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.