Local heroes

Posted on December 20, 2009


I wanted a copy of Torch Lake: The History of Was-Wah-Go-Ning by Mary Kay and Ed McDuffie.  Fortunately, Babs Young had one.  I promised Miss Sadie and the Cowboy a pleasant outing, loaded them into the car, and set off.  Babs is in Blue Heaven, just moments away across the highway.  The road was fine.  It crossed my mind to park the car at the top of the gentle hill down to Babs’s house, trot down there in my YakTrax, and climb back up.  “Don’t be silly,” I said to myself.  “It’s obvious that people have been going up and down the hill all day.  If you leave the car here it will be in the way.  You will only be a moment.”

You already know what happened, don’t you.  I had a pleasant conversation with Babs and Betty Jo, completed my purchase, and got back in the car.  The gentle hill looked a little steeper from the bottom, but I undertook the operation with confidence.  Accelerate gently, in second gear. When the wheels begin to slip, let up on the gas for a moment, then tap it.  I made pretty good progress, but kept getting to slippery places where I had to back down and start over.  On the third or fourth attempt I was sure I had it.  Slip, tap tap, slip, tap, slip, tap . . . and then just as I was within inches of cresting this silly little hill the car lost traction and slid back down.  This time I managed to slide off the driveway and into a snowpile.  I was well and truly stuck.  I was cussing.  The Cowboy covered his ears.

Babs came out to tell me she had called in the marines.  In due course, they arrived, amply supplied with equipment.  Tyler and Brian hooked up the car to a fetching red and black Ranger and pulled.  Wheels spun, but nothing else happened.  They maneuvered the stubborn vehicle into a straighter line and tried again.  No joy.  But the third try was the charm, and off they went, all the way to the top of the hill.

Miss Sadie and the Cowboy were deeply relieved. This had reminded them altogether too much of our misadventures searching for interesting routes across the 45th Parallel. The Cowboy begs to know whether we might acquire one of those dandy Rangers. Miss Sadie wants to know why I can’t seem to learn to drive properly.

I am going to bed, where I will dive into the McDuffies’ book and forget all about the 21st century. Horses, that’s the ticket.