What was supposed to have been a slight “dusting” of snow here in Alabama, became an unexpected flash icing, and a cluster of idiotic driving chaos, that resulted in people (including my father) sleeping in their cars and being rescued 24 hrs later. Stupid.
Alabama is not equipped for heavy snow. We don’t know what snow tires are, and 4 wheel drive is something we never discuss.
Tuesday started with such promise – office meeting, after which I planned on heading to a listing appt in Pinson & closing in Blountsville. HA.
When we saw the chaos erupting outside our office, we decided to wait a bit before leaving. At the first sign of snow, Alabamians freak out, so I wanted to let the crazies get off the road before we headed home. I assigned my better half as designated driver, and persisted to kill time with a few others in the office by finding the best way to open a bottle of wine without a corkscrew.
A few glasses later, we hit the road. Mario didn’t drink, so he was blessed with a drunk Ginger as his co-pilot. That was 3pm. We live 8 miles and fifteen minutes from the office.
At 5:30pm, we were about halfway there (that’s right, HALFWAY), and attempting to make it up a hill, along with a few other brave souls. We planned for the slow going. What we DIDN’T plan for was the number of people who had abandoned their cars in the middle of the road. What would have been a straight shot, had become an obstacle course, changing lanes repeatedly, swerving around empty vehicles and hoping to make some headway. People were running lights, and driving on the wrong side of the road to get around the blockages. All I could do was remain in constant pep-talk mode- cheering my poor Southern Californian husband on, as he maneuvered through… I think this is only his second or third time driving in snow and ice.
We had great luck and no hydro-planing – no icy spinouts, etc…. until then. Finding ourselves stuck on a patch of ice, tires spinning, my lovely husband jumped out of the car, forcing me to scoot over to the driver’s side, and persisted in pushing us off the ice, and reversing us into a parking lot. It became clear at that point that we could either find a nearby business and stay the night or walk home.
One pee break later, and we were on foot, attempting to trek four miles home. I painted my grandmother’s house last week and happened to have 2 drop cloths and a roller extension rod in my trunk. So, we dressed as a Bethlehem-Bound Joseph, and modern-day Mary (in 4 inch heels) and began walking!
We managed to score a ride that gained us 0.5-0.75 miles of legway. VERY helpful. Shout out to David Cowan for getting us up that last hill!
I walked in the front door at 8:08 pm and found my sweet puppies perfectly fine and waiting for us.
The things I saw along the way: More abandoned vehicles than I ever thought humanly possible, and a guy skiing behind a truck. Also, I learned that no-one on an ATV will stop for you if you are wearing a drop cloth over your head. I’d like to give a big “Screw You” to the three ATV’s who refused to stop… but that’d be bitter and I’m not about that. Maybe I should have flashed them the shoes… “Wait guys, we need to stop for that sexy drop cloth-clad girl… “
Anywho… I learned a lot about myself this week. First, after I’m done with the initial crying, I’m a real trooper. I can laugh at anything, including falling three times on ice, and I can power through with the best of them. 2) 4.6 miles in four-inch heels isn’t as bad as you’d think it would be. 3) Wine only gets you so far. And lastly, I will, from now on, have a pair of flats, and some warm clothing in my trunk, and a lockbox with spare key (for neighbors, etc) outside of my house.
Birmingham, you never cease to amaze me.
All family is warm and accounted for, temps are in the 60’s this weekend, and we have plenty of toilet paper. Silver linings galore… 😉