Friday, February 10, 2012

The Getting-in-the-Driveway Debacle

A reader commented the other day that she looked forward to hearing about our adventures – and misadventures – as we take on this new life at the farm. Little did I know the misadventures would start before we even made it into the driveway our first night here.

We hadn’t planned to come up so early, since the previous owners weren’t supposed to be out yet. But when the real estate agent called to let us know that they would be leaving a couple of days early, we decided to head up that night. She assured us they were long gone by that afternoon, and to her credit, they had intended to be.

The roads were a little slick – a dusting of snow and below-freezing temperatures will do that. It wasn’t much of a problem until we were just a quarter mile from our new driveway, heading down a one-lane, snow packed hill, when we saw a truck coming toward us. Or trying to come toward us, anyway. Said truck’s driver was spinning his wheels on the slick road surface futilely, digging himself deeper and deeper into the snow. As we walked down to discuss the situation, we realized the driver of the truck was the man we bought the farm from. They were about eight hours late in getting out of the house.

It’s a one lane road. When there are snow banks on either side of the road, this means there is virtually no room for passing. The only option was for us to back up the icy hill to get out of his way. Except that I drive a mini-van with front wheel drive. My mini van had no intention of backing up that hill, no matter who was driving, how many people were pushing, or how many times we tried.

So off we went, walking to neighbor’s houses – at eight thirty at night – to see who might be available to help us out of this mess. A kind neighbor used his Jeep to pull my van up the hill and out of the way, and then Andrew managed to back his truck – pulling a trailer loaded with boxes – out of the way. Then the neighbor tried to pull the man’s stuck pick-up up the hill, but couldn’t get it to budge. Andrew ended up having to unhook the trailer at the top of the hill and leave it there, then pull the man’s truck, with the horse trailer attached, up the hill where he could then proceed down the road.

Come to find out, the reason he got stuck there in the first place was because he had overloaded his horse trailer with too much weight, and the tires were half-flat. Not a good combination for trying to drive up icy, snowy roads.

At first I was a little mortified by the whole situation, but in the end it turned out just right. If we hadn’t shown up, he may have been stuck there for quite a long time, or would have had to walk a very long ways to a neighbor with a vehicle that could help him out. So it was a blessing in the end that it worked out as it did. Though I do wish we could’ve met the neighbor under different circumstances!

Two hours later, we were finally able to wish them a safe drive to Nebraska and drive into the driveway of our new home.

And thus begins with I expect will be many interesting adventures up here on our little mountain.

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