Wednesday, January 24, 2018

you can't make this stuff up

When we first moved up here we rapidly acquired a truck, a dog, and a trailer. Eventually the trailer got left behind when we moved into the house.  I taught myself to drive the truck, and eventually his 1968 Pontiac.  The driver's license came much later.

The dog developed an understandable terror (having been nearly struck once) of thunderstorms, and would spend the entire storm  trying to dig  his way into the fireplace, to a Safe Place.  I discovered that the one thing that would calm him was to go for rides during storms.  As long as the wheels were turning, he was a happy dog.

One very hot July night I woke to the sound of distant thunder. Oh, oh, I thought, and there, at 2 AM, was Ralph the dog huddled in the fireplace, trying to escape.  Without thinking I grabbed the dog, and the car keys, and got him safely in the car.  Off we went, on all the back roads, up the Cook Road, down the Berry road, across the Peacham road, for nearly an hour. As long as the car moved, he was cool.

As a kind of shortcut home, I decided to take us down the state  highway and then back to the house. Short and dirty.  It is now 3 AM.  I looked at the gas gauge, and it read  Empty. Oh, dear. Then I realized several things simultaneously. I am wearing only a baby doll nightie. I am barefoot.  I have no purse, no driver's license.  No money. It is 3 AM.  And the dog in the car, who is the kind of dog who guards his home away from home by snarling and snapping at anyone who so much as touches the fender   And my husband, who in those days slept like a drugged monkey,  had no idea I was gone.

It was a solid  8 mile drive, uphill, most of the way.  I kept having visions of that nice state trooper asking me to please step out of the car and Ralph snapping and snarling...and I still go cold over that one...we made it home, the gas gauge on just as empty as it gets, we got  back in the house, and I slid into bed.  The next morning I told him what had happened.    Bless him, all he said was, you were wearing WHAT?

8 comments:

  1. My wife always used to like to run her car until it was driving on fumes. I warned her one day when we were taking the kids to creche that the tank was low and she said we'll get there , stop worrying. We had a steep hill called Stuarts Drive to climb and you know what's coming, don't you? Half way up the hill the car conked out.
    I was not a happy chappie and that was the very last time she ever ran the car without at least a quarter tank of petrol.

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    1. ahhh but this was HIS car, I didn't even have a driver's license yet, or shoes, or a purse. You do see the problem, there...

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  2. Very nice story. I felt like I was in the vehicle with you, eyes closed of course. nice nighty.

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    1. I should hope so, sir. Both eyes. =)

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  3. Unlike a friend of mine, pulled over for speeding taking kids to school, wearing tiny nightie, no purse etc.. I guess she survived. But after that she at least got dressed!

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    1. well, at 3 AM in this neck of the woods, not many folks are out and about. I frankly never even thought about clothes, purse, anything. Ralph in the throes of a panic attack was heartbreaking, and all I wanted to do at that point was settle him down.
      And thank the lord no one is out on the highway at that hour either.

      When I look back on it, I can't decide which of several options would have been worse--talking to the nice state trooper, dragging Ralph home over 8 miles of dark road, barefoot, or just waiting for sunrise and death by mortification.

      And oh, your poor friend. I really really can empathize with that.

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  4. Replies
    1. Lol. I think it's the 8 mile walk (barefoot) uphill toward home that would have done me in. Especially dragging a barky dog along. Otherwise known as a near miss with a loaded dart gun.

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