Herald-Journal
Herald and Journal, April 24, 2000

Slip, slidin' away, ain't it grand?

By SUE FINK

Isn't our weather interesting?

Being Minnesotans, we knew something had to happen. We couldn't just glide into spring with all that nice warm weather we were enjoying. It looks like we're in for two days of rain now. Just when Tom is getting all his equipment ready for the planting season!

Because his goal is to have his corn planted by May 1, I can forecast a mostly cloudy disposition with occasional thunderstorms if this wet weather keeps up.

The mix of rain, ice, and sleet over the weekend made me glad I wasn't traveling anywhere. A few years ago, we were driving home from St. Cloud. We were headed east on 94 nearing Monticello.

Suddenly, brake lights flashed on all the cars up ahead. There was no accident or police car in sight. Why did everyone slow down so suddenly? Just as I was thinking they must know something we didn't know, our car started to slide. Question answered!

The trip home from Monticello was a white knuckle driving experience. It was one of those times when luck, as well as skill, gets you to your destination.

We passed many cars in the ditch on our way down Highway 25 to Buffalo. I held my breath as we skated along Highway 55, down County Road 14, and finally east on Highway 12 to our destination on County Road. 92. We made it into the driveway, but couldn't make it around the corner into the garage.

Tom made several attempts, spinning and sliding all over as he tried to negotiate the curve in the driveway. Finally, I had to jump out and spread some ashes on the driveway. After several more attempts, the car finally spun it's way into the garage. Sigh! We made it!

During the slow progress of our drive home, I had been hoping that Lisa and Jesy had come home after school, instead of staying for play practice. No such luck. The car they drove wasn't in the driveway. Lisa hadn't been driving that long, so I was a basket case. I was sure she would never make it home.

We have a circular drive that loops around past the south side of the house. The side nearest the house has the steepest entry. That is also the straight shot into the garage. That was Lisa's first choice when she finally made it home, much to her parent's relief. It was impossible for her to make it up the incline. After several tries, she backed out and drove over to the second driveway. She would get just so far, and then the car would sit and spin.

Tom went out to take over the driving.

Of course, Lisa was miffed that we doubted her driving ability. According to her, she had no trouble at all driving home. As usual, I was all concerned for nothing. Silly me!

I don't remember if the kids had school the next day or not. I doubt it. I do remember that walking down to the barn the next morning was an adventure. It was more like taking two steps forward and sliding back three. The real fun began when I tried to step up onto the cement slab in front of the milk house door.

I would lift my foot to step up, and my other foot would slide out from under me. I tried approaching from the side, and leaning against the milk house.

My hand slid along the slick siding, and I caught myself just before I went over backwards. I finally got down on my hands and knees and crawled up the step. I pulled the icy door open by the bottom corner, and slithered inside.

I was thankful no one was in the milk house to see my graceful entrance. Tom kidded me, later, that if he had seen me out there he would have opened the door and knocked me off the step. And here I thought my help was needed in the barn.

I guess the next time we have an ice storm, I'll just make it easier for both of us and stay in bed!


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