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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The importance of focus and do-wogs.

I am going to have to go out and slog through the snow this morning to search the interior of my car for Bluie.  Bluie became separated from my right ear somewhere between sliding into the snow drift and careening towards the trees last night.  Let me back up (if only I had been able to...)

I knew there was "weather" coming our way for my evening commute last night.  The forecast was for rain that would eventually turn to sleet, and then to snow.  So, having gone through this routine a few (thousand) times, I planned my trip home accordingly.  Which was fine until I got a call on my cell phone on my way home and chattered away - oblivious to the sensible part of my brain which was yelling - DO NOT TAKE THE MOUNTAIN ROUTE!  I did, indeed, take the mountain route because it is the rote route.  In doing so, the eventual change to snow happened a lot faster because of the elevation (what happened to 'hot air rises'?)  By the time my focus kicked in, I was past the PONR (point of no return) and had to forge onward.  I still chattered away, although my teeth were beginning to clench.  As I crept along where no car had gone before me, in driving snow, twisting roads and no light or clear road markers, I finally shrieked into the phone - "I've got to go - we've got FOG!"  I will spare you the gory details, but the final, very steep descent to level ground and my farm-sweet-farm, was made by inches, brakes to the floor, with the car sliding sideways - luckily into the high snow banks - then toward the ditches and trees, then back and forth, until I finally reached the bottom.  This is where a utility truck met it's demise (along with the driver, very unfortunately) a very sobering thought that was constantly in the back of my mind.  By the time I reached my mailbox, my hands were shaking so hard, I couldn't get it open.  I'll tackle that this morning, too.

I have just printed out a little sign to be taped to my dashboard:  NO MOUNTAIN ROAD UNTIL APRIL.  I owe my safe arrival last night to a combination of the skill that driving for years in Cleveland and in this mountain area during winters has given me - and to divine intervention.

Since I was so completely wired, I didn't make it to bed and to blissful sleep until much after my normal bedtime.  And then, clearly and distinctly, do-wog retching woke me abruptly from a sound sleep at 3A.  Bernie had been eating the rug again.  Out they went - hopefully, Bernie brought up her early breakfast by herself - there was too much snow and darkness to tell - and I went to work duct-taping every exposed edge on the rug.  I didn't bother to go back to bed. 

I sit here, with my fourth cup of coffee, contemplating giving up my job and do-wogs.

Amen.

25 comments:

  1. I begin to get the shakes when they even mention snow here now if I have to drive in it. And I lived in Chicago for 30 years of my life. Snow/sleet/ice and driving are scary enough; deadly mountain roads are just horror-show scary. Glad that you got through it with "just" a sleepless night.

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    1. Carolyn - There is something to be said about living in a non-snow area. I really did know better, but it was just one of those timing things.

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  2. PS - Who / what is / was Bluie?

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    1. Sorry for the code - it's my Bluetooth.

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  3. Holy crap, you had me scared there. I had to laugh when you said you wrote yourself a note and taped it to your dashboard. I have one too! (I wonder how many of us do that?) Mine says...Stop and look CAREFULLY...as I almost pulled out into traffic and got clobbered by a garbage truck last month.

    I'm with CR. Is Bluie an earring?

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    1. Tami - I bet that was a CTJ moment, with a garbage truck bearing down on you! It's amazing how you can get distracted for just a moment....

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  4. And yes, what is Bluie? Also, isn't talking on a cell phone illegal in NYS?

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    1. Yes, it is. That is why I have a Bluetooth - it is not illegal to talk on your phone if you do it remotely - without holding your phone up to your ear.

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  5. Susan,

    I'm so glad you put a note on your dash board. It's so easy to just jump in your vehicle and take the normal route and not even think of the snow, or ice. I've been there, done that and won't do it ever....ever again. I'm glad you made it home okay, be careful.

    Is Bluie your ear piece for your cell phone?

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    1. Sandy - It is so easy to forget to focus. If my knees hadn't been so shaky, I would have gotten down and kissed the ground!

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  6. Wow! Sounds like you did get lucky getting off that mt. I understand about that difference in altitude. We live on a hill.

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    1. SFG - It was luck and providence. It's like an entirely different climate up there!

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  7. Yikes! Glad you got home ok, as are several four legged ones. Now Bluie has his own little hand knit pouch , so how did he escape?

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    1. Jane - Yikes, is right! They were very glad to see me, although Bernie is going through some sort of angst. Bluie was perched on my ear so I could legally chat away. Usually, not a problem...

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  8. I have a Bluey, too, so figured that one out right away. I guess this is a sober reminder to us all about the dangers of distracted driving. Those of us who wouldn't THINK of texting while driving are still somewhat distracted when on the phone, hands free or not. I've been known to abruptly drop a call when I needed all my faculties – but when do we NOT need all our faculties when driving? Thank Goodness for guardian angels!

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    1. Michelle - Thank goodness, and thank God. You are right - it's all distracting, hands free or not. I think Bluey will be relegated to on-land use. Driving does require ALL our faculties.

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  9. I'm sorry. You're grounded. I don't care if you CAN legally chat using Bluie, your full (I will repeat . . . FULL) attention needs to be on your driving. (Do you feel sufficiently chastised?) Your angst-filled vibrations obvious were reaching all the way home to Bernie who was so upset she didn't know what to do but eat the rug.

    Love,
    Your mother (not really, but I feel like I should unload the "mother worry" you gave us all thinking about you having a serious accident).

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    1. Mama Pea - I'm sorry, too. I wish I was grounded. I would gladly stay home for a week and not leave the farm! Honestly, the worst thing that could have happened was that my car would have been mired half-way down the mountain and I would have had to slip-slide the 2+ miles home. It was scary enough for me to vow that the only use for cell phones in my car is to call for help!

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  10. Oh, I'm so glad yo got home safely!! Put that sign in neon yellow, okay???

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    1. FFG - Thanks, so am I. You know, that is a very good idea! I think I have some neon Postit notes around.

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  11. Dang girl! I'm glad you made it down the mountain in one piece! I don't even like to drive in the pouring rain, I can't imagine driving in snow and ice! Be careful, PLEASE!!

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    1. No problem there, Candy. I won't be taking that route until mid-April!

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  12. Holy moly!! Glad to hear you survived such treacherous conditions. Scary.

    And those darn canines. Selfish, really.

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  13. I'm so glad you got home safely! Now stay off that mountain girlfriend! This winter can't go on forever, right? RIGHT???!

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