Thursday, January 27, 2011

Driveway Drama

Every weather report said that the snow would not start falling until late Wednesday so it was no surprise at all that the snow started at 5 AM.



Isadora had an 8 AM vet appointment with a specialist in northern NJ. By 7 AM the streets and car were coated in snow.  I went out to clear the car off and move it closer to the door.

That's when the fun began.

There was a layer of ice under the snow so I once again slid down the drive and fell on my hip. Luckily I'm just under the age where breaking a hip is common. I pulled myself up and decided traveling north was not going to happen but I was going to move my car closer so that my son would have enough room to get the snow blower out.



Reverse a bit was fine. I was wet and cold and aching so I decided not to get out and clear off the side windows. I was just going to pull up a little.

Shift from reverse into drive and ...

The car screeches and shudders and the wheels spin. A symbol one would imagine seeing in the mountains appears on the dash ...


it looked something like this just more ominous

Being the eternal optimist that I am I assume I have killed the mailman or the neighbor's dog. What else could possibly render my tires useless in 2 inches of snow.

I get out and do a quadrant inspection. All is fine. No blood. No gore. No roadkill.

I had the car serviced the day before so I now assume they fixed one thing by breaking another. I must move the car. I am totally blocking entrance to the driveway, snow is piling up everywhere and 2 more cars are on their way home.

I try to find the dashboard symbol in the car manual. No luck. I look up snow and read all about how to install chains on my tires. There's an idea. I could call a cab, go get chains and install them.

I look up traction which somehow leads me to inclines which indirectly leads me to off road and it all clicks.

I need to be in 4 WD. Good lord I am an idiot. I have seen that phallic looking shift thingie next to me a million times. Once again my inner optimist takes flight - I shall touch the phallus and the car will explode.



Of course it won't. It will loose all control and careen wildly backwards just as the snow plow rounds the curve. Yep, that's more likely. An explosion would kill me. A head-on with a snow plow will only render me paralyzed and I will need to live with the fact that I caused the death of Mickey the plow driver who was only trying to raise enough money to cure his 6 children of sickle cell anemia.

I could blame the weatherman - after all the snow is not supposed to be here yet.
I could blame Jeep - never equip someone who has never driven an SUV with an SUV.
I could blame logic - I have driven in the snow before but never on an incline so why would I suddenly think that my car needed 4 WD to go up my driveway. No - that one's no good, I should shovel the driveway before moving the car.

So it's back to being all on me.

I gently grasp the phallus and assume I am moving it into the correct position. What do the lines mean?

The car moves forward.

I put it where it needs to be.

I live to kill and maim and make an utter ass out of myself another day.

the photos are not mine - they came from the Jeep website and from nj.com
I don't trust myself to operate a camera - I might blind someone.

25 comments:

Jay Simser said...

Just don't drive the car in 4-wheel drive (or even part time) out on the highway or you could ruin your "something" I did it twice...

Linda Reeder said...

Oh my. Well, since you have a vehicle that is meant to go in snow, I guess it's a good thing you're learning how to do it?
And I really hope it's only your pride that's severely wounded.

nitebyrd said...

Things were so much easier without phallus looking things in cars. If not easier, at least more interesting!

Good to know you and the car survived!

jabblog said...

Scary! Hope the bruises will fade soon.

Hilary said...

"I look up traction..."

Something you're going to need if you don't stop falling!

Vinny "Bond" Marini said...

But just remember 4-wheel drive does nothing on ice...silly Southerners thing with a 4WD they can go speeding cause...well it is a 4WD!

sheesh

Akelamalu said...

Cars are complicated enough without having to know what the 'other' knobs' do! You are brave. :)

Jay said...

My car is rear-wheel drive. When it snows, even just a little bit, it goes nowhere and stays there.

Be careful out there! ;-)

Arkansas Patti said...

Yikes, this poor old Fla gal would just have to stay home. 4WD does no good if you hit an ice patch. Be careful. Also, don't forget to take it out of 4WD when not needed.

betty said...

I have never driven a four wheel drive vehicle, so if I were to find myself behind the wheel of one, I would probably think 4 WD meant "forward" and I would accidenally stumble on the way to move the car. That's the way I learn everything these days.

