Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Near Death Experience Number...I've Lost Count

I tried to leave work yesterday, but the rain was coming down in sheets and I was wearing my new cute little ballet flats (the ones I was obsessed with last week), so I waited a bit. That choice either 1. saved my life or 2. greatly complicated my drive home.

On the drive through the country, I saw fields filled with only water. The road actually had a current. Really. I don't know how many inches of rain we got in five minutes, but it was a LOT of rain. And the wind was insane. When I got to the gas station in the little town near my house, I pulled in and waited for the wind to calm down and the HAIL to stop, because it was just that bad. I don't have trouble driving in the rain, but I was thinking at that point that if visibility was poor enough, I wouldn't see a car in the opposite "lane" of the little country road I now have to take home because the bridge over the river is being torn down.

I would like to take this moment to repeat: If I were blind, I would have no idea this bridge is out, because no one took the time to, you know, post the fact the bridge being ripped apart on the state's website, or send out fliers or newspapers or...anything. Surprise! Road construction! Who knows when it will be finished--we'll get back to you!

When I could see to drive, I started my car again and made my way over a bridge and onto another road. As I traveled, I noticed a barn that had a perfectly good roof that morning...but the roof was now gone. Nice, I thought. I wonder if that other chunk of tree has fallen on the house? Then I noticed that the same house was missing shingles--that's how windy. Or how tornado-ey.

I drove down the little hill we used to race our bicycles over, across the tiny bridge over a now-roaring creek, and stopped behind a pick-up that was now executing a rather pathetic three-point turn. I could tell why: there was a tree down over the road.

But seriously. This dude was in a pick-up. Couldn't he, like, DRIVE OVER the pathetic little skinny branches? I knew I could drive over those wimpy branches. And I almost did. But as I got closer I noticed there was also something else wrong. The tree had taken a power line down. And it was now on the road, in a puddle. A puddle my car was now sitting in.

Great, I thought. I really did want a little electrocution with my commute. Whatever.

That was when my fuel light went on.


I had to find a new way home. Those of you who know me at all are well acquainted with my sense of direction. I don't HAVE a sense of direction. I am like the opposite of one of those homing pigeon things. Spin me around in a circle and I couldn't find the bathroom in my own home. How did I expect to find a new route home when the two paths I knew about were blocked?

I'll tell you how.
Hello, gorgeous.

I pressed the little button that said "Home" and drove back along the road to my last turn. I proceeded on THAT road, and I thought I was doing okay. I was heading further North (forward) and that meant I would have to turn in that other direction, the direction that was right. I mean left. I would have to turn left (this is why that GPS comes in handy).

I went over another tiny hill and discovered--another felled tree. This one was ginormous, too big to even consider driving around, because it would have meant my car in a ditch with no suspension, sinking rapidly in Indiana clay. I turned again, zig-zagging closer to North Manchester and further from my house.

Did I mention the fuel light was on? Because it was.

That road turned onto another country road, this one unpaved. While the car sank in the mud of the "road," I stayed on the phone with the 911 ladies in two counties, because I was sort of in two counties at the same time. The poor 911 ladies could barely hear me because cell service is so bad out in the country.

That is why that movie, Deliverance, could totally happen, even though everyone has cell phones they could use to call 911 if they happened to be stalked by crazy inbred hill people. And I have seen those hillbillies. They come in the library to check their facebook pages and their Match.com requests. Seriously. They are on Match.com, so think twice before you go looking for love there.

I tried to explain this to the 911 ladies, but they couldn't hear me.

By the time I had reported the downed line, I was reaching the end of the soggy dirt (mud) road. I turned onto another road, which was, fortunately, the road I was originally trying to get to when blocked by the power line. Unfortunately, the road was mostly flooded.

At this point, I was sick and tired of all of the turning. The road was flooded, but I could still see through the flood water enough to know how deep the water was and if there was still road underneath it. So I did the Country thing. I plowed my car through the water. Yeah. Even though the nightly news told me that's an easy way to die. Whatever. They never tried to drive home in these conditions. They have HELICOPTERS.

When I arrived home, Mom opened the freezer and presented me with a bowl of hail. She had sent Paul outside to gather it, because she thought I should see.

At least my Monday night wasn't boring.

1 comment:

  1. Geez-louise, it's even skeerier all written out than it was on Twitter! Glad you made it home safely.

    It's too bad the bowl of hail wasn't a bowl of ice cream.