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Hubcaps. Lost another one! A handful of days bearing a substantial amount of snow (at long last, and yet, still not enough!) lead up to the Christmas holiday this past year, and as Shane's car was down for the count and my sister found snow driving kinda dicey, I gladly took on the role of chauffeur. Love it, I do, think it must be the sense of accomplishment, though trivial, that comes in succeeding where others fear to tread. Say nothing of elevating such a mundane task as that of a commute to outright adventure! To and fro, we blazed one path and another from this workplace to that, that home to this, and back again. Christmas Eve evening, the three of us piled into my little red car and headed out to our cousin Chris's homestead out in the bona fide boonies. Prior to leaving, Chris had called with news that the roads were horribly unmanagable, and that if we'd instead drive out to a nearbyish community center, he'd be sure to fetch us upon a call announcing our arrival. But in relaying this news to Bean and Shane, we chose to forego Chris's instruction and drive the full distance, seeing that the roads weren't giving us anymore guff than they'd been all week.

So, having traveled as far as the paved road would take us, we turned off onto the dirt pathway, over hill and vale, onward to awaiting festivities. Immediately, a distinct difference could be felt in attempts to continue maneuvering the car. Something had happened to the snow. For several hours, a steady rain had fallen as the temperature teetered just on, or above, freezing. The snow, now waterlogged, was primo slush! When encountered on blacktop, easy-peasy, though quickly learned, an altogether different beast off-road. We slid and skated our way through mounds of the ornery stuff soon approaching a mild hill. The plan, lay on the gas with even pressure to begin, so as not to spin out, gathering speed in the slight decline before the oncoming ascent. All was going accordingly until, until, headlights appeared at the top of that mild hill. Right smack in the middle of the flippin' road, straddling both "lanes" sat a very stationary vehicle. Our options were clear: stop, collide or reside in a ditch. Much grumbling issued from our vehicle as we slowed and rolled to an inevitable stop, all momentum lost. They had the help of our incline as their decline, and we beckoned them on insistently with arms motioning from the car windows. Finally they crept passed ever so slowly accompanied by a heavy dose of glowering cast in their general direction. Glad tidings of shared Christmas cheer were scarce, I'm sorry to say, as their taillights faded away in the distance. Back to it then, pedal to floor, reverse, flip, crank it, spank it, smack it on the bing-bong, all sincere tries this side of the Delta, and not a foot closer, were we! In fact, the car had worked its way 'round perpendicularly, now lounging across the road, precariously angled towards the roadside ditch, sure to block any and all future passersby. Drat!

Out we piled into the darkest of dark evenings for further assessment. Snow was caked, slush packed into every crevice of the undercarriage. With no nearby branches sturdy enough to act as a tool in removing all that evil and phone reception last available back near the afore mentioned community center, somebody was gonna have to trek the remaining distance to the cousin's for assistance. A brief discussion later, and very nary a glance backward, Bean turned on her heel, flashlight in hand, and headed up and over that mild hill, the inky darkness all but swallowing her up. It soon occurred to Shane that he'd allowed his beloved to wander off alone into a night full of eerie sounds emanating from the surrounding woods chock full of furrily ferocious creatures (bears, oh my!) to a destination we all only vaguely knew the whereabouts of. Repeat this, he did, again and again, as we continued to rev, push, shove, scoop, and dig to no avail, though within the half hour, a new set of headlights sat atop that mild hill. Chris! After formulating a plan of attack, for all our previously lengthy trouble, we made quick work of heading my car back the way in which it came. Parked it out near the paved road for easy exiting, Chris's big boat of a car befitted with chains, the key to success in the entire endeavor.

Bean had completed her solo journey successfully arriving without (too much) difficulty to knock at the door. Apparently, we weren't the first to attempt to drive out and find ourselves thoroughly stuck in ignoring the wise and knowing words of our dear cousin that day, as the assemblage of none-too-thrilled relatives' faces could attest upon seeing and hearing of Bean's lone arrival. Well then, what did this ill-timed caper end up resulting in? My first meal of the holidays: humble pie. Man, did I feel like a dirty rat. Okay, so I had a little backup in the form of Bean and Danke Schoen. All the same, filthy rat here. I'd like to tell myself that the reason for bypassing Chris's cautionary words was in order to save him the hassle of having to temporarily bow out of the festivities of his own making, yet, the truth of the matter is, he encountered an uprising of pride. Mine. One of those emotions easily cloaked and then masqueraded as a sometimes more positive attribute. But at the root of it, I simply felt I knew better than he, acting as such, and in so doing, perpetuated the show of respect- lack thereof- I've seen befall him with others at times. A most accomplished and gentle-spirited soul, I believe that he sensed my sincerity in apologizing, naming pride as the culprit outright to him and then again to others repeatedly in a play to hopefully restore some of that respect. Merry Christmas to me, got the chance to walk my talk: exercise humility in dealing with others. Always a good thing!

The merry continued (after a good ringing out of soggy socks due to the slush invasion of my impractically pretty, red, red Mary Janes) with a helping of good n' bloody prime rib, carols sung at Chris and wife Rachel's nearby church- all reached in chained vehicles, the catchup-doing of rarely seen yet always loved relatives, and the bestowing of special guest status as the bedtime storyteller to their munchkins. Much later, in arriving back home, I discovered that a hubcap had run off once again, escaping into the night. That makes three for this little red car alone! Count it another visit to

Come Christmas morning, opened my rockin' new snow boots! Très necessary just the night before, I've only worn 'em a total of once since. Good! They'll still feel brand-spankin'..... how many months again until a little more snow?


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