To say I was ill prepared to live in the middle of an often muddy field with a dodgy driveway and an impassable side yard to the “front door” is an understatement. The last day of January this year was the perfect introduction to how exactly ill prepared I was. That night it was snowing sideways and had been for a couple of days. The January snow had uncharacteristically started off as rain. We had a layer of snow, on top of ice and inches of mud. Adding to the equation, I drive a tiny car that sits low to the ground and I forgot snow boots.
Fabulous! Welcome to Chapter Two of the saga called January. The Handsome Stranger and I were fresh from an uproariously funny and eventful road trip from Upstate New York to Colorado in the middle of the epic Polar Vortex storm. We were treated to: sub zero temperatures, a truck that wouldn’t start in sub zero temperatures unless Mr. C did something magic to the engine with something in a can; 80 mile an hour winds; blinding snow, ice fog, and no brakes. Not necessarily in that order and often simultaneously. This made the challenge of inches deep mud, ballet flats, and a tiny white car look like nothing.
“I’m not sure you can get through the mud to the garage.” He belted out over the wind as I slid/drove/sank in the “drive”.
“Nonsense, the little Trophy Wife can go anywhere. She’s front wheel drive and I have a low gear. I drove home last week in ten inches of snow before the plows arrived.”
He shrugged his shoulders, fifty-four years had taught him to just not argue with a determined woman. “You have to pull out and pull around to the garage. You don’t want to go down the hill. As it is, I can’t get the truck out of the mud. I’m not sure how we’ll get to the airport.”
I gave him a duh look and signaled we could take my car. Despite my earlier insistence she be garaged. My baby car could take one for the team and spend twelve days outside while I was in Mexico. I chose this moment to tell him something I realized on my way back to the little big town.
“I forgot my boots and I’m not getting these shoes muddy. They are my favorites.” I opened my car door, to wiggle my left foot around so he could see exactly how adorable my shiny gold shoes looked without mud all over them.
“Ok…then hop on!” He turned around and offered me his back. For a few seconds, I tried to scoot to the edge of my low lying seat and then stand on the wee “running board” in order to get all 5’10 or so of me on his strapping big back. I had visions of missing his back and taking both of us down into the mud where my precious Betsy Johnson down jacket (HUGE mark down at the Rack!) Would be ruined and my shoes would become mud sodden history.
“Oh my God! No! One of us will break a back.” (Yes dear reader, I said that. You may laugh and mock at the irony.)
“Ok, let me go get another pair of my boots.”
I can’t believe how patient he was with me. I can assure you–one broken back later; pulling cactus needles and goat head burrs from my feet after a walk in flip-flops a few months later—I’ve rightfully burned up that patience and will forever be on my own and not gallantly rescued from the elements because my footwear was poorly chosen.
Anyhow, because he is a deeply decent man he brought me a pair of his boots which I slipped over my precious footwear and cinched down tight. I managed to get into the house without tripping and falling. But more important than falling down and possibly—you know—hurting myself, what if I muddied my adorable coat, shoes or outfit. But the point remained; I was without appropriate footwear. I wear a size 11 and I get most of my shoes online. Needless to say, I felt a little screwed. And stupid. I’ve lived in Colorado for almost three decades and always have a pair of boots in my car. Until that night when they were mysteriously somewhere else.
Getting to the house was one thing but then I had to manage snow and such at the airport in the morning and probably when we returned. It was winter, after all. I announced my predicament and we mused and muttered over it, creating several scenarios all of which were cluster fucks, until his best friend called to see if we were still on for dinner and I remembered she and I: are almost the same size. She’s more slender and compact than I am. But score! She had boots I could use that she wouldn’t miss while I was away. She is a Girl Scout and rather than four pairs of adorable ballet flats in an assortment of colors and embellishments, she has several pairs of snow and mud worthy boots. Once the boots were sorted out and my Trophy Wife was miraculously driven through mud which bested the big-ass truck, I moved on to the next tricky situation.
“What are we gonna do about the truck?”
“I can tow it behind the tractor.”
“What do you mean by that?” I was instantly suspicious because this sounded like a two person job. We were the only two people in the house.
“You’ll steer and drive the truck while I drive the tractor. We’ll park it by the road so we can just pull into the road.”
“Mr. C I’ve never driven something being towed in my entire life. I haven’t driven a standard transmission in a long time and your brakes aren’t too good. And I’m the Princess…” My voice dwindled off; hopefully he would remember this last bit of important information and phone a friend who knew how to drive a truck on a rope, behind a tractor, in very deep mud.
He waved my protests away with his hand, “Nah the brakes are fixed. That’s under control. You’ll do great! And what could possibly go wrong?”
It was all so frightening and ridiculous that I started to laugh. I laughed while I hoisted myself into the driver’s seat and while I watched him attach the truck to the back of the old tractor. I laughed when he started it up and signaled for me to fire up the truck. Which thankfully started without a bunch of magic tricks. It really wasn’t that hard to steer the truck and it was obvious Mr. C had done this before. But then two minutes into the chore we came to the hill. The truck started to veer off the side of the hill; I braked, so hard the truck over corrected. The truck threatened to pull the tractor over. I’m not sure if he heard me squealing between howls of laughter.
“What could possibly go wrong with this, Mr. C? This, that’s what!” I’m not sure if he heard me shouting at him that I had lost control of the truck. Because he was busy trying to keep the truck from pulling the tractor over as we went down the hill. But we made it. We made it down the hill and out to the road: tractor, gigantic truck, Paul Bunyan, and one silly ill-prepared woman who still has a stash of highly inappropriate footwear she dons at the oddest times. Like for selfie photo shoots in the old International.