Archive for February, 2014

Winter memory …

February 5, 2014

I remember one winter during a snow storm, my mother and I made an intrepid but foolish run to the shopping mall about 45 minutes from our house.

We never made it.

Instead, about 3/4 of the way, an oncoming sedan slid down a hill, veered into our lane and thrust us into what I consider the most undeniably violent collision I’ve even been in. Aside from hopelessly lost heaps of metal, my bloody nose, sore shoulders and shock, we were all fine.

This was before cell phones.

We walked to a nearby station and called Dad. At once, he set out to rescue us from that storm, which had worsened considerably by then.

Mom was worried about the car, our insurance, and what Dad would say. Dad later said he couldn’t care less about all that. He arrived relieved to find us OK, and we continued slowly home, early afternoon, in the very storm which by now was atrocious.

Thirty minutes became an hour, which became two.

Along the way, still some 30 miles from home, we neared the crest of a steep snowy hill. Dad’s old pickup crawled ahead, lost grip then stopped – then slipped and skipped backwards and dumped sideways into the ditch.

Stuck.

Still traumatized, and me with tissue in my nose, we three abandoned the dry heat of the truck, and headed out on foot for the nearest structure in sight, a municipal shop at the top of the hill.

The shop men let us in, put on coffee, and there Dad called a tow truck.

This was before debit cards. When the tow truck arrived and settled on a price, Dad produced his check book on the spot and wrote the bearded man a note for $150, no questions asked.

I’d never seen him do that before. At that time and in those parts, that was pretty decent dough.

“That was the easiest one hundred and fifty dollars I’ve ever spent” he would later say whenever we told the story of that day.

And every time he said it, it made me feel safe.