white-knuckled trip home along the wind-swept snow-devil-infested tundra of western Antrim County. At least I know how to do these things, even though I am not fond of actually doing them. (Sorry, PJ.) I have been taught proper techniques by other buckers-up.

This brings us to the introductory photo. (You want to know about the photo, right? Well, I would if I were you.) One day last winter, I was in a parking lot in Traverse City, glaring at the huge slushpiles frozen into my wheelwells and attacking them ineffectually with a shovel.  A car door slammed behind me, and I heard a familiar voice.  “Here, this is what you need!” I turned, and there was Eileen Wallick, brandishing a large weapon. (It is not as unusual as you might think to run into other denizens of the Township brandishing weapons in distant parking lots. We are a migratory bunch. I digress.)

Upon inspection, Eileen’s weapon turned out to be a handy mallet, which she applied smartly to my fenders, rap rap rap. It knocked the slushpiles off without destroying the fenders. So now the well-equipped vehicle includes: blanket, shovel, spare socks and gloves, windshield de-icer, emergency dog crate . . . and mallets. Now you know.