This past Ash Wednesday, my wife and I were headed home after the evening church service.
It had been another day of blowing snow. That afternoon leaving home, the car made it through the drifted snow in the driveway, but just barely.
After about four more hours of drifting, this might be difficult getting back in the garage.
But I did have the wheel tracks to help me some, so when I got to the end of the driveway, I took aim by getting the car pointed directly at it so I wouldn’t lose momentum making the turn.
I backed the car so the rear wheels were close to the edge of the gravel road and then charged into the drifted driveway.
I made it through the first drift, but it cost me my momentum and when I hit the next drift, which was larger, I lost momentum and I was stuck.
I couldn’t go ahead. I couldn’t back up.
We have a short driveway so we were within a hundred feet of the house’s front door. We walked the rest of the way and left the car there for the night.
The next morning my son saw the stuck car and called, asking what it would take to get it out. The weather had not improved, and the drifting snow was still collecting around the car.
I told him I thought a couple shovels would do the job.
He has a snow plow on the front of his truck so when he came to dig out the car, he would clear the driveway.
A few hours later, he arrived in his pickup. I saw him pull in and we both started digging around the car.
He said to me, “I bet you were going as fast as you could when you hit the drift, the car raised up over the snow and now you are hung up.”
I said, “That pretty well sums it up.”
We were both digging around and under the car trying to remove as much snow as possible. For all our digging, we were making very little progress with the car only moving an inch or so, either back or ahead.
With the car blocking the driveway, he couldn’t get in front of it to pull it. Cars today have very little in back to attach anything to pull it backwards.
I made a trip to the gravel road with my shovel to collect some rock, but it was frozen and I had very little to show for my scraping.
I was wondering about a tractor with a snow blower or having to call a wrecker because we were going nowhere.
Then my wife walked out and handed us a couple rugs that had been on the floor inside the front door.
We put a rug behind each front wheel and the car moved backward six whole inches.
She was almost back to the front door by now, and we both conveyed our appreciation to her for her great idea.
We went back and forth with the rugs and combined with some shoveling, the car was extricated in about 10 minutes.
For several years, my wife has told me when farm decisions were made by my son and me that she would like to be included in the discussion and decision-making.
We don’t leave her out intentionally. Those decisions are usually made outside or in a cab or a place removed from the house. We just want to make a decision and move on.
However, on that day, after Ash Wednesday, she proved to us that she is capable of seeing solutions that two farmers can miss; in this case, a solution that made the job achievable using simple tools.
I told her that I had learned a lesson from her magic carpet.
Rye is a Farm News staff writer and farmer from Hanlontown. Reach him by e-mail at email@example.com.
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