Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Driveway from hell.....

I have never, ever held back on how I feel about the driveway that leads up the hill to the house I live in.
Heck I volunteer my feelings abou it to absolute strangers.
I hate it that much.
In the winter that is.
In the warmer months, when there is no snow to coat its surface it is quite pretty. The lawn on the right and garage built into the hill on the left then you kind of wind around to the right a bit as you climb to the parking area on the left behind the previously mentioned garage. At the top you are greeted by lovely gardens, a patio with a shelter , Muskoka chairs and a pond stocked with gold fish and a little waterfall from the rocks. There are planters full of brightly coloured flowers and birds in the trees. It is a little slice of heaven then.
Come winter it the Dr. Jekyll of driveways. I dread driving down it in the mornings and attempting to make my way up it at night when the weather has done something drastic. Tonight, after a nasty drive home and too many errands to run I made my way across town feeling the familiar churning in my gut as I got closer to home. Along Centre street my phone rang and it was Roger calling to inform me that he had gotten up with no difficulty. So although it alleviated some of my building anxiety, there was still a large portion when I ventured up the drive now covered with about 5 inches of snow. When I left this morning I knew it was ice underneath but made it down safely because it was cold I suppose. I made it up the first rise and turned my wheels to steer around the garage and attempted the second rise. The steeper of the two. This one because it is combined with the turn is always tricky for me. But all winter I had successfully made it but this time, part way up I lost any traction whatsoever and began to slide backwards, in spite of the fact that my wheels were still attempting to carry me forward. So I eased off the gas and attempted to brake.
I was still sliding backwards.
I attempted to steer to avoid the rock pillar on the right and get between the partial rock wall buried under the snow on the left. I managed to avoid both those obstacles but still slid out of control backwards, towards the road, now painfully aware of my son in the back seat and in the line of any traffic that might not see our predicament and would be unable to stop for us as we slide out onto the road. I tried to keep calm so as to not make Liam panic. Using my favorite cus word. “Crap, crap, crap” fired from between my lips in machine gun fashion.
I cannot see the traffic because my line of site is blocked by the stone pillar at this point but I am hearing it fly past behind me. The car suddenly stops. Thankfully.
I am wedged between the two snow banks near the bottom of the drive. Well stuck.
So I order Liam out of the car and he climbs up the snow back and over the front end of the car to walk up the drive. I feel better because he is safe. He sends Roger out.
Being me… I have a minor flip out because the drive has not been sanded.
I make a lot of noise on a regular basis about how important it is for everyone’s safety that it be sanded. Not just scraped of snow. Whenever I have to clean the drive I always sand it. And hjave mentioned that I’d appreciate the same. But I realize it falls on deaf ears. And I wonder why it is a man thinks that if he doesn’t slip and fall or get stuck part way up the driveway no one else should.
I march up the hill with a full head of steam to dig sand out of the bin. Heaven knows we have an ample supply of the stuff. Meanwhile Roger has gone down to rescue my car and I hear a familiar voice call out.
"Hey can I give you a hand? I was driving by and saw your car and figured I could hook you up to my truck with a chain and pull the back end around.
And before Roger can say “No, I’ve got it”
I am not sure he was going to but I wasn’t going to take that chance. I yelled down the Hill.
“I would be ever so grateful”

Flashback to seven years ago.
I worked at a real Estate office and a man came in looking for property.
Solid build. Black hair kept on the long side and a full beard and moustache. Nice eyes and real personable. We spoke at length about some properties on the board as well as some other stuff. Life, kids, jobs stuff. We never exchanged names. Over the years we have run into each other time and time again and always stop to have a bit of a chat. I have met his wife and kids and he has commented on how my son has grown. It’s like we are old pals without ever having been pals in the first place. It’s a strange yet comfortable familiarity.

Back to today.
That’s who was offering help at the end of my driveway in the blizzard.
He waited patiently while Roger made attempts to get my car unstuck but only managed to get it wedged in and up on a bank now. Roger got out of the car and, “He” being my friend whose name I do not know said
” I’ll get out my chain and hook you up.”
I don’t know why but Roger came up and asked me about him…. if I knew him… because of the way I was speaking to him. I said honestly. I have known him for about seven years but I cannot tell you his name.
I went around the corner behind the house to get sand if it was needed and I did not want to see what they were going to do with my car.
Needless to say at this point, my car was gotten out of the jam it was in and safely up the drive and parked.
But I was still fit to be tied.
Being hormonal, I raged at poor Roger.
Vented about how he knows how I feel about the driveway and the need for sand and that him being able to get up it doesn’t mean everyone can. I told him how horrible it feels to be sliding down the dive potentially into traffic with a child in the back seat. And he’d be the first one hit if we were in the path of anything.
His response was,
“Well a comet could hit the house too.”
And I lost it.
Why, because his attitude struck me as so cavalier. My fear was real. It was not as farfetched as a comet hitting the house.
I pointed out that the house was on a busy road, I had no control over the car as it slid surprisingly fast down the drive and it made me sick to my stomach with fear. I was helpless to stop it and keep my son safe
What is it men don’t get about how mothers feel about our children.
I was mad and am now spent.
This is poorly written, but I am too tired to care.
I’m going to bed.

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