Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Season of the Ditch Divers

This is definitely the season for ditch diving. And, it is NOT a laughing matter!
   Living on a country road that has a slight curve in it can sometimes be exciting. It can also be somewhat scary during wet weather and snowy ice weather. We are seeing the latter of the two right now. With another 2 inches of snow yesterday and a potential blizzard on the way, we are beginning to expect this to be a ditch diving year.
   The weather today was beautiful, a balmy 34 degrees. I walked around with my coat unzipped and without my gloves. It was great weather for getting our orders together to deliver tomorrow. Horrible weather for going to the woods to get firewood. And, apparently even more horrible for driving. It got very slushy by about 10am. We heard the snow plow backup beeping noise this morning and looked out the window to see one large plow in the ditch almost on its side, and another two plows hooked up trying to get it out. We aren't sure how he got there, but they sure couldn't get him loose. They finally called in the big boys with the semi-tow truck and got the plow pulled out.
   Later on we decided to head to Bloomington (Illinois) which is about 40 minutes drive to the south. The roads were very slushy so we carefully wound our way through the better country roads and onto the highway. Thankfully Marty is an excellent driver and we made it there and back just fine. However, about 10 minutes after getting home..."schreeeee!" then "whoomp!" then "zzzipt, zippt". We looked out to see an SUV in the front ditch.
   Since this is nothing new - we averaged one new mailbox per year from 2000-2005 - we walked out and calmly asked if the guy was okay. He was but was not going anywhere fast. Marty hooked up the tractor to his front end and pulled him out. He was thankful for us saving him the tow truck expense. We were more thankful he wasn't hurt.
   We have had a couple of very close calls in the past years. One huge truck, a heavy duty Mack construction truck, slid off the road on a rainy day and slammed into our front tree. It hit so hard that the engine was totalled and the drive shaft was shoved out the back. The two guys lived, but it scared all four of us nearly to death. We called the ambulance just in case. And, to this day when we see them in the grocery store, they still say "all I could see was that tree coming straight at me...straight at me".
   Another time we had a younger teenage girl, new driver, go off the road in rainy weather. She went all the way through the front yard, missing a dozen huge trees and our large historic stone marker. Talk about frightening! Her grandmother told us later that the girl didn't drive for months afterward.
   So, I suppose the word is - be careful on the country roads! Their pavements aren't made the same, they have drop offs on the sides and gravel that can catch you, and ours aren't allowed to be salted (only sanded). The snow plow workers do their best to keep the snow off, but the country roads get drifts even with a light wind. And, the mailboxes and trees - they can come straight at you if you aren't careful. Don't be a ditch diver!

1 comment:

  1. Wow, you guys have a popular location for wrecks! Just think: you could carve a little notch into a post somewhere to keep count through the years.