Cherie said...

I'm so sorry to hear that you fell again. I've fallen a couple times within the last few weeks. The one on the ice (where I had a 1/2 way decent excuse), it was like glass and on an incline. I had to practically use my fingernails to help me wriggle to a place where I could get enough traction to get up. It would have been amusing if anyone had been watching. Amusing for them that is. lol Glad that you got the car moved. It was a mess in D.C.

Ron said...

OMG Dianne, I was SO thinking of you last night (around 7-8 o'clock) when I looked out my window to see a freakin' BLIZZARD! Holy cow, can you believe the WIND?? I had to actually put a blanket over my a/c unit because there was SNOW blowing in from the vents (I kid you not).

Ya see, this is why I love living in a city and not having to deal with a car anymore.

"I look up snow and read all about how to install chains on my tires."

Do they even HAVE tire chains anymore? I remember my father doing that when I was a kid.

OY VEY, you poor thing! Sorry to hear about your fall, dear lady. Hope you're okay.

I was out all day taking pictures of the city while the snow looked pretty, because tomorrow it'll look like a big gray SLUSHY!

X to you and the gang!

Liberality said...

I am so sorry that you are dealing with all the snow. I know about that thought process you described because it sounds very much like my own ;~D

Mike said...

And there's more snow coming to you soon. Stay home.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

So much to remember about driving in the snow and the icy snow, at that. I don't think I could do it anymore---it's been so very many years since I actually had to drive in snow--like over 50 years...! It sounds like you did very well, my dear...You are alive and so are other people you might have maimed or killed! I say, CONGRATULATIONS, and, A Job Well Done! (lol)

Au and Target said...

Seeing this makes me love the tropics even more. Thanks!

And please keep for purring for Au. He ate three bites of chicken so I'm hoping he'll get better soon.

Daryl said...

I am not laughing (but I am) because its not funny (but it is) and I wont laugh at a friend (yeah, right) because I know how you felt (oh sure I say that but I live in the city and all I need do is climb over snow mountains and walk up the street in the plow tracks) .. and I love you (but you knew that).

Frank Baron said...

I learned at an early age that at the first sign of trouble - any trouble at all - it's best to grab hold of the phallus.

;)

Tracy said...

UGH, I just can't even beleive tha mount of snow falling this year. It is amazing! and I am sooo thankful that I live in the south where yeah, we've had snow, but not as much as the rest of the world. Stay in and stay warm :)

Scott Oglesby said...

I feel so bad for you guys getting pounded like this. If you’re getting pounded, it should at least be by me!

And I miss my Jeep sooo much.

ladyfi said...

LOL! This made me laugh - and yet I recognize myself too...

Vol-E said...

Hey, babe, don't feel too bad. Today I started down a one-way access road to the local recycling facility -- it runs past the parking lot of a senior services center. Just past the driveway to the center I saw the first "road-closed" sign. I ventured a bit farther, and saw the earth-moving equipment, which explained the two signs. I backed up slowly, hoping no new person would come venturing down the same road and rear-end me. I got to where I *thought* that driveway was, and blithely made my right turn. You guessed it: No driveway. I never figured out where it actually was; too busy screaming as my car went over some curbing and other bumpy stuff, praying the muffler wouldn't fall off. I love my car: it survives even my stupidity. Pulled some visible grass and dirt from the undercarriage but saw no scratches or other damage. Live to make an utter fool of myself another day, indeed. Cheers, and hope spring comes early to the Garden State.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Oh my gosh Di -- I don't even count it as making a fool of myself if it's only me to see it! But you made me laugh so thanks for sharing. I have trouble driving our van in the Florida sunshine -- well, driving it is OK, but parking it is another story.

Be careful out there --- sliding on ice can hurt more than your pride.

Lisa (Mountain Photog) said...

Yay! You got the Jeep Mojo going! Remember that--you'll need it again if you leave the house before spring. ;) I don't know what I'd do without 4WD--and studded tires. Speaking of studs (no, not the male kind) you might want to invest in some Yaktrax. They're wonderful!

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