Saturday, March 23, 2013

Going To Church

It seemed that every time we planned to go to church something would come up and we could not go.  We would over-sleep, one of us would get sick, we'd get company, or Satan would throw a stumbling block into our path.  One such block came our way one snowy winter morning and we were already half way out the lane.

There were a few inches of snow on the ground but the lane was mostly clear of the ice and white fluffy powder.  Notice I said mostly.  We had just rounded the corner and had one more incline before we topped the hill and turned one last time to head for the main road.  Almost there.  I remember thinking of the little engine that could.  Alas, the Volkswagen van couldn't.  We tried so hard, hubby pushed the pedal to the floor and the rest of us straining against the seat belts leaning forward as far as we could.  Inch by inch we struggled - until we came to a complete stop just short of the top!  Hubby hit the brakes but we kept right on going - BACKWARDS!

Now I am sure the VW vans have improved a lot over the last thirty plus years but back then they were like iceboxes and it was not uncommon to have to scrape the inside of the windows.  Hubby could barely see going forward, let alone see enough to maneuver backwards.  So he opened the drivers side door - just in time to see the back tire slip right into the ditch - pulling the front side along with it - with the open door.  Now anyone knows a vehicle sliding backwards with the door open is going to keep right on sliding and the door is going to jam into the side of the ditch and stay put.  That is exactly what our van did.  By the time we stopped we had one inside out driver's door flattened neatly against the front fender.

Knowing we would once again not be going to church, we all piled out.  Hubby stayed in and swayed our bright orange van (like the hippies drove) back and forth trying to maneuver his way out.  No luck.  So, knowing the routine, I and my four beautiful, Sunday go to meetin' dressed kiddies trudged to the back and started pushing our wounded van out of the ditch.  We pushed and pushed and piled big rocks behind the tire (to keep it from rolling any further back and killing us) and little rocks in front of the tire (to give it some traction) until we, with hubby pushing the gas pedal as far as it would go, finally managed to get it moving forward and out of the mire.  All was well, if we didn't mind being seen in a hippie van with practically no driver's door and in clothes that said tire spinning rescue had deposited about six pounds of never coming out mud and mire upon our Sunday go to meetin' clothes. 

A Phone - Finally

We purchased our hideaway paradise before school started and immediately set about to secure all the utilities so we could move in.  Actually that only consisted of ordering the electric and phone since heat came from a dilapidated old fuel oil furnace and what wood we could chop and water came from a spring feed well pumped into the house by way of a garden hose laced through the kitchen window and taped to the faucet on the sink.  Pretty ingenious, not very attractive, but we no longer had to carry it from the well in five gallon buckets.  Hot water was heated on the stove - again, we didn't have to carry it and it was hot.

The electricity worked fine, the furnace worked okay after the initial lighting when hubby ordered us out of the house and halfway up the mile long driveway while he stayed behind in case said furnace exploded and blew him and all our worldly goods into the next county.

The telephone was a different matter.  Since it had been ordered before we moved in - and told they would be there at the first available opportunity - we were a little surprised when that opportunity did not arrive until the following March.  Thankfully they had all the appropriate markings on their truck and I was sure they would not be coming into the house since I just knew our first phone would be placed atop a pole outside our window like the one on the TV program "Green Acres".   You can imagine I was again surprised when they did come in and installed the phone in our living room.

They had been working on the outside pole for about an hour when low and behold the phone actually rang.  I ignored it, thinking it was the installers checking to make sure it would ring.  It rang and rang and I ignored and ignored.  Finally I got tired of the constant ringing and grabbed the received and practically yelled into it "am I supposed to answer this".  Hubby, God love him, replied, "well, isn't that what you are supposed to do when a phone rings".  I am sure the installers were listening in and must have thought I was the county bumpkin just like I thought they were.