Well, lets just say that after my rough start to the new year, I definitely have had my fill of “threes.” Let me explain….
Anyone in this area will remember that on January 29, 2010 the skies opened up and we had a pretty good snow fall. It knocked out power all over WNC. Because of the weather, I didn’t attempt to travel over Cowee Mtn to go home, so I stayed with the Hopkins on Tilley Creek. I’m kind of glad that I did….I definitely would have been stranded at the cabin, in the dark, and alone for the night. It was fun sitting in their living room swapping stories over candle light and laughing. Michelle and I even went sledding down the hill.
Speaking of which, we were bundled up like crazy. We drug a 1946 (I just made that year up…but it was old) metal Coke Cola sign up the hill and then flipped it over and took a couple rides down the hill. We never really made it very far due to the snow being so powdery, but we were too frozen to get a real packed down run going. So we gave up and went back inside to warm up.
The next morning, we made a 9 course meal (not really, but it felt like it) for breakfast. Michelle made coffee over the woodstove, I used the grill to scrambled eggs before the gas ran out, I made biscuits in the woodstove, and hash browns and sausage on top of the woodstove. Definitely felt like a Pioneer Woman at that moment. It was pretty phenomenal.
After sitting around Matt and I decided that we were about bored to tears b/c we still didn’t have power, so we ventured out to town. We went to Main Street and done a little shopping. I found a great deal on a Columbia micro fleece (50% off) [this will be important later on] and we got some pjs at the Life is Good Store. We decided we’d go visit Michael, Kristy & Alannah. We got to their house and Michael & Alannah were sledding in the back yard. They had made a snowman earlier, he had a “snow-hawk,” as Alannah called it. Alannah was zooming down the hill and of course, Matt and I had to get in on the action. We only went a couple times each b/c we were not dressed for sledding. Then we all 5 get into a snowball fight, girls against boys. I believe the girls won….Alannah was a snowball making-and-throwing machine! After enjoying some time with them we decided to head back to the house.
We called to see if the power was back on, and it wasn’t so we decided that stopping for lunch in town was the best option since I didn’t know if could handle Round 2 of being a Pioneer Woman for lunch. After we ate, we headed back up to the apartment and found that the power had come back on. Yay!
Jan 31st, proved to be a pretty day, but still very cold, and very slick. What part of the snow had melted (which wasn’t a lot) had turned to ice, but the sun was out. Matt and I helped Sam & Michelle cut some firewood and then they headed out with a load of it. I got the bright idea that Matt and I needed to go sledding down the hill. We grabbed the Coke Cola sign and took it to the top. I told Matt he had to go first b/c I wanted him to make sure it was safe. :0) I gave him a little push and off he went. The path that Michelle and I had started on Friday was a solid sheet of ice and the metal sign acted as a great sled!
Matt landed a little more than halfway down the hill and carried it back to the top where I jumped in. He gave me a little push and off I went. I hit a snow bump and turned around backwards. (I do NOT like getting turned around on a sled.) I was screaming. I was not slowing down and I knew I had already bypassed the place where Matt had stopped. In those short few seconds I debated on whether or not to bail from the sign. [Side note: this is a very old metal sign = rusty edges = tetanus (of which I was not current on my tetanus shot, so really it just was not an option.) I knew if I bailed out of the sign that those edges would catch and cut me.] So in a brief moment of panic and horrible decision making, I decided that I would stay where I was and let fate lead me. So much for that! Fate led me straight into the side of the house.
I crumpled up like a crash dummy and dumped upside down, by the time I realized what had just happened. I was in the shape of a pretzel. My legs and arms were going every direction, the top of my head was in the mud and dirt at the edge of the house from run drainage from the roof, Willis the English Mastiff apparently thought I wanted to play and he jumped on me --- all 100lbs of him. I was seriously screaming by this point. I was in so much pain. I really thought that my left leg was broken. I could feel the sharp edges of the sign cutting into me and thought I had a nasty cut as well. I also really couldn’t feel my left shoulder. (my entire left shoulder/body hit the side of the house, so it took all the impact.) Matt ran down the hill LAUGHING to see if I was ok. Then helped me up. Nothing was broken or cut. But I had one NASTY bruise on my leg from the sign.
It has been almost 4 months later and I still have a bruise and knot on my leg in that spot.
All in all, I felt like Clark Griswald when he took his slicked up sled down the hill.
Again thanks to the snow, on February 12, 2010 while at work, it began snowing quite a bit and within a matter of minutes, the roads were covered and it was obviously getting serious real fast. And because I was too chicken to try and trek over Cowee Mountain, I chose to drive to the Hopkins’ house.
I had just started up Tilley Creek and when it snows it tends to be a little more serious there, I reached down as I always have and put my car in 4x4 low. I had no more made it 20’ when I felt the tires start sliding. My first thoughts was to not try and correct it, to just go with the way I was going and work my way out of it. I had no longer got it corrected, when I felt it do the same thing again. You know how you can multitask in the craziest of ways and how your mind can race – well that’s what I was doing at this point. I was trying to keep it in the road w/o panicking and at the same time I was trying to figure out why my 4x4 was not kicking in, I was praying like a beast too. That I wouldn’t be hurt or that I wouldn’t hurt anyone else or damage anything. Whew. That just wears me out writing about it.
Needless to say, all of my attempts to correct were done in vain. I made a beautifully executed (HA!)180º turn and my car stopped only when it slammed into the side of the bank; facing the direction I had just come. Luckily, I had on my seatbelt or I would’ve ended up in the passenger seat b/c I was now at a 45º angle in the ditch, leaning against the bank. The car literally landed parallel to the bank, so its not like I slid nose first or rear first, so I knew if I had damage, it would be down at the bottom. Papers, purse, phone, everything went flying into the air and landed somewhere on the passenger side of the vehicle.
I was really lucky b/c a couple of men were driving behind me and saw what happened. They asked if they could help me out. I told them I would try first. I put the car in 4x4 hi this time, and tried to get out. But the slick snow and the angle I was at in the ditch just was not in my favor. So this precious man offered to drive me out. He ended up driving the entire ditch line before he was able to get it out.
I finally found my cell phone and I called to make sure that Michelle had made it home ok b/c I had wrecked, she had. I literally crept the other 2 miles up to Matt’s house. A snail could’ve passed me. By the time I got out of the car I was shaking like a leaf and ready to just sit down and chill for a bit with a cup of coffee. Whew. Traumatizing! And there was n'er a scratch or dent on my car! Thank you Lord!