stir crazy

Day three snowed in.

I had forgotten what it meant to be "stir crazy".  But today I was officially stir crazy and ready to escape. 

Can you imagine going four days without a single cheeseburger?  Without burning a drop of fossil fuel in your non-hybrid vehicle?  Without sitting at a red light impatiently waiting for it to turn green? Doing nothing but staring at the endless white abyss out of every window?

Yeah…me neither. 

Mike decided at exactly two this afternoon that we would make a break for it.  The steady drip coming from the gutters made him realize that the ice may have a weakness, and we were about to exploit it.  Snowpocalypse be damned…we were busting out of this place!

I dressed in layers reminiscent of my youth—back in the snow belt of Western New York—carefully piling on loose layers rather than a single heavy coat.  Then I pulled on two pair of socks and laced up my new mountain boots, finally donning a knit hat and wrapping a scarf around my face before heading out into the cold. 

Mike, my Florida born husband, was already out there—in sweatpants, a lightweight jacket, a pair of sneakers with no socks, and a baseball cap—using a garden shovel to chip away at the thick layer of ice built up on the driveway.  Our driveway is steep, so it was imperative that the ice be cleared before attempting the ride down.  The Land Rover weighs almost six thousand pounds, and would slide rapidly down an icy slope with nothing but the neighbors’ houses to slow its descent. 

Once he was satisfied with the ice situation, Mike began clearing the half a foot of snow from the Land Rover using a broken piece of wood that looked better suited for taking out vampires than snow removal.  I was certain that we had proper tools for winter weather, but as neither of us knew where those might be, we had to make do with what we could find. 

It was right about this time that the girls made their way to the driveway, ready to escape their captivity with just as much enthusiasm as mine.  They just had to prepare first, grooming themselves in the event we ran into other civilized humans on our journey.  Whereas I was satisfied with a few quick swipes of deodorant and a bit of mouthwash. 

Mike had the Land Rover warmed and ready to roll, but he wouldn’t let us get in.  He wanted to, “take her down himself” to make sure it was safe.  I was fine with that.  I could still see patches of ice in its path.  What I didn’t expect was that Mike would attempt to turn the car around at the top of the driveway rather than backing down.  Had I known what he was going to attempt, I would have video recorded him. 

This was crazy behavior!

He started down the hill backwards before turning the wheel so the SUV headed toward the front yard.  Suddenly the vehicle was sideways across the steep slope of the driveway, causing all six thousand pounds of the Land Rover to lean precariously to the left, and I was sure it was going to roll.  Both girls went back inside, mumbling, "I can't watch this" as I shouted frantically for him to, "turn it around!" As if he could hear me. 

Somehow he managed to get it turned around and headed in the right direction.  Once he was safely at the bottom of the driveway he yelled up for the rest of us to come on down. 

At this point I was unsure of whether or not I should have taken my chances inside the Land Rover rather than walking down the icy driveway on my own two feet.  But I'm sure my heart could not have taken the stress of that three point turn at the top.  Thankfully, my mountain boots have “teeth” on the bottom to grip the ground when I walk.  Still, it was dangerous for me.  In fact, the girls said something to the effect of, “are you sure you should be doing this?” as we were making our way down the slope.  And they had less appropriate footwear than I did. 

I made it without falling, and we all climbed in to head off to civilization.

Or rather a post-snowpocalyptic civilization. 

The streets were almost deserted.  I say almost because there was the strangest assortment of people walking down the snow and ice covered road to points unknown.  There was a man in a dark snow suit with a cat burglar mask and a large backpack.  I speculated that he might be robbing unsuspecting houses, but the girls said he was probably just cold.  There was another man with a handlebar mustache, carrying walking stick and wearing a Sherpa coat, who looked like he was just coming back from tracking the Yeti in the Himalayans. Mike said he would liked to have talked to his man, as he seemed to have an interesting story to tell.  There was also a couple (a man and a woman) who resembled two thirds of Peter Paul and Mary decked out in their nineteen sixties attire, puffing the magic dragon as they made their way to wherever. 

I was almost certain the end of the world had actually come and I’d missed it.  The survivors were wandering the earth looking for shelter…or Burger King. 

Speaking of which, I was dying for a hamburger!

We took a quick trip to the grocery store, stocking up on more milk, cheese, and snack foods, in the short window of time it was open today, before making that much needed pit stop at Burger King. 

I have never enjoyed fast food more in my life.

And then I wished I’d picked up a package of Tums while I was at the grocery store…maybe the makings for a good salad?  Oh well…next time.

That is…unless we’re snowed all week!

Until the next time…I’ll be regretting that very delicious burger all night long!

Copyright © 2000-2018, Erica Lucke Dean. All rights reserved. Any retranscription or reproduction is prohibited and illegal.
Posted on January 11, 2011 